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 […]

A pathetic situation

It’s a funny time in politics. I have written a couple of times in the past about why I would consider abstaining, or sympathise with those that do. That provoked some interesting discussion. My degree was in Economics and Politics, and I found that the more I learned about politics, the more jaded with the […]

The paradox of the paradox of voting

I wrote my dissertation about the paradox of voting, which is the problem that rational choice theorists have in explaining why people vote. You are more likely to be killed on the way to the polling station than affect the result once you’re inside it — so why vote? The puzzle interested me as soon […]

Could Labour actually win in Glenrothes?

Given that the news and most of everyone’s thoughts on current affairs are currently dominated by the problems in the global financial system, it is easy to let relatively minor things like a by-election slip your mind. But when I turned my thoughts to the upcoming Glenrothes by-election and politics in general a few days […]

Do they have to make it so blatant?

I know that all politicos have a major boner for American politics and that this year is just one non-stop wet dream. But do our lot have to make their affection quite so blatant? As Alex Massie noted a last week, at the Labour Party conference, Gordon Brown was setting himself up as the experienced […]

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 […]

The Labour and Liberal Democrat dimensions

Now that there has been some time to allow the result of the Glasgow East by-election, I feel like posting some thoughts that are less drunken and kneejerk than my previous post. Originally this was going to be one post, but I ended up blabbing for almost 3,000 words so I have split this into […]

Oh my goodness so many conflicting feelings

If you want to experience a proper rollercoaster of emotions, just watch an election in which you despise both of the main parties to hell. Firstly, I apologise to the voters of Glasgow East for doubting their ability to vote for someone who wasn’t wearing a red rosette. I was just flabbergasted to come in […]

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 […]