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Old 04-05-2005, 04:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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British General Election

Will you be voting? If so for whom and why?

As for myself, I hate all of the bastards at the moment. My only strategy is to vote against Labour, while I still have the option to do so.
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Old 04-05-2005, 05:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I won't, but only because I'm a U.S. Citizen.

Honestly, I wonder if the world will care as much about the British election as they seemed to care about the U.S. election.

Hee hee, you spelled labor funny. You prolly spell color colour too. I love you Brits.
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Old 04-05-2005, 06:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have to say congratulations to lukethebandgeek for his informed, witty and intelligent contribution there. Rock on dude!

Personally, it's difficult to know what to do this time around. Labour need a slapping to show that the country wont tolerate their style of government - but, at the same time, I think they've done a good job. I like what they've done, I just don't like the way they did it.

I'd vote for Labour if it was Brown in the front-seat. Blair has been a fantastic ambassador for the British overseas, and that's what I think he does best. He's good at making disparate points of view come to some level of agreement, but I think the trust from the people has been polished away by now.

I'd like to see the Liberals gain more popularity, but don't see that happening either. I really don't know if the Conservatives are still a group of people I want to see in power though.
 
Old 04-05-2005, 06:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukethebandgeek
I won't, but only because I'm a U.S. Citizen.

Honestly, I wonder if the world will care as much about the British election as they seemed to care about the U.S. election.

Hee hee, you spelled labor funny. You prolly spell color colour too. I love you Brits.
Insightful! It's also touque... not beanie... infidel.

No, the world (and if by "world" you mean USA) will not care as much about the British general election because, oh my, it's not taking place in the country between Canada and Mexico.

If by the world you actually mean the rest of the world, then no, we probably won't care as much, because it won't have as much impact to the rest of the world as the US federal elections do.

As for me, I personally hope the Labour party loses.. But that's a very uninformed opinion at this point, I think I'll have to beef up on my current British issues before I try to debate this one with anyone.
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You mean there are other countries than the United States out there?

American news seems locked on the Pope right now and only mentions the British General in passing (Well, it looks like our friends in England are having an election....hardy har har). It's sad to say that the only regular news we Americans receive about England is the current state of the affairs concerning the Royal family.

I don't know near enough about the situation to comment on it. I mean, I'm an avid reader of international news sites and watch the BBC news program on satellite regularly. Unfortunately, I've neither the political saavy or a well versed understanding of the system to speak with any sort of authority on the upcoming election.

I will certainly try to remedy that, but in the meantime I would be very interested in any information you lovable Brits would be willing to pass on.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by guthmund
I will certainly try to remedy that, but in the meantime I would be very interested in any information you lovable Brits would be willing to pass on.
I think this would be a great direction for this thread to take... While I am versed in the system as I'm a Canadian, the majority of the users are in the United States. The knowledge of foreign electoral proceedings should be enlightening.

Go Brits go!
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Decisions decisions decisions. Won't vote for Labour they've been at it too long at least tony has and well he has gone slightly crazy in the last two years or so, this only reconfirms my theory of a clever person should be in power for no more than six years max. Had Gordon taken his place then i would have consider labour as it is Lib Dems are a wasted vote and Charles is not a guy that i would want to lead the country or gain more control than what he already has. So i guess that leaves the Conservatives, who, well... get my vote by default. At least they have a chance of winning plus MH doesn't seem like such a bad bloke, and i think its time they have another whirl of the power game.

I'm thinking a change of management will show whether the books have been overly cooked. So that's the way i'm leaning not that my vote matters too much sitting here in a labour strong hold.

For Guthmund - the Prime Minister has to ask the queen if it's ok for him to hold an election and if they can all get sometime off to run around the country to plead for votes. - Interesting fact number 1, i'm sure more will follow.
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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See, that was interesting.

I didn't know they had to ask permission from the Queen. That's what I'm looking for.

And just because I've been reading a bit....

I find it interesting that the Prime Minister's "power" is largely a matter of custom rather than law and that because of this his power is seen by some as largely unchecked. Because here in America it's just the opposite. The power of the Presidency is explicitly stated in the Consitution, which also sets up the American system of checks and balances among the branches of government.

(Did I get any of that right? )

Also, if it isn't too much trouble.... I keep reading about the Labour party, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and have a vague understanding of what they're all about, but I would really like for someone "on the inside" to really explain what the differences are. Are the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats comparable to America's Republicans and Democrats? If so, where does the Labour party fit in?
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superiorrain
For Guthmund - the Prime Minister has to ask the queen if it's ok for him to hold an election and if they can all get sometime off to run around the country to plead for votes. - Interesting fact number 1, i'm sure more will follow.
While this is law, it is really only a matter of formality. The Queen isn't likely to do anything contrary to the wishes of Parliament. At least that is the way it is here in Canada, where the Governor General is the Queen's representative.
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Tories - Labour suck, Tories suck, Lib dems suck, but i'm a Tory born and bred.
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Old 04-05-2005, 03:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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For those interested, here's my take on the British political system (please don't take this as gospel, since I;m sure there are some details I'm not 100% on) So for what it's worth:

The government is currently split into two chambers, The House of Commons and The House of Lords.

New laws are debated in the House of Commons, and the Members of Parliament who make up this house are voted in on a regional 1st past the post system.

The second house, the House Of Lords, has power of veto over laws created in the Commons. There is currently a huge reform in place where the Lords is being changed from a largely Hereditary system to a more democratic one. That topic itself is worthy of its own thread. As it stands at the moment this house is still populated my members of the aristocracy.

Their are three main parties in Parliament (House of Commons) The Conservatives (analagous to the Republicans), The Labour Party (previously very socialist i.e. trade unions, CND, minimum wage etc), but recently occupying very much the middle ground today) finally, there's the Liberal Party - historically very powerfull around the turn of the century, but falling into 3rd place from around the time of the 2nd World War.

The stranger parts of the way the parliament system works relate to how the power is passed to it by the head of state i.e. The Queen. Many of the workings are enshrined in ceremony that has been passed down for over 3 or 400 years. Much of this relates to compromises that The King of England made when his armies (The Cavaliers) were defeated in the Civil War by the Roundheads led by Oliver Cromwell. Rather than suffer a similar fate to the French monarchy, he allowed Cromwell and the parliamentarians to make executive decisions, but with his 'blessing'.

That's the long and short of it, please feel free to correct me wherever I've left any mistakes, or to fill in any gaps where I've glossed over the details.
 
Old 04-06-2005, 05:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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That's pretty much accurate, but there are a couple of things I would differ with. Charles I was actually executed for treason in 1649, but his successors had more sense.

Also, I believe that, technically it is Parliament which is split into two chambers, the Lords being one, while government extends to various other non Parliamentary bodies, but I'm just splitting hairs now.

As far as relation of British parties to American parties goes, I would disagree slightly with your asessment, but this is more a matter of opinion.

New Labour, under Blair, probably have a lot more in common with the Republicans than with the Democrats, as is evidenced by their close allegiance in international affairs. Blair is a big fan of privitisation, having introduced such measures as the Private Finance Initiative, under which corporations run schools into the ground in exchange for being allowed to brainwash the children with their marketing. Labour have also introduced or proposed several authoritarian measures, such as the right of the police to detain indefinitely without charge and mandatory ID cards. They have also introduced nationalistic measures, such as indefinite detention of Asylum seekers in prisons knowingly staffed by violent racists. To my mind, this places them firmly in the Thatcher camp if not the early Hitler camp.

While the all new cuddly Michael Howard may protest against these policies, those of us who remember back to the previous government will recall that these are exactly the sort of measures he was proposing as Home Secretary. (Although they seem to have been kicked out for being argumentative poofters, rather than for their politics - strange what the British electorate regards as important).

So in so far as we have a parliament dominated by two parties, one right wing authoritarian (Conservative party) and the other extreme right-wing extreme authoritarian (Labour), they reflect the Democratic and Republican Parties respectively.

The Liberal Democrats, formed as a coalition of the former Social Democratic and Liberal Parties have a line of Liberalism and lean toward the socialist side of economic policy. Sadly they are vague and ineffectual and recently demonstrated their complete contempt for the liberty of the British people by the failure of sixteen of their members to attend the vote which passed the Anti-Terror Bill (which allows the indefinite detention of British Citizens without charge) by a margin of thirteen.

The "Others" typically about 10% include:

The Respect Coalition - A Socialist/Liberal party, headed By George Galloway, an outspoken opponent of the recent war in Iraq.

The Green Party - Largely concerned with environmental issues, briefly a serious contender to the Lib Dems in the early '90s.

UK Independence Party - Headed by orange-faced, shit-stained, former chat show host Robert Kilroy Silk. Originally a single policy party - "Say no to the Euro" they have recently resorted to gypsy bashing and immigrant bashing in an attempt to garner votes fromn the inadequate and the elderly.

British National Party - Essentially the Political wing of the violent, white racist organisation the National Front an increasingly serious contender although I suspect they will lose some ground this year to the vaguely more respectable (if orange) face of UKIP.
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Old 04-06-2005, 05:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The BNP have no seats though right? That's also bad news about Kilroy Silk, I'd prefer to see him as far away from any position of power as is humanly possible. Not my cup of tea at all. I don't know which I'd prefer less, seeing a BNP taking a seat, or Kilroy.

There are of course the Northern Irish/Scottish and Welsh Regional parties that hold one or two seats as well.
 
Old 04-06-2005, 07:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Henry
I suspect they will lose some ground this year to the vaguely more respectable (if orange) face of UKIP.
Kilroy is no longer a member of UKIP but has instead formed his own party, i would attempt to spell it (something like varitast) but would get it wholey wrong. For those that do not know Mr Kilroy Silk he was once a morning chat show host, who before that dabbled in politics (abit before my time so know little about this). However after writing a unfortunate article for a major newspaper (i say telegraph - correct me if i'm wrong), which boarded on racism he was told to leave the BBC show and ever since has been on a political rollercoaster. From being elected into the European Parliment (again this will take some explaining and i'm not too sure if any amount of explaining can sort the mess out that is the EU parlimentry system), he then tried to take over party leadership (UKIP) but failed to do so then started his own party, and so we come to the unwriteable party name. So that is, in sort, the man, the lengend, the oranged faced, Kilroy Silk.
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zen_tom
The BNP have no seats though right?
I think you'll find that hold at least one seat if not up to 3. No need to worry though their main financial backer was just and leader was just charged with insighting racial hatred.
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Old 04-06-2005, 07:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by superiorrain
Kilroy is no longer a member of UKIP but has instead formed his own party.
You're quite right, I'd forgotten that. The name of the party is 'Veritas', being, I believe, the Latin for 'Truth'.
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Old 04-06-2005, 10:22 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The name of the party is 'Veritas', being, I believe, the Latin for 'Truth
And not, surprisingly 'Xenophobic Reactionary Sleaze-bags' which would be more fitting.
 
Old 04-06-2005, 06:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It'll be intresting to watch the next four weeks how the TFP liberals will be falling over themselves to see who could bash the liberal Blair the most. I look forward to it.

I feel Blair has been couragous in his support of the war and would like to see him win to complete the allied trifecta (Howard, Bush, Blair).
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Old 04-07-2005, 12:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NCB
It'll be intresting to watch the next four weeks how the TFP liberals will be falling over themselves to see who could bash the liberal Blair the most. I look forward to it.

I feel Blair has been couragous in his support of the war and would like to see him win to complete the allied trifecta (Howard, Bush, Blair).
I'd be interested to hear how you qualify Blair as a liberal.
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Old 04-07-2005, 03:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The Beginners Guide to British Politics.

Labour: New money.

Conservative: Old money.

Liberal Democrat: No money.

Others (i.e. No chance of gaining any real power)

Green Party: Hippies.

U.K.I.P.: Xenophobes.

B.N.P.: Racists.

S.N.P.: Scottish, don't like the English.

Plaid Cymru: Welsh, don't like the English.

Sinn Fein: A.K.A. the I.R.A. - hate the English with a passion.





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Old 04-07-2005, 04:11 AM   #21 (permalink)
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^ Very good jwoody, looks about right to me, i like the one about the lib dems and no money.

I'd also like to hear an explaination about Blair being a Liberal, i never saw him like that before, tending to the right, yes, Liberal not that i've seen.
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Old 04-09-2005, 07:27 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Another interesting fact that i just found out recently is that no MP can die in the Houses of Parliament. Death certificates always have St Thomas' Hospital (directly across the Thames) as the place of death.
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:12 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I'll probably vote communist - Ipswich is a fairly solid Labour seat... but Blair is so hated now its possible it could go to the liberals.

I predict a hung parliament, and a Lib-Lab pact.. it is probably the best thing for the country. On a personal level, the one leading politician I do admire is Oliver Letwin, Im very impressed with him... but the Tories would be a disaster... to many people remember the damage Thatcher and Major did to the country and they still havent made a clean break. Michael Howard has a lot going for him, he has a better chance than IDS - and he plays a lot on his Jewish ethnicity to avoid charges of being called a racist (Letwin is also Jewish, but you dont see him going on about it all the time...) - but like Ann Widdecombe said, there is something of the night about Howard.

Personally, I dont think Blair can be forgiven for the Iraq war, nor has his party made the progress they needed to on social issues, although Brown has created a strong economy... I also think it is a problem, although maybe other people dont know, that Blair was PROVEN to have lied to journalists on the plane regarding the 40 mins claim, or 20 mins, or whatever it was (the sexing up of the dodgy dossier so it basically said Saddam could strike Hemmel Hempsted at half an hours notice with biological weapons)

Without Blair, Labour would still be the only option, it would be just like 2001 - no one really wanted Labour but there was no alternative... really there is still no alternative... but Blair the liar is a huge liability to the movement. A Lib-Lab pact is probably the best case for the country - the price of this would be PR obviously, which would be a huge benefit to the British people.
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:13 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwoody
The Beginners Guide to British Politics.

Labour: New money.

Conservative: Old money.

Liberal Democrat: No money.

Others (i.e. No chance of gaining any real power)

Green Party: Hippies.

U.K.I.P.: Xenophobes.

B.N.P.: Racists.

S.N.P.: Scottish, don't like the English.

Plaid Cymru: Welsh, don't like the English.

Sinn Fein: A.K.A. the I.R.A. - hate the English with a passion.


Sinn Fein arent the only, or even close to being the biggest, party in N Ireland you know.
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Old 04-10-2005, 04:22 AM   #25 (permalink)
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No mention of the Monster Raving Loony Party?
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Old 04-10-2005, 07:29 AM   #26 (permalink)
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No mention of the Monster Raving Loony Party?
Used to be my favourite party, but they've not been so much fun since Sutch swung himself from a skipping rope. Had been thinking we should add them and the natural law party, most of whose policies seem to involve yogic flying.
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Old 04-12-2005, 03:23 PM   #27 (permalink)
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There's only one: http://www.voterodders.com/
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Old 04-13-2005, 12:16 AM   #28 (permalink)
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There's only one: http://www.voterodders.com/
It would seem that with UKIP and the BNP, there are, in fact, three.


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Old 04-13-2005, 01:01 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lukethebandgeek
Honestly, I wonder if the world will care as much about the British election as they seemed to care about the U.S. election.
No. We don't have a history of using nuclear weapons on foreign nations, so they're a little less worried about who has the finger on the button here than if we had, let's say, someone called George W. Bush.*

However, you should be as who rules here decides whether George W. has his old toady available for the rest of his term in office.
What happens if the LibDems come in power? You might have to start calling that funny way that you spell words like honour 'Freedom English' just to spite us when we wave from the sidelines during your next conflict against the Axis of Anyone-that-talks-different.

For everyone else, here's a good link to the Party policy breakdown.
Side-by-side policy comparison:


*= sorry to all you informed Americans, a bit reactionary, but then, I thought it was asked for.
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Old 04-13-2005, 05:01 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Looking at the political map and ignoring blips...
Most parts of the Home Counties voted Conservative (Home Counties = the 5 surrounding London)
Most of the big cities voted Labour
The touristy places (Cornwall, Devon, N. Scotland, Welsh heartland) voted Lib Dem.

I've no idea who to vote for. Maybe Lib Dem, seeing as Labour and Conserative candidates are so eager to blow each other to bits. Maybe I'll reconsider the previous statement when I'm a bit more sober...
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Old 04-13-2005, 05:29 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I think when judging possible candidates for Prime Minister it's better to put domestic issues first, and this means accepting the Iraq war was a bad decision and moving on from that. Tony B, as far as I'm concerned, has been quite successful in terms of domestic policy, and while I understand that everything is far from fine and dandy there is still identifiable progress being made in all areas. Schools are better funded and the government is being undeniably proactive about the state of the NHS. Regardless of peoples conflicting opinions on PFIs, they *have* contributed to this. I simply do not see how any other parties can be trusted to do the same but better.

The conservatives have done little to convince me they're capable of running the country better than Labour. The figures in their manifesto don't add up, and many of their promises are simply impossible to keep. Michael Howard has the charisma of a hand towel. I do not want a man as weak as him in charge of my country, and I don't like the constant bouts of party politics he plays in parliament to shift focus from his inherent lack of ideas. Tony Blair has vision, knows what he wants to achieve and understands how to get it done, and his partnership with Gordon Brown (regardless of whether they like each other or not) is pretty damn effective. I don't think many other parties can say the same right now.

Seems to me Labour is the only viable option, much as I'd love there to be another.
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Old 04-13-2005, 08:24 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Were Gordon Brown to put his name on the ballot, I think most of the country would vote for him.
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:16 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Just a point of clarification for our American audience. Although people often refer to a vote for a member of one of the major parties as a vote for that party's leader, we do not, in fact have the opportunity to elect a prime minister in the general election. Rather, we simply get to elect a local candidate who takes our concerns (or more often their own) to Parliament. The Prime Minister is technically appointed by the Queen, but is traditionally the leader of the largest party.
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Old 05-04-2005, 03:32 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Who will I vote for?

Hmm no one.

Not one of them is worth my vote. I feel that I should be voting but I wont be.

I think the current system is rubbish, I hate the idea of career politicians, they are init for them selves, not for us. The other thing is that everyone who is running in my area does not actually live, or even work there (and was not born there either). Another thing which I think is bad.

What would I replace the system with? Hmm no idea.

Dictatorship, with me on top
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:44 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Jwoody, great map, thank you.

Im with eight above. I dont like any of them, and thus wont vote, instead i have "elected" to live in another country for a while.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:44 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukethebandgeek
I won't, but only because I'm a U.S. Citizen.

Honestly, I wonder if the world will care as much about the British election as they seemed to care about the U.S. election.

Hee hee, you spelled labor funny. You prolly spell color colour too. I love you Brits.

Being British, I didn't give a damn about the US Election, and i'm sure no other nations did either, except for the fact that we are an ally, and must have dealings internationally for obvious reasons.

I also don't think other nations will give a damn about ours. And I don't care because its not your income and future thats at risk - ITS MINE.

Sorry to be mean, but I just don't agree with the way some Americans believe the world revolves around them.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:59 AM   #37 (permalink)
Insane
 
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Oh I forgot obvious reason number 1: Nuclear Powers with George W. "Monkey" Bush behind the wheel

Pardon me again if you are an enlightened educated american citizen
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:45 AM   #38 (permalink)
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I've done my civil duty and voted my life away. I mean i just voted, it was fun, now we wait till the morning time to see who wins. Judging by the polls looks like mad eyes Tony is going to mixing it up again at the top. Another 4 years of political misery
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:07 AM   #39 (permalink)
Shackle Me Not
 
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Location: Newcastle - England.
If you want to know who will be in the driving seat tomorrow, check the odds at the bookies.

Ladbrokes:
Labour 1.02 / 1
Conservatives 13.00 / 1
Liberal Democrats 151.00 / 1

William Hill
Labour Party 1.02 / 1
Conservative Party 13.00 / 1
Liberal Democrat Party 101.00 / 1


The only opinion poll guaranteed to be free of political bias.
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:10 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Location: Ellay
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Henry
Just a point of clarification for our American audience. Although people often refer to a vote for a member of one of the major parties as a vote for that party's leader, we do not, in fact have the opportunity to elect a prime minister in the general election. Rather, we simply get to elect a local candidate who takes our concerns (or more often their own) to Parliament. The Prime Minister is technically appointed by the Queen, but is traditionally the leader of the largest party.
This is really basic, but I'm trying... So, do people in the UK typically vote for people or for parties?

Actually, let me ask a two part question.
1) When you go vote, are you voting for a person or a party (I mean physically, not how do you decide)?

2) If you vote for a person, but not directly for the prime minister, do people typically vote for the local person based on his or her track record, or based on their party as a way of commenting on the prime minister?

By the way, happy election day to you guys!
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