First UK Leadership Debate

The leaders of each political party gave their views on a leadership debate.

My reading is that David Cameron is not appealing to the Centre as well as he hopes, Gordon Brown only seems to appeal to the Centre, whereas Nick Clegg’s appeals to the Left and Centre. Ring wing voters may have already made up their minds. But the Liberal Democrats may have secured their position as holding the balance of power.

The Guardian picked Nick Clegg as the winner of the debate. His theme of the old duality making and breaking the same old promises rang true.

UK Election: The Tory Trouble

Speaking during a visit to Cheam, in south London, Tory leader David Cameron said: “We should have a society where we back commitment and where we recognise marriage and civil partnerships in the tax system. Would it be a good thing if more people came together and stayed together and showed commitment? I think it would.”

Brown said Labour’s offer to voters would be credible rather than exciting. “It is about substance in the end,” he said.

Clegg said he was “not campaigning for a hung parliament” but it would be preferable to rule by a party with a tiny majority based on a minority of votes. “Do I think politicians working together can be a good thing? Of course it can.”

Quotes from Guardian.co.uk

The UK election offers several “choices”. None of these seem at all democratic except for the dreaded “hung parliament”. In the case of no absolute majority, the outdated First Past the Post system offers governments formed with less than a majority of the votes. With an electorate where not everyone votes and of those who do, the prospect of every Government based on a minority of voters is plainly undemocratic and Nick Cleggs forecast of social unrest is not only inevitable in this but in every election.

The current “government” is only based on 22% of the eligible vote. When you have two main parties who gravitate at the “centre” and a third party that is actually a centrist party – there is no real choice except the personalities involved. The policies and policy reputations of the parties are not to be relied upon. Whomever “wins” this election will have to take actions that make their political future very dim. A coalition is almost necessary to avoid any individual party being tainted, but that is certainly the wrong reason to go into coalition.

Democratic politics is not about the winning. It is about the representation. If all three parties went into coalition to implement their austerity measures, they would still be doing so with less than 50% actual support. Only the Lib Dems are coming out to say it and only because they have little hope of winning enough seats for the “absolute majority” that the first past the post system appears to offer. Based on less than a quarter of the will of the people it is bound to leave a bad taste in the mouths of the majority.

Proportional representation with all its problems is a far better way to evolve good government.

Give a damn

One of the last frontiers of equality is sexual preference. Those human beings who are differentiated by being gay, lesbian or bisexual are routinely discriminated against. Whether you are gay or not, this is as unacceptable as racist hatred and gender inequality.

Discrimination against homosexuality was outlawed in New Zealand in 1994 ten years after homosexual acts were no longer criminal. New Zealand has a healthy respect of racial, gender and sexual equality and this strengthens it as a society.

America still discriminates against “gays in the military”. It is a violation of human rights to make people lie about those they love, their families and their choices. There is no longer any excuse for it.

Disturbing Trends gives a damn and supports the campaign to Give A Damn