If you're British, who/what party will you be voting for on the 6th May and why?
* Vince Cable actually knows what he's talking about and has costed the Lib Dem manifesto, unlike those of the other parties.
* Nick Clegg is a great public speaker and is the only one who has actually answered the questions in the debates (well, to an extent; they are politicians after all!) and has done so in a personable way. I really believe he has the potential to lead this country to better things.
* The Lib Dems believe in taking a more commanding role in Europe which will certainly benefit the country more than stepping back and ignoring the issue, or joining with the crazy right wing parties in Brussels.
* Abolishing tuition fees (albeit within 6 years time) is a policy that I am in great support of: I'm lucky that I could afford to pay for university, but a lot of people are not so lucky and don't deserve to be disadvantaged.
* The Lib Dems believe in the importance of scientific research, and will provide a ring-fenced scientific budget.
* Nick Clegg believes in changing the electoral system from the current ridiculous system in which old MPs have a job for life and so nothing to work for, to a proper proportional representative system which will put an end to the tactical voting for the better of two evils.
I could go on...
Funnily enough the reasons you gave are exactly the ones I would give! I also like LD policy on Trident.
Do you think we're likely to have a hung parliament? I'm beginning to think that a real possibly, especially after yesterday's Brown "bigot" gaffe.
Today's debate should be interesting...
I think we are heading towards a hung parliament, but I don't think the bigot gaffe will make too much difference. I think it's fair to say that Brown will have to make up for it tonight though, and I expect a couple of snipes about it from either side of him!
They're also going to come down hard on banker's bonuses. Scrap biometric passports, and trident nuclear missile defense system. Do we need a nuclear deterant? No, I really don't think we do.
I'm not a UK citizen, but I'm something of an angophile, so I try to pay attention. Professor Brian Cox says he's voting Lib Dem, due to their stance on science funding.
So although I don't have a vote, I'm "rooting" for the Lib Dems, based in large part on Dr. Cox's endorsement, but also on the fact that here in the US, I always vote for 3rd parties, and the Lib Dems are the 3rd largest party in the UK.
I'm voting Lib Dem.
Does Clegg favor even higher UK taxes to pay for these benefits?
It depends what you mean by tax (there are a lot of different taxes: income, VAT, NI, stamp duty, corporation, capital gains etc..). You can obtain a detailed breakdown here: http://www.libdems.org.uk/our_manifesto.aspx [Broken]
Any of the above would do, except cap gains which doesn't raise revenue. Clegg's link is ambiguous but says something like he will make the 'rich pay their fare share'. Really? In the UK the 'rich' don't pay enough?
Clearly Nick Clegg doesn't think so, and neither do the people who are voting Lib Dem.
I asked about taxes because of the near default situation in Greece, and soon in Portugal in Spain. That is, when I see proposals for more government provided benefits in the EU it seems to me they should be immediately followed by a clear statement of how they will be financed via cuts elsewhere or taxes that won't do damage to the economy. Anything else would seem to be asking for similar problems.
The proposals are followed by a detailed breakdown of how they will be financed: see the link to their manifesto I gave you before, specifically the very bottom pdf entitled "credible and responsible finances". No other party has provided any figures in their manifesto!
I really don't get why people are so obsessed with, and are so indignant about taxation. The arguments are tired.
We can't stimulate the economy by ruthlessly slashing public sector jobs. Yet we must do something to reduce our massive deficit - if we want to ensure we don't go in the direction of Greece and Portugal, the only option is to increase taxation. And this must be done in a fair way.
As an aside, why is it that in England you never get any charismatic, inspirational and truly great leaders? After the first debate, Clegg was being compared to Obama which I thought was hilarious!
Do you think a hung parliament would be good for us?
I kind of like the idea of politicians working together and reaching a common consensus on matters of policy. I think it would bring more accountability...
If a hung parliament leads to a change in the electoral system from the current "first past the post" system, that can only be a good thing, in my view.
As I write this, the BBC's electoral seat calculator is showing the Conservatives ahead with 35% of the opinion-poll support, with Labour & Lib-Dems pretty much equal on 28% each. And yet if this is converted into seats, Con & Lab are more-or-less equal on 40% of the seats each, with the Lib-Dems getting a miserable 12% of the seats. Where is the sense in that?
Earlier in the week it was even worse, when Labour were in 3rd place in terms of vote share, but first in terms of seats!
But then the politicians will have to campaign everywhere instead of just in half a dozen marginal seats - imagine a plague of them across the land!
The nice thing about living in a town that has been labour since the ice age is that you never see a politician!
Curses! You are right. That's the flaw in my argument!
Seriously though, it's wrong that that a handful of constituencies decide the election, and all the parties compete for the floating voters in those constituencies and couldn't care less about the rest of us.
The results are coming in.
Exit polls are suggesting that the conservatives may emerge as the leaders.
Re: UK Election
Well, I wouldn't believe the exit poll too much, since small errors can make a huge difference with our stupid electoral system.
Oh, and when you say the conservatives may emerge as leaders, it doesn't mean they will rule. Unless the conservatives come out with more than half the seats, the incumbent prime minister has a chance to form a coalition government.
A bit late, but columnist/author Peter Hitchens in the paper pleads for conservatives not to vote for Cameron on different twist: because he's merely a path for smart list leftists to get into power:
Meanwhile labour supporters are complaining that their right wing policies won them the last 3.
I think this is going to be one of those 1945 elections where the smart tactic was to lose.
Because of the unavoidable execution of austerity measures which will make the party in power unpopular for a generation?
It seems that the exit poll first published at the closure of the polling stations was extremely accurate:
Tories: 307, Labour: 255, LibDem: 59.
Now, as only one Tory bastion is left (Thirsk&Malton, due for re-election 27th of May), the confirmed results for the 3 greatest parties:
Tories: 306, Labour: 258, LibDem: 57
Amusingly, if the parties vote en bloc, they all have equal power (in the Shapley-Shubik sense).
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