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SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

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SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  cyprussyd on 2015-03-29, 9:09 am

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With the General Election only weeks away I must confess that this is looking like the most exciting for many a year, well it is in my world.

I read views from our politicians and party supporters and it seems to me that everyone is to blame for the apparent failings in our political system.

Vote UKIP and get Miliband say the Tories.
Vote SNP and get Cameron say Labour.

The question in my head is why?

Why are people voting UKIP?
Why are people voting SNP?
Why if the governments policies are getting us back on track are they not well ahead of Labour?
Why if this is the cruellest government for years are Labour not well ahead of the Tories?

It may well be of course that one of the big two pull away over the coming weeks and we have a majority government of either colour, with around 30% of the voters knowing they are voting either red or blue we are left with 40% undecided and if a small percentage of that 40% go for either of the big two its job done, stranger things have happened.

But what if?

What if the 40% have simply had enough of the two party system and the trend that has been here all my life.

We have a few years of Tory, new ideas and policies to support those at the top and punish those at the bottom.

Then out they go and its Labours turn and those at the bottom are looked after and those at the top are punished.

For me its a system built on blame and I see no end to it, all the rhetoric says its still the same blame culture.

Tory talk is about people on welfare as if they are all scroungers, all on the make and all bad people.

Labour talk about millionaires as if its a crime to be rich, its a crime to be a business man or woman who is successful.

Many wont agree and they are our 60% who feel their red or blue choice is the only choice but what about that 40%.

Well I can only speak for one of that 40% and say I find many of the people at the bottom to be good people, I live with them and indeed have become one of them, not by choice but through some bad luck, an raging body that is falling apart and poor health. I see the effect of the IDS policies first hand and I see all around me people in despair.

Yes I also see scroungers who in the main know the system inside out and are clever enough to beat it.

But I don't blame the rich for this because I have been one of them and I still know many hard working business men and woman.

It's these very business men and woman who are working hard to create the jobs and yes, they make sure they get their rewards, that for me is fair, take the biggest risks and enjoy the biggest rewards, I don't see being rich as a crime.

I think UKIP may well have peaked and that could well help the Tories, UKIP will win and see MP's in the next parliament but how many, I cant see it being enough to make a major difference and I dont see them out doing the LibDems despite the polls.

The biggest threat to the status quo for me are he SNP who if they take Scotland could threaten Labour, that looks very likely to me.

My question is, if we get a minority government of either colour with a very small handful of MP's giving victory what will that mean?

This is just one prediction....

The Labour Party will narrowly win more seats than the Conservatives – and theLiberal Democrats will be saved from wipe out by the first-past-the-post system, according to a new electoral forecast by Prof Paul Whiteley at the University of Essex, co-director of the British Election Study from 2001 to 2012.
Whiteley’s forecast, based on mathematical modelling, focuses on what happened to seats in previous election rather than the overall share of the vote and is based on a model developed while the British Election Study was based at Essex. This model successfully predicted the outcomes of the 2005 and 2010 general elections.
The new forecast for the 2015 election released to the Guardian shows Labour on 291 seats, the Conservatives 281, the Lib Dems 48 and others 30. The model produces a result that is more optimistic than many others about the performance of the Lib Dems – a losing fewer than 10 seats and sharply at odds with claims that the party could crash to as few as 25 seats.
This would give a Labour-Lib Dem coalition a total of 339 seats and a majority of 14. A Conservative-Lib Dem coalition would also be possible, but with a tiny majority since the two parties would only muster 329 seats.
The Essex forecasting model works by combining the number of seats won by parties in the previous election with voting intentions data from polls conducted six months prior to the election.
Whiteley said that the model’s track record was good: in 2005, the average prediction error for the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats was 11 seats, and on that occasion the model predicted that Labour would get 358 seats when they actually won 356.
It was slightly less accurate in 2010 with an average error of 18 seats for the three major parties, predicting that the Conservatives would get 293 seats, for example, when they actually won 307.
Whitely said the wild card would be the performance of the SNP. If they gain as many as 15 seats, Labour’s hopes of being able to form an overall majority just with the Liberal Democrats becomes more difficult. But Whitely said he did not think the SNP would do as well as some voting intention polls show, partly because increasingly Scots see the Westminster election as secondary to the Holyrood poll, and he expected turn-out to be lower than in the high profile Scottish referendum.
Whitely acknowledged that the model forecast a relatively large number of Lib Dem seats, but that appeared to be because there is a stronger incumbent effect for Lib Dem MPs than any other parties, partly due to many of their MPs long holding marginal seats.

If this prediction comes true it would give the LibDems the power of deciding on the next government

Surely that says it all about our voting system, the party widely condemned and laughed at for the past 5 years remain in government and get to decide who with.

How can that be right?

We could be heading for an election that changes UK politics and voting systems for good or, we could simply be seeing more evidence that for many, your vote does not really count, vote for who you like, you are unlikely to get it.

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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  Silvers on 2015-03-29, 11:35 am

Well, our system is very, very much less than perfect.

However, in this country we do have the option, every five years,  of booting out a Govt.

Not all countries have that option !

Very Happy
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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  cyprussyd on 2015-03-29, 11:55 am

silvers wrote:Well, our system is very, very much less than perfect.

However, in this country we do have the option, every five years,  of booting out a Govt.

Not all countries have that option !

Very Happy
Yes then the other lot have a go and my vote is wasted again

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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  Hieronymus on 2015-03-29, 12:29 pm

cyprussyd wrote:
silvers wrote:Well, our system is very, very much less than perfect.

However, in this country we do have the option, every five years,  of booting out a Govt.

Not all countries have that option !

Very Happy
Yes then the other lot have a go and my vote is wasted again
Any vote is never wasted. Every vote counts as a symbol of democracy in action. As Silvers says, imperfect it may be, but our system beats most other systems out there in the wider world.

However I must disagree with your view that Labour is anti-rich people and anti-business! 

I know you say you have been rich Syd, but you earned every penny of that wealth and Labour wants and encourages people like you; entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses, who have not forgotten where they came from, and who accept they have a role in creating jobs and understand their role in the wider economy.  These are not Labour targets at all except in a supportive way. 

What Labour wants is for 'rich' people to recognise they are part of society and not outside of it. That the rules apply to them as well as everyone else.  To ensure fewer 'rich' people escape their obligations. Surely what the 'average' UK citizen also wants?

I am coming round to the view that Ed is the man who can deliver this. And am excited that the undecided British voter is beginning to feel like that too!
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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  cyprussyd on 2015-03-29, 12:39 pm

Hieronymus wrote:
cyprussyd wrote:
silvers wrote:Well, our system is very, very much less than perfect.

However, in this country we do have the option, every five years,  of booting out a Govt.

Not all countries have that option !

Very Happy
Yes then the other lot have a go and my vote is wasted again
Any vote is never wasted. Every vote counts as a symbol of democracy in action. As Silvers says, imperfect it may be, but our system beats most other systems out there in the wider world.

However I must disagree with your view that Labour is anti-rich people and anti-business! 

I know you say you have been rich Syd, but you earned every penny of that wealth and Labour wants and encourages people like you; entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses, who have not forgotten where they came from, and who accept they have a role in creating jobs and understand their role in the wider economy.  These are not Labour targets at all except in a supportive way. 

What Labour wants is for 'rich' people to recognise they are part of society and not outside of it. That the rules apply to them as well as everyone else.  To ensure fewer 'rich' people escape their obligations. Surely what the 'average' UK citizen also wants?

I am coming round to the view that Ed is the man who can deliver this. And am excited that the undecided British voter is beginning to feel like that too!
And IDS uses the same logic and argument when talking about welfare cuts. The nearest, IMO, we got to centre was under Blair but his name his now Toxic in Labour circles.

I honestly see good and bad in all parties but the right left battle, for me, is wrong and destructive. Milliband, for me has always been a sound and genuine man so no coming round for me, its the party machine and Balls who scare me.

I also disagree that no vote is wasted, to vote anything but Labour here is a wasted vote that counts in statistics but little else. You may have gathered that I am a fan of PR and that for me will improve our system.

Yes there are many political systems far worse than ours but that for me is no good reason to accept ours.

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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  Hieronymus on 2015-03-29, 1:00 pm

cyprussyd wrote:
Hieronymus wrote:
cyprussyd wrote:
silvers wrote:Well, our system is very, very much less than perfect.

However, in this country we do have the option, every five years,  of booting out a Govt.

Not all countries have that option !

Very Happy
Yes then the other lot have a go and my vote is wasted again
Any vote is never wasted. Every vote counts as a symbol of democracy in action. As Silvers says, imperfect it may be, but our system beats most other systems out there in the wider world.

However I must disagree with your view that Labour is anti-rich people and anti-business! 

I know you say you have been rich Syd, but you earned every penny of that wealth and Labour wants and encourages people like you; entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses, who have not forgotten where they came from, and who accept they have a role in creating jobs and understand their role in the wider economy.  These are not Labour targets at all except in a supportive way. 

What Labour wants is for 'rich' people to recognise they are part of society and not outside of it. That the rules apply to them as well as everyone else.  To ensure fewer 'rich' people escape their obligations. Surely what the 'average' UK citizen also wants?

I am coming round to the view that Ed is the man who can deliver this. And am excited that the undecided British voter is beginning to feel like that too!
And IDS uses the same logic and argument when talking about welfare cuts. The nearest, IMO, we got to centre was under Blair but his name his now Toxic in Labour circles.

I honestly see good and bad in all parties but the right left battle, for me, is wrong and destructive. Milliband, for me has always been a sound and genuine man so no coming round for me, its the party machine and Balls who scare me.

I also disagree that no vote is wasted, to vote anything but Labour here is a wasted vote that counts in statistics but little else. You may have gathered that I am a fan of PR and that for me will improve our system.

Yes there are many political systems far worse than ours but that for me is no good reason to accept ours.
I respectfully dispute the view that the way Labour speaks about the wealthy needing to accept their obligations to society, is equivalent to how the Tories demonise the poor, disabled and the unemployed as feckless and hopeless cases.  

I would also be more than happy to see PR introduced. Sadly that was another of Nick Clegg's failures.
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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  cyprussyd on 2015-03-29, 2:00 pm

Hieronymus wrote:
cyprussyd wrote:
Hieronymus wrote:
cyprussyd wrote:
silvers wrote:Well, our system is very, very much less than perfect.

However, in this country we do have the option, every five years,  of booting out a Govt.

Not all countries have that option !

Very Happy
Yes then the other lot have a go and my vote is wasted again
Any vote is never wasted. Every vote counts as a symbol of democracy in action. As Silvers says, imperfect it may be, but our system beats most other systems out there in the wider world.

However I must disagree with your view that Labour is anti-rich people and anti-business! 

I know you say you have been rich Syd, but you earned every penny of that wealth and Labour wants and encourages people like you; entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses, who have not forgotten where they came from, and who accept they have a role in creating jobs and understand their role in the wider economy.  These are not Labour targets at all except in a supportive way. 

What Labour wants is for 'rich' people to recognise they are part of society and not outside of it. That the rules apply to them as well as everyone else.  To ensure fewer 'rich' people escape their obligations. Surely what the 'average' UK citizen also wants?

I am coming round to the view that Ed is the man who can deliver this. And am excited that the undecided British voter is beginning to feel like that too!
And IDS uses the same logic and argument when talking about welfare cuts. The nearest, IMO, we got to centre was under Blair but his name his now Toxic in Labour circles.

I honestly see good and bad in all parties but the right left battle, for me, is wrong and destructive. Milliband, for me has always been a sound and genuine man so no coming round for me, its the party machine and Balls who scare me.

I also disagree that no vote is wasted, to vote anything but Labour here is a wasted vote that counts in statistics but little else. You may have gathered that I am a fan of PR and that for me will improve our system.

Yes there are many political systems far worse than ours but that for me is no good reason to accept ours.
I respectfully dispute the view that the way Labour speaks about the wealthy needing to accept their obligations to society, is equivalent to how the Tories demonise the poor, disabled and the unemployed as feckless and hopeless cases.  

I would also be more than happy to see PR introduced. Sadly that was another of Nick Clegg's failures.
If it whelps I can say I am not anti Labour but I am anti Tory, especially one with Osborne and IDS in it. I am more against the present system, I just think its outdated and with the emergence of smaller parties like UKIP, the SNP and even the Greens getting more of a voice the diversity can only be a good thing.
I know UKIP get bad press and certainly have their strange views but for me UKIP and the SNP have forced the big two to listen more and think more and again thats good. Both have been, IMO, far to comfortable in the two party system, even losing only means they move to the other side in Westminster but are still comfortable.

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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  Billy D on 2015-03-29, 2:21 pm

Saying that every vote counts is absolute horseshit.
Where I live in the North Durham constituency it doesn't matter who you vote for as Labour will always win it.
It makes no difference who the candidate is, pin a red rosette on a hairy gorilla & the sheep will vote it in.
Anyone who thinks we live in a democracy is seriously deluded.
What we do live in is a three party dictatorship who together will do anything to maintain that status.
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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  Hieronymus on 2015-03-30, 12:08 am

I think this article provides some excellent insight into the difficulties posters have expressed in this thread and why so many people are struggling to decide who to vote for. The author sums up the tensions between, and aspirations of, these three new tribes and, interestingly, he suggests that the need to capture the 'centre ground' is an out of date concept, as yet unrecognised by the main parties. Maybe this helps explain why this election really is too close to call? 

Three new tribes of voters will dominate this election
Paul Mason

None of the major parties has accepted the faultlines emerging between Scandi-Scotland, the asset-rich south-east and post-industrial Britain

A map of Britain resized by house prices leaves the south-east looking like the yolk of a fried egg, and the rest stringy offshoots. Photograph: Stuart Minzey/Getty Images


Contact author @paulmasonnews 
Sunday 29 March 2015 20.00 BST Last modified on Sunday 29 March 2015 20.03 BST


Right now, party strategists are squinting at demographic tools that divide Britain into sub-tribes in a battle to woo voters in individual postcodes. But they’re missing the bigger picture. This election is set to be dominated by political divides that are new, and much larger. Instead of micro-demographic categories, what we’ll need to understand are dreams. These can be reduced to three geospatial identities, which I’ve labelled Scandi-Scotland, the asset-rich south-east and post-industrial Britain.

The whole drama of the election rests on the fact that none of the major parties has fully accepted the emergence of these new faultlines, and are still trying to capture a political centre that does not exist.

Let’s start with Scandi-Scotland. If the polls are right, the next parliament will be dominated by the issue of Scottish independence. If you think this was settled in last September’s referendum, you’d be wrong. Large numbers of Scots, even some who voted no, have formed an identity best summed up by the pre-referendum poster that said: “Welcome to the warm south of Scandinavia”. It is left-social democratic in content, but globalist and Europeanist in reach. Whatever the unionist parties say about a coalition with the SNP, the question of whether this dream can be fulfilled within the UK will be crucial.

But that is only a product of the second geospatial fact that nobody wants to talk about: the north-south divide. It’s an old reality but one that has evolved into something harder and more complex. There is a distinct south-east English identity forming around a persistent economic fact: asset wealth. If you look at a map of Britain resized according to house prices, London and the south-east form a massive blob, and every other region and nation are mere stringy offshoots, like a fried egg that is all yolk. Though enlarged by the current house-price boom, this inequality is at least as old as the free-market era and has produced a mindset in south-east England that crosses classes and ethnicities.

People in south-east England understand, implicitly, that they are riding the success of Britain as a financialised economy. They understand that, when this great financial machine is functioning, even as it boosts inequality, the only logical thing to do is find your place in it – whether as a currency trader or taxi driver, lapdancer or legal secretary. Blairism’s insight was to understand this change was underway, and to adapt Labour’s politics to capturing parts of south-east England. The party’s mistake was to believe the change was universal, and that Scotland, Wales and northern England would stay loyal as it made the adaptation.

That they did not has led to the formation of the third geospatial identity: post-industrial Britain. This includes much of northern England, south Wales, many coastal towns and most big cities. Post-industrial does not mean “rust belt”; it means the industries that survive are hi-tech, globally focused and employ a fraction of the staff they used to. But there is a strong self-replicating industrial consciousness; a more hostile attitude to asset wealth; stronger local identities – which become fractious where the labour market is globalised.

Can these three groups exist together in a single political system? During the Scottish referendum, it was clear that many young Scots believed the “aspirational southerner” group in England is more or less permanently aligned with conservatism and liberalism, and can therefore block the left-social democratic government in Westminster that many of them want. They looked at the ethnic tension in northern English towns, the decline of trade unions, the splintering of the Labour vote to Ukip, and concluded that, though the post-industrial group is their natural ally, it can never win a governing majority.

Today, with £375bn of quantitative-easing cash sloshing around, and an avalanche of infrastructure projects focused on London, the south-east group can look in the window of the estate agents and once again feel good. Flattened wages mean the feelgood factor may be weak, but it is as real in Basingstoke as it is absent in Barrow-in-Furness. The only faultline within the south-east identity is generational. The asset-wealth-generating machine is only working for the middle aged and older. Many young people are renting, and are bitter about being locked out of the housing market.

If you look at this election as a contest between three geographically determined dreams, here’s the problem. The only one of these groups plagued by doubt and incoherence is post-industrial Britain. The SNP and the Tories seem to have captured the zeitgeist of their heartlands well. Labour has not. Having spent last week sitting in the clubs and workplaces of Blackpool, Preston and Barrow-in-Furness, I can see the situation is clearly: that even where they’ll vote solidly for Labour, they’ll do so without enthusiasm. Offered the chance to watch Paxman v Miliband, the members of one Barrow working men’s club switched to the rugby league.

So post-industrial Britain feels trapped between two rival but confident narratives that it cannot culturally relate to. Looked at this way, the election becomes a survival battle for Labour. It has to stem losses in Scotland, hold on to the English inner cities and reach into those parts of south-east England where housing economics are blighting the prospects of the young. It’s doable, but still leaves the basic problem intact.

Politics is no longer about finding the middle ground between “two nations”: it’s about three dreams that may be incompatible within the current constitutional framework. That, for all the rhetoric, is what the election will really be about.

Paul Mason is economics editor of Channel 4 News. Follow him @paulmasonnews

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/29/three-new-tribes-of-voters-will-dominate-this-election
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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  cyprussyd on 2015-03-30, 7:23 am

A very good article H and yes, that seems to hit my nail on the head.

In many ways the next election will not concern me a lot, at my age my life is very much sorted but, my problem comes in a few areas, my son and grandson and their future, my hatred of the injustice I see around me and I guess the fact I cant settle. still have adventures in mind so cant settle for being a pensioner who sits at home grateful to be alive.

So maybe still have one more fight in me.

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Re: SunderMad Blog..Election 2015

Post  Hieronymus on 2015-03-30, 11:51 am

cyprussyd wrote:A very good article H and yes, that seems to hit my nail on the head.

In many ways the next election will not concern me a lot, at my age my life is very much sorted but, my problem comes in a few areas, my son and grandson and their future, my hatred of the injustice I see around me and I guess the fact I cant settle. still have adventures in mind so cant settle for being a pensioner who sits at home grateful to be alive.

So maybe still have one more fight in me.
More than one fight I hope! Very Happy

I am like you, never ready to settle, always wanting more, not necessarily for myself, but for others who have not been as fortunate as me. 

I will always "Keep The Red Flag Flying High" even though I get fed up with them at times for not being more radical. And yes this applies to football and politics!  Very Happy
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