Thursday, October 21st, 2010

The worst local election leaflet ever?

I know, I know – you thought the Lib-Dems had finally graduated to the big leagues in politics. They’ve got nice suits, seats in Cabinet and a highly sophisticated communications machine. But it was not ever thus. Unpacking boxes in Freelance Unbound’s spacious new South-West headquarters reveals this local election leaflet from just a few […]

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Civil liberties – the progressive dilemma

What matters to those LibDem voters who hate the idea of hooking up with a Tory government? Social justice? The environment? European integration? Proportional representation? Whatever it is, it’s probably not civil liberties, as this fascinating tool from the Liberal Democrat Voice web site shows. “Authoritarian vs. liberal” tracks the voting patterns of MPs to 10 […]

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Betrayal and coalition government

Much furore on last night’s Question Time about the nascent coalition government – the LibDems “betrayed” their voters by jumping into bed with the ghastly Conservatives. And now the country is being run by a party that was opposed by 74% of the electorate. It’s all so sordid and unprincipled. The politicians just did a deal […]

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

UK election coverage 2010: Twitter vs the BBC

Just for the hell of it, I spent last Thursday night’s election on Twitter (on TweetDeck, since you ask – thanks for the tip, Soilman). At the same time, I watched the BBC’s new coverage. I wanted to see what value, if any, each one had in following and understanding the events of the night. […]

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

How the media missed the real UK election story

The main problem for the media during last week’s election was that it was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The real story didn’t happen at the count – where all the reporters were eagerly awaiting whatever electoral upset was on the cards – but at the polling stations. It was there that […]

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Counting alternative votes before they’re cast

It’s interesting to see this from the BBC, which has some handy interactive digital graphics on its web site to show how the different voting systems work, in the run-up to most likely adopting one. What I want to know is how on earth they can apply the alternative vote system to the 2010 result, when […]

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Be careful what you wish for…

Nearly 30 years ago, David Steel told the Liberal Party to “go back to your constituencies, and prepare for government”. I wonder if, three decades later, they’re actually ready for it…

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

“The people have spoken – we’re just not sure what they’ve said”

What went wrong with last week’s election? In media terms, clearly, it was a lack of narrative. How could the media make sense of the voting patterns in 2010? Massive swings to the Tories in unexpected seats, solid swings away from Labour in others. But swinging to where? Sometimes to Tory, sometimes to Labour, sometimes […]

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Fear and West Lothian in Westminster

The latest argument for a “Progressive Rainbow Coalition Government” in the UK comes from the Scottish Nationalists, who argue that a LibCon arrangement would be resented by the 83% of people who didn’t vote Conservative in Scotland. I’m sure the 100% of people who didn’t vote SNP in England will welcome a government that includes the […]

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Whoever you vote for, government wins

I usually love elections, but, despite the fact that this is the most unpredictable, closest-run contest I’ve known, I just can’t seem to get worked up about this one. I’ve always enjoyed them. Appropriately enough, the first election I was really aware of was in 1974 – the last time that we had a minority […]

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