Is the upcoming general election really a done deal? - Page 3 - VeggieBoards
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#61 Old 04-07-2010, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by angie54321 View Post

I agree that it would be good to have an electorate that is knowledegable about politics, economics and civil issues. But how do we as a society (in reality) achieve that?



One way to educate people is make politics a compulsory subject at school. The only problem is that the children will be instructed by a teacher who inevitably has their own political views and the children will learn those. My son is studying politics at A level: his lecturer is very biased towards Brown/Labour and very anti Cameron/Conservatives, so guess what he is taught? The bias of videos he is being shown? Even at 17, teenagers still 'generally' accept that what lecturers tell them is true. (Having said that, my 17 is particularly gullible. A winsome trait when he was young, but now you sometimes want to shake him!) So where will the 'knowledge' come from, and whose version of knowledge and truth will it be?



How would you set a political test? Who would administer it - the present government? Couldn't that lead to a bias towards the knowledge they want you to possess and what is in their best interests for you not to know? Where are we going to get the real truth about the parties from? All newspapers/journalists are prone to lying or at least exaggerating to back up their views and as mentioned above, teachers/parents will have their own biases. Even economics teachers are biased towards their particular economic views (my dear gullible son studied that as well). Would people have to have an IQ test as well? Should only people who are educated to a certain level be able to vote? I agree with your vision, but I think it is beset with difficulties.



I don't think there is a simple answer. But I'm fed up with people moaning about the government, but then not making the effort to vote.



Some of the ideas I've had around this are to base it on a driving test. Applicants would need to answer basic questions on economics, civics, foreign policy. The questions would not be politically minded but more fact based to show the applicant has a general knowledge of the subject. Such as 'What is the role of NATO'? 'what is the average income in the UK' 'What is the Chancellor's responsibilities'. That kind of thing. I would imagine getting all political parties to approve each question would make it more acceptable. But its not supposed to be slanted, just a way to ensure a basic understanding of these areas are present in each voter. Just like a driving test, people could take specific courses to learn the subjects on the test and be able to take the test several times if required to pass it.



As an incentive for people to take the voting test I would propose each approved voter have 1% of the their taxes cut, or something similar.
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#62 Old 04-07-2010, 12:20 PM
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It's ludicrous to say only those that understand a certain level of politics and economics should vote! The vote is there for everybody. It's up to the politicians to make it simple enough fir everyone to understand. In fact, I find it quite offensive what you said. How does someone with learning difficulties fare in your scheme? They are as affected by changes in leadership as you or I, so they have no say? That's the beauty of living in a democracy... everyone has a say. What you are proposing is fascism. "You're not good enough to vote..." Rubbish. My great grandfather died at Paschendale to protect the vote. Some people find reading and writing difficult - they'll never sit a test! But they're vote is as valid as yours. I don't trust anyone to play God with who should vote and who shouldn't. And I would rather the millions of pounds in admin this would cost go to better use. Like promoting animal rights to name but one... Sometimes I wonder whether you say these things just to get a bite or if your really are that naive!



Anyway, I don't want to turn this into a shouting match about who should vote... so the reason I couldn't wait to get on here and post today is this: I went along to my party campaing office today (it is a mainstream party) and for the first time aamong strangers I had to say "I'd love one but I'm vegan and they contain milk". I was expecting a torrent but got this "You're vegan? I'm vegetarian and ***** is a vegan!" ***** is the candidate! How excited was I?
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#63 Old 04-07-2010, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Milliebert View Post

The vote is there for everybody.



I agree with you! Women threw themselves under horses and died so that women like me can vote today.



I'm still not sure who I am going to vote for.
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#64 Old 04-07-2010, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Milliebert View Post

It's ludicrous to say only those that understand a certain level of politics and economics should vote! The vote is there for everybody. It's up to the politicians to make it simple enough fir everyone to understand. In fact, I find it quite offensive what you said. How does someone with learning difficulties fare in your scheme? They are as affected by changes in leadership as you or I, so they have no say? That's the beauty of living in a democracy... everyone has a say. What you are proposing is fascism. "You're not good enough to vote..." Rubbish. My great grandfather died at Paschendale to protect the vote. Some people find reading and writing difficult - they'll never sit a test! But they're vote is as valid as yours. I don't trust anyone to play God with who should vote and who shouldn't. And I would rather the millions of pounds in admin this would cost go to better use. Like promoting animal rights to name but one... Sometimes I wonder whether you say these things just to get a bite or if your really are that naive!



Anyway, I don't want to turn this into a shouting match about who should vote... so the reason I couldn't wait to get on here and post today is this: I went along to my party campaing office today (it is a mainstream party) and for the first time aamong strangers I had to say "I'd love one but I'm vegan and they contain milk". I was expecting a torrent but got this "You're vegan? I'm vegetarian and ***** is a vegan!" ***** is the candidate! How excited was I?



That last part is so cool! I wish I could have your passion for politics, Milliebert. Like Toast and you said, people (especially women) went through so much so I could have the chance to vote, but I feel so overwhelmed with the wealth of information and propaganda out there from each party and it's totally bewildering.
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#65 Old 04-07-2010, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Milliebert View Post

It's ludicrous to say only those that understand a certain level of politics and economics should vote! The vote is there for everybody. It's up to the politicians to make it simple enough fir everyone to understand. In fact, I find it quite offensive what you said. How does someone with learning difficulties fare in your scheme? They are as affected by changes in leadership as you or I, so they have no say? That's the beauty of living in a democracy... everyone has a say. What you are proposing is fascism. "You're not good enough to vote..." Rubbish. My great grandfather died at Paschendale to protect the vote. Some people find reading and writing difficult - they'll never sit a test! But they're vote is as valid as yours. I don't trust anyone to play God with who should vote and who shouldn't. And I would rather the millions of pounds in admin this would cost go to better use. Like promoting animal rights to name but one... Sometimes I wonder whether you say these things just to get a bite or if your really are that naive!



Anyway, I don't want to turn this into a shouting match about who should vote... so the reason I couldn't wait to get on here and post today is this: I went along to my party campaing office today (it is a mainstream party) and for the first time aamong strangers I had to say "I'd love one but I'm vegan and they contain milk". I was expecting a torrent but got this "You're vegan? I'm vegetarian and ***** is a vegan!" ***** is the candidate! How excited was I?



I'm glad you have brought up the Suffragettes who thought the value of a vote was so important that they fought and died for it. What I am proposing is that we all earn our right to vote by demonstrating our knowledge of very basic concepts related to the political process. Again, like with the driving test, those who are differently abled can earn their driving license by using cars fitted with devices to enable safe piloting of the vehicle and tests can be given in whatever accessible format is required. Its not about limiting who can vote but re-enforcing how important a vote really is.



The reality is we live in a media driven society where more people will send in a txt vote for an X Factor candidate then will vote in a local election. Is this something you support? I know there are people active in political parties who actually encourage a dis-informed population which makes it easer to feed them propaganda. Its very easy to throw a few phrases at a dis informed populace in order to steer them to vote for your chosen candidate or political party. But have that same candidate or party speak to a group of people who are actually well informed on issues and how government works would yield an entirely different result.



I guess the question is: do you want a government run by X Factor contestants catering to the ill-informed media consumers or do you want a government run by talented individuals catering to concerned and involved citizens?
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#66 Old 04-07-2010, 02:42 PM
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Democracy is overrated. I'm super appreciative of the people who fought for women's equal voting rights to men, if you have to have democracy, equality is important. But I'm sort of with Mr Falafel here. I don't feel well enough informed to vote and I know a fair bit more than the vast majority of the population. I'd be happy to have to put the effort in to pass a test to vote. People are idiots, I don't think everyone deserves a say in how the country is won. If it were up to the majority, capital punishment and fox hunting would be legal. Screw that.



I was just thinking yesterday how lovely it would be if did just vote for policies in a similar style to that link Mr F posted, but unlike referendums, the party with the most popular manifesto would take charge, but I'm quite certain if that were the case, UKIP and/or the BNP would do far too well out of it.



Hmmm...I'm contradicting myself a bit I think. See, I shouldn't vote, neither should so many people I'll stick with democracy til someone comes up with a better idea, but I really don't buy the viewpoint that everyone should automatically have an equal say. This inequality shouldn't be based on anything other than an ability to understand the issues though, of course. Race, gender etc. shouldn't be a factor.
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#67 Old 04-07-2010, 02:46 PM
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People are idiots, I don't think everyone deserves a say in how the country is won. If it were up to the majority, capital punishment and fox hunting would be legal. Screw that.



That is true about bringing back hanging I read.



But I think voting should be for every person. I just think that the general level of education should be raised instead.
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#68 Old 04-07-2010, 02:49 PM
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That is true about bringing back hanging I read.



But I think voting should be for every person. I just think that the general level of education should be raised instead.



Politics should definitely be compulsory in schools, I don't understand why it isn't. Probably because there aren't enough teachers who understand it
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#69 Old 04-07-2010, 02:59 PM
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That is true about bringing back hanging I read.



But I think voting should be for every person. I just think that the general level of education should be raised instead.



I would support your last statement. But then we have the issues raised earlier about how certain teachers will slant their teaching towards their own political views, involuntarily.



And with my suggestion, voting is for everyone, but only if, like in driving a car, they can demonstrate they are responsible enough to use it.
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#70 Old 04-07-2010, 03:19 PM
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I would support your last statement. But then we have the issues raised earlier about how certain teachers will slant their teaching towards their own political views, involuntarily.

And with my suggestion, voting is for everyone, but only if, like in driving a car, they can demonstrate they are responsible enough to use it.



I'm not a politician!! Lol.
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#71 Old 04-08-2010, 01:24 AM
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One of the issues is, not matter how educated the electorate are, we still have governments who are willing to lie to cover up or justify their actions. There desperately needs to be transparency and accountability in government. In the public sector generally, there is little accountability - certainly the higher you go up, the more opportunities you get to pass the buck - with the public having little recourse. So you can insist that people understand democracy and economics and political processes, but whoever wins the election will not stick to the promises that they made before the election - offering a myriad of excuses (generally blaming the previous government for them, unless Labour win again, of course!). Then, in 4 years time, we get to throw them out of government to elect a party who we think will stick to their promises - only to be disappointed again when they renege on them.



The whole political system needs to change - we need to be able to see what is happening, and why, and who is pulling certain strings. To bring this a little closer to home, there needs to be transparency about the big businesses supporting and lobbying governments - one example would be the meat and dairy industries. Information is given out by the government which is partly prepared by these organisiations. The GCSE in nutrition (or home economics as it used to be called - you know, cooking!) is written in collaboration with the meat and dairy marketing boards.



Until we have a democracy where we can see what is happening, where we have the power to de-select any MP, where we we can call them out on their lack of accountability, it doesn't matter how knowledgeable we are about the systems, we still have no control.
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#72 Old 04-09-2010, 12:47 PM
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I would support your last statement. But then we have the issues raised earlier about how certain teachers will slant their teaching towards their own political views, involuntarily.



My English and Chemistry teachers (a married couple) were quite upfront about espousing their political views.
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#73 Old 04-10-2010, 08:09 AM
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I've now decided that I'm voting for Labour.
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#74 Old 04-10-2010, 11:40 AM
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Hum, I am an idiot, forgotten to register to vote at my address in London so I get to vote in a particularly safe Tory seat. Damn. Labour candidate appears to be the kind of person you'd put forward if you knew they weren't going to win anything (ie. a dumbass). Lib Dem guy seems alright, but he has a FOREIGN name, not sure how many votes he'd really get from folks round here.



I vote Lib Dem I think, we'll see.



Edit: Oh, Lib Dem guy is the Mayor of my town, maybe I do the local peeps a discredit.
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#75 Old 04-10-2010, 01:41 PM
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Here's a dumb question: How do I find out who will be running in my area in the election?

I've got a feeling I will be able to choose from (based on local council elections)

Labour

Tory,

Lib Dem,

UKIP,

BNP

Maybe one independent, or Green.



What a storming set of choices, I can't wait.



As for the education issue. A good and ethical politics teacher should be able to encourage debate and learning from all points of view, from radical left to radical right, in order to educate their students instead of playing to their own bias. Of course, we know that not all teachers are good and ethical, just as not all MP's are good and ethical! But still. I nearly took politics at A-Level. My teacher for general studies was excellent during the political and social modules, very neutral. I discovered some of my classmates had abhorrent views, but it was all very interesting!
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#76 Old 04-10-2010, 01:44 PM
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Here's a dumb question: How do I find out who will be running in my area in the election?



If you put your postcode into the BBC's election 2010 site you should get a list of your candidates and lots of other useful information.

Are you sure this is art, not vandalism?
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#77 Old 04-10-2010, 01:49 PM
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If you put your postcode into the BBC's election 2010 site you should get a list of your candidates and lots of other useful information.



Nice link, thanks!



My constituency has conservatives (currently in power here with a 20% lead over labour in the last vote), labour, lib dems, UKIP and the greens.
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#78 Old 04-10-2010, 02:17 PM
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Mine has the big three plus UKIP and the English Democrats (who I have to be honest, I'd never heard of). I'd thought there was a BNP candidate too, but apparently not
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#79 Old 04-10-2010, 02:21 PM
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Bollocks, my London seat (the one I didn't get round to registering at) is Labour but not entirely safe. The Conservative candidate is THE MOST TORY PERSON YOU WILL EVER MEET and about 15 and was shocked that I would bother to vote in the Europeans because he couldn't be arsed himself. Damn damn damn.
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#80 Old 04-11-2010, 05:32 AM
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I can vote in Edinburgh but Tynemouth, fortunately, is a marginal seat this time.

I'll vote Labour simply to keep the Conservatives out.



I like your idea Falafel, but I think more education in politics/citizenship in the most objective way possible would be best. Teaching basic economics should be included in that.
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#81 Old 04-11-2010, 07:16 AM
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Hmmph. I'm in a marginal seat that the tories are aiming to capture (they only lost by a thousand votes last election). The Lib Dem candidate is a guy I actually know who is a dork and not someone I'd like to see in higher office. The tory candidate is awful, a failed businessman and totally anti Europe. The Labour candidate actually has a good track record in local politics....
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#82 Old 04-11-2010, 09:37 AM
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I've just checked my local representatives - the usual big three, then the Greens, UKIP and the Pirate Party.



WHAT? Ah, turns out they just want to reform copyright law, not make everyone in the UK wear an eye patche and walk around with a parrot on our shoulder.



Difficulty can sometimes arise when you like the local MP but not the party they belong to; or vice versa. Officially you should be voting for your local representative: in reality most people vote for the party themselves: the bigger picture.



Where's the Monster Raving Loony Party when you need them? ;o)
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#83 Old 04-11-2010, 11:40 AM
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The tory candidate is awful, a failed businessman and totally anti Europe.



It's scary how many of their backbenchers fall into the real anti-European category. This is the same party who championed the 2005 manifesto, one of the most right wing of recent times. They haven't reformed at all and their election would be an absolute disaster.



It's the fox I feel sorry for.
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#84 Old 04-11-2010, 11:54 AM
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It's scary how many of their backbenchers fall into the real anti-European category.

The whole British "Europe" discussion is interesting to me. In Norway (my homeland) the anti-EU sentiments are as powerful among those on the left as among those on the right and centre. It's very strange for me to see anti-EU rhetoric presented as something exclusively right-wing / ultra-conservative. I guess part of the reason is that you don't really have any actual socialist or communist parties of any significance here.

I no longer post here after VB was sold in 2012. (See my profile page for details.)
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#85 Old 04-12-2010, 02:26 AM
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If you put your postcode into the BBC's election 2010 site you should get a list of your candidates and lots of other useful information.



Thanks muchly for the link. It ended up being the big three, UKIP and an independent. I really can't stand the Labour candidate, she has been incredibly two faced over quite a few issues over the past god-knows-how-many-years (e.g campaigning with locals to keep post offices open and then voting in the Commons to shut them all.) I'll investigate Mr. Lib Dem and independent.



I just have this horrible feeling that so many of my peers will just go with who their parents will vote for, which I fear will be Tory and UKIP/BNP (where applicable) because they just can't be bothered to find out. And immigration is scary to a big proportion of Lincolnites, I only have to listen to the rants from customers at work to know they could be swayed by the mucho right-wingers.
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#86 Old 04-13-2010, 06:51 AM
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Posted by my uncle on FB (a regular beta-er)





Sorta sums up how I feel at the minute
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#87 Old 04-16-2010, 02:32 PM
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I kinda want to vote Labour just as retaliation for the obnoxious, patronising Conservative ads plastered all over North and East London.
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#88 Old 04-16-2010, 02:46 PM
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I've pretty much decided to vote lib-dem. This is a safe tory seat but the lib-dems did come in second here in the last election.



I do give the incumbent some credit for working hard for the community and he has a reasonable voting record on some issues although he did vote in favour of the ludicrous digital economy bill and replacing Trident.

Are you sure this is art, not vandalism?
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#89 Old 04-16-2010, 02:48 PM
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it appears that debate has really boosted support for the Lib Dems. They're moving up in the polls. Could be a completely different situation now!
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#90 Old 04-16-2010, 02:56 PM
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it appears that debate has really boosted support for the Lib Dems. They're moving up in the polls. Could be a completely different situation now!



Yeah, I missed the debate as I was out and haven't got around to watching it on on-demand yet. Most of the papers were reporting that Nick Clegg "won" and the William Hill are only offering odds of them being the largest party on the 7th May have dropped of 14/1. BBC Story

Are you sure this is art, not vandalism?
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