Debating the leaders’ debate

There has been a fair bit of chat in recent weeks about the prospect of a televised leaders’ debate in the run-up to the next general election. This sort of chat always comes up in the run-up to any election, but there appears to be an extra momentum this time round. It seems as though […]

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 surprise in Glenrothes

The shock is not so much that Labour won. I had a feeling in my water as long as a month ago that Labour might win, even when the bookies and the pundits were saying otherwise. But the scale of Labour’s victory must have shocked everyone. Yesterday, the BBC’s coverage began on the premise that […]

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 […]

White Elephants and Ridiculous Asses

It’s loathsome and it comes around once every four years. No, I’m not talking about the Olympics. I’m on about American politics. A lot of people get themselves really jazzed with American politics. I mean, I get it — the President of the USA is an important person, so it’s good to keep up with […]

Obama or Nobama?

It was my turn to write this week’s Scottish Roundup (nominations always welcome of course, even if it’s nothing to do with politics). I keep an eye on the Scottish blogs throughout the week in preparation, and towards the end of the week it became pretty clear that one particular wee stooshie had to be […]

Experience vs change

There is a row in the USA at the moment between the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama camps. Sadly, someone somewhere along the line has played the race card. Hillary Clinton’s comments about the Civil Rights Act have been called into question. I doubt Hillary Clinton intended to belittle Martin Luther King’s role. But Hillary […]

Some more fun with US politics

A few months back I wrote about a quiz that tells you which US Presidential candidate to vote for. Obviously I don’t have a vote, but it is still fun to try it out and see what comes up. The election has been in the news this week, so it’s worth taking a look at […]