Make My Vote Count

Where is the finish line in first past the post?

It will come as little surprise to long-time readers of this blog that I will be voting yes in the alternative vote referendum on Thursday. But now that the focus of this blog is less on politics, I haven’t actually written much about it. With just a few days to go, until polling day, I […]

Why a Conservative—Lib Dem coalition may not be a bad thing

No doubt, election night was a very disappointing one for me. I was involved in the Liberal Democrat campaign in Dunfermline, and I attended the count. There was disappointment in Dunfermline — but we always expected it to be very difficult to hang on there. So while it was very disappointing to lose in Dunfermline, […]

Aftermath of the European Parliamentary election

The Europe-wide picture The consensus seems to be that, Europe-wide, it was a good election for the centre-right. It certainly seems as though the governing centre-left parties have taken a bit of a battering, while voters seem content with centre-right governments. Those of a socialist persuasion may well feel disgruntled. In the midst of an […]

How the new politics might look: part 2

Continued from yesterday’s article. The Guardian’s New Politics supplement (PDF link) is the basis for this article. MPs’ pay I am not averse to MPs being paid a good salary, but I think the current balance is too high. Aditya Chakrabortty says that MPs’ salaries puts them in the top 5% of single earners. Meanwhile, […]

How should politics be reformed?: Part 1

The crisis currently facing politics in the UK is massive. Citizens feel detached from the political process and trust in politicians is rock-bottom. It’s been widely noted that this is a perfect opportunity to reform the rotten system. I only want to briefly cover the main ideas for reform, so I will use The Guardian’s […]

Five disturbing things about democracy

Here it is: that post I’ve been sitting on for upwards of a year. Before I start, I am going to make a few introductory notes about what I do and don’t mean when I call democracy disturbing. I find that all too often debates about this subject are clouded by dogma, which leads to […]

The Conservative dimension

As for other aspects of the Glasgow East result, the collapse of the Lib Dems in particular can be put down to the fact that the two main parties are broadly centre-left. So Lib Dem voters will have been especially more willing to lend their vote to one of the main parties. Conservatives will be […]

The SNP dimension

To the extent that the SNP’s current electoral popularity is due to pro-SNP (rather than anti-Labour) effects, it must be remembered that there is much more than independence at play. Does an SNP success in an election mean that Scotland has suddenly converted to the cause of independence? Of course not. Firstly, support for independence […]

Final thoughts on Glasgow East

Well, I say “final thoughts”, but really I mean “first and only thoughts” because this is the first time I’ve actually managed to find the time and motivation to write about tomorrow’s Glasgow East by-election. It’s difficult to know what I am hoping for. The party I am most sympathetic towards — the Lib Dems […]

The snooty views of Christopher Harvie

Oh dear. SNP MSP Christopher Harvie has found himself in a spot of bother for comments he has made about Lockerbie and the Scottish yoof. On getting to Lockerbie, I discovered that the place is a dump – it was Tescotown. It should really have a certain attraction of a rather sombre kind as a […]