Join 3,421 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Rock the vote
April 14, 2005 11:44 AM   Subscribe

In 21 days the UK will be holding a general election, and people around the country will be voting for the next government. Can't choose between the different parties? Who should you vote for?
posted by Mwongozi (56 comments total)

 
No surprises for me.

Con: -65
UKIP: -11
Lab: -4
Green: 26
Lib Dem: 78

Never any doubt that was how I'd be voting, as a war-crime hating lefty.
posted by Decani at 12:01 PM on April 14, 2005


I've never even heard of the UKIP but since the machine told me to vote for it...
posted by loquax at 12:11 PM on April 14, 2005


Well, as an American, all I can say is... if you don't vote for my preferred candidate, then I hate you and your country and you deserve whatever pain and struggles come your way. I feel sorry for you, kinda.
posted by Witty at 12:13 PM on April 14, 2005


Witty : "I feel sorry for you, kinda."

Weak-willed sympathiser.
posted by Bugbread at 12:14 PM on April 14, 2005


Labour: -7
Conservative: -52
Liberal Democrat: 64
UK Independence Party: -6
Green: 38

Not a Brit, but I thought I'd take the survey anyway so you guys can see what you should be doing. Decani, keep up the good work ;)
posted by The God Complex at 12:19 PM on April 14, 2005



Can you write in D. Duck?
posted by The Infamous Jay at 12:19 PM on April 14, 2005


Labour -20
Conservative -67
Liberal Democrat 100
UK Independence Party 12
Green 65


mmmm..... I'm pretty shocked I got + points for UKIP. Other than that, pretty spot on. Apart from the problem that, being from Northern Ireland, I get to choose from DUP, Ulster Unionist, SDLP or Sinn Fein .

single issue politics.... this country sucks!
posted by twistedonion at 12:21 PM on April 14, 2005


We in America will be awaiting your internet apologies should Labour win again.
posted by koeselitz at 12:23 PM on April 14, 2005



Labour 0
Conservative 0
Liberal Democrat 0
UK Independence Party 0
Green 0


You should vote: Labour
posted by underer at 12:50 PM on April 14, 2005


Apparently, the UK Greens (+15) are slightly less insane than the American Greens. Liberal Democrats chalked up a minus-thirty on my scorecard. Guess there's a difference.

Ignorant Yank.
posted by trharlan at 12:52 PM on April 14, 2005


Well, I'm a raging liberal on the other side of the Atlantic, so, I'm a slightly left moderate there.

It said:
18 labour
-13 conservative
26 Lib Dem
5 UKIP
11 Green

Let me say that the really informative thing was the list of issues on the table.
Abolishing tuition?
Free long term elder care?
50% income tax for over 100K?

That's one hell of a social safety net you've got there. It's like 2 safety nets, an padded suit, and a helmet.

And that's one hell of a technically minded electorate. Local taxing schemes indeed.

Where's the baby Jesus?
Where's the gay marriage?
Is what color the money comes in really a hot button topic?

Mother England calls me home.
posted by putzface_dickman at 12:56 PM on April 14, 2005


University tuition fees should be abolished

Is that really a possibility in the UK? I wish we could debate such a thing here (in the US). Not that it would ever happen, but the debates we have tend to be more along the lines of "should university fees double or triple?"
posted by jlub at 1:00 PM on April 14, 2005


Gotta love the BBC link (click "parties" on the FPP). The first row in the summary is labelled priorities, the first two for the Conservatives are "Lower taxes through savings on bureaucracy; tougher school discipline and more school choice," while, for Labour: "stong economy, higher living standards." Hmmm... strong economy and higher standards of living vs. tougher school discipline. Whoever they asked from the Conservatives to summarize their party platform really should be fired.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:03 PM on April 14, 2005


if I were a Brit, the machine says I should be voting for the Liberal Democrats
posted by matteo at 1:04 PM on April 14, 2005


I'd actually be interested in Witty taking the test, as well as some of our other right wing members. There really isn't any US equivalents for most UK parties so I'd certainly enjoy seeing where they end up.

p.s. Lib Dems please - about time they had a decent shot at running our country.
posted by longbaugh at 1:11 PM on April 14, 2005


Apparently, I should vote Liberal Democrat.
However, I will vote Labour -- primarily on the
basis of their record in addressing child poverty and the
minimum wage.

> Is that (abolishing University tuition fees) really a
> possibility in the UK?

We've only actually had tuition fees for a couple of years.
When I was a student, not only did the state pay my fees,
they also gave me a fairly sizeable maintenance grant to live
on while I studied.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:15 PM on April 14, 2005


Labour -5
Conservative -34
Liberal Democrat 58
UK Independence Party 16
Green 34

What are the big differences between Liberal Democrats and Greens?
posted by hackly_fracture at 1:19 PM on April 14, 2005


You can use this link to find out the precise differences between the parties. (Use the drop-downs at the top to choose the parties you want to compare.)
posted by Mwongozi at 1:24 PM on April 14, 2005


Conservative + 83
Labour -14
Liberal Democrat -90

Brits -- why I am I so much less un-Labour than un-Lib Dem? Always thought it would be to the contrary.
posted by MattD at 1:27 PM on April 14, 2005


Brits -- why I am I so much less un-Labour than un-Lib Dem? Always thought it would be to the contrary.

I think it's probably because the Lib Dems would be more to the left of center than Labour these days. There's really not much in it between Labour and Tory these days. I say vote Monster Raving Looney Party if you can:

Rich people should be taxed to pay for the printing of money, as they use most of it.
posted by twistedonion at 2:03 PM on April 14, 2005


Well, to anyone not in the know... don't be fooled by the names of the parties. Labour and Conservative are both central, with the Tories being slightly more on the right. Lib Dems have gone way to the left, and the greens are almost completely irrelevant, except in Brighton.

I came out a Green, then a Lib Dem. I certainly wont vote for the Liberals (too much tax and spend), nor Conservatives (untrustworthy, didn't like their stance on Iraq) nor Labour (messing about with public services, over interference and ID cards, to name a few.)

That doesn't give me much choice...

I'll vote for the first party that (a) reduces taxation, (b) stops shoving funding at the bottomless pit that is the health service (look how much good it's done Labour!) (c) wont pander to George Bush, and (d) buys me a pony.

in other words - I'm voting Monster Raving Looney.
posted by iso_bars at 2:17 PM on April 14, 2005


libDem 46, yay social programs!
labour -20
conservative -25
UKIP 11
Green 14

"They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis"

I know this isn't technically a totally illogical position, maybe cannabis wouldn't be allowed in public either, cannabis isn't as bad a health risk, but I still don't understand why in general people have such bizarrely split views.

Things that are "bad" and illegal need to be legalized to allow people the freedom to live how they want, while things that are "bad" and legal need to be outlawed as they are an avenue for corporations to manipulate the fragile sheeplike masses, who are suddenly incapable of making an independent choice, into a tragically unhealthy situation.

(Honestly though, "tar" is the real cancer causer in cigarettes from what I've heard. (Did I hear it from a Big-Tobacco mouthpiece?) If you put your mind to it couldn't you fill a joint up with enough junk that it would pump just as many carcinogens into your lungs? I really don't know anything about it...).

I don't have a problem w/ legalizing cannabis but I think my one big anti libDem position was that I really hate anti smoking laws. I don't know why, I really don't like being around smokers at all, I just don't agree.

Guess I just need to get the heck out of alabama already.
posted by SomeOneElse at 2:22 PM on April 14, 2005


while things that are "bad" and legal need to be outlawed as they are an avenue for corporations to manipulate the fragile sheeplike masses, who are suddenly incapable of making an independent choice, into a tragically unhealthy situation.

No. Stupid things with no discernible benefit that can aversely effect my health if I'm exposed to them in public should, if possible, be banned from being used in such places. They're not trying to make smoking illegal.
posted by The God Complex at 2:30 PM on April 14, 2005


I wish we could debate [tuition-free state universities] here (in the US).

Given the demographics of who goes to college and who pays state taxes and buys state lottery tickets, that would probably end up being a perverse subsidy. Poor and lower-middle-class people, whose kids were unlikely to attend college in any case, would be paying to send middle-class and beyond kids (who would generally go even if it weren't free) to college. No doubt there are anecdotal counterexamples, but as a matter of central tendency it would still probably turn out to be poorer people paying to send richer people to college.

You could accomplish the actual goal with something as simple as more aggressive financial aid programs in state universities without shelling out tax dollars extracted from $18,000/year families to send $150,000/year kids to college for free.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:48 PM on April 14, 2005


I'd actually be interested in Witty taking the test, as well as some of our other right wing members.

You know... it's funny, I completely understand why this community considers me to be a conservative right-winger. But every time I take one of those political orientation test-thingies, I always end up damn near right in the middle. But anway... I'll give'r a rip and see what happens.
posted by Witty at 2:48 PM on April 14, 2005


Labour -13
Conservative 16
Liberal Democrat -7
UK Independence Party 26
Green -3

Admittedly, I found some of those questions impossible for me to answer. But I tried to be as fair as possible with it.
posted by Witty at 2:54 PM on April 14, 2005


Yeah but even calling them "stupid" is buying into the mindset imho. I can't help looking at the 100 cars next to me on the road, and the one person smoking on the sidewalk, and think that if my health was the big concern, the cars would be what were done away with. I think global warming concerns back me up on that too.

sides I <3 slippery slope. They're trying to outlaw smoking! I don't know. I think there should be places in public where I should be able to not have to deal with smoke, but I think there should be places where people are allowed to smoke in public as well.
posted by SomeOneElse at 2:59 PM on April 14, 2005


I completely understand why this community considers me to be a conservative right-winger.
Conservatives are prudent and rational, not reactionary and intentionally oblivious.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:06 PM on April 14, 2005


That probably wasn't called for.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:07 PM on April 14, 2005


Yeah but even calling them "stupid" is buying into the mindset imho.

Oh, please. At least with drinking you get drunk, or with weed you get a nice high and sit around laughing for a couple hours. With smoking you get a wicked addiction because, in most cases, you thought it'd be cool when you were younger and then never gave it up.

You're right about cars, of course, but one can make an argument for the necessity of travel over the necessity for you to make me unhealthy. Of course, if making cars more enviro-friendly was as logistically feasible as banning smoking in public places (particularly indoor ones), I'd sign off for that too.

I mean, I do see your point, but smoking is a nasty, nasty habit. I don't understand the appeal, which is fine, but I also don't want to put up with anymore harmful toxins if I can help it ;)
posted by The God Complex at 3:07 PM on April 14, 2005


ROU_Xenophobe:

I don't necessarily disagree with that. In fact, it's kinda hard to disagree with that (although keep in mind community colleges would also be tuition-free).

But my point wasn't that it would be a good thing if college were free. It was that I'd rather debate them being free (as you seem willing to do, thank you) than debate how expensive we have to make them in order to cut enrollment enough so that we can balance the state budget by reducing education expenses. Or how we can turn universities into professional sports with educational aspirations. Which seem to be our choices these days.
posted by jlub at 3:07 PM on April 14, 2005


Labour -14
Conservative 17
Liberal Democrat -4
UK Independence Party 33
Green 36

It is fun to not be able to understand my results.
posted by thirteen at 3:46 PM on April 14, 2005


The problem with university fees in the UK is government policy of getting 50% of school leavers into higher education.

Clearly the government can't afford to pay for 50% of 18 year olds to attend university every year. More to the point, universities can't afford to teach this number of people. And to accommodate this number of students, you need a lot of universities.

As a result, the government subsidizes universities a little, UK students pay a few thousand pounds a year in tuition fees, and foreign students pay about 5 times this amount. This does not cover the cost of running a university. Hence the problem.

"Top Up Fees" (universities being able to charge an extra 3 thousand pounds a year for each student) are not enough to make up the difference, but enough to prevent many people from being able to afford to attend. The only remaining option for the universities is to accept more foreign students. Several universities (Oxford, for one) are adopting this strategy, but it seems a little unfair on home students and is probably not a good long term solution.

It seems to me that 50% of people don't *need* a degree. Probably more like 20%, although that's just a guess. Then, if the ex-technical college universities that are no longer required were shut, surely this would solve the problem? It's how the system used to work, ~20 years ago. I can't see any other way out, apart from forever escalating fees...

/student rant
posted by iso_bars at 3:51 PM on April 14, 2005


Wait, I thought democracy was supposed to be a two-party system. What's with all these choices?
posted by fatbobsmith at 3:57 PM on April 14, 2005


Labour -34
Conservative -52
Liberal Democrat 70
UK Independence Party -22
Green 41

No surprise there, it confirmed my intuition. Nice thread about UK politics! Although the participants are self-selected, this gives me hope for the election result in my constituency, where Andrew Smith (Lab) is defending a strong challenge from a LibDem candidate. Oxford could have 2 out of 2 LibDem mps in 3 weeks time! Yay!!
posted by dash_slot- at 4:39 PM on April 14, 2005


My question is, how can you possibly get by without electronic voting machines? You crazy Brits don't actually count your votes over there, do you?
posted by robhuddles at 4:42 PM on April 14, 2005


Things that are "bad" and illegal need to be legalized to allow people the freedom to live how they want, while things that are "bad" and legal need to be outlawed as they are an avenue for corporations to manipulate the fragile sheeplike masses, who are suddenly incapable of making an independent choice, into a tragically unhealthy situation.

How about two activities which are 'bad' for essentially the same reasons, but one can land you in prison, while the other is actively encouraged? It's not about increasing or decreasing personal freedom, it's about addressing a blatantly hypocritical imbalance by moving both activities a little closer to where they should both be - discouraged, but not punished.

Also, why do anti-anti-smoking arguments always curse government for removing their right to 'choose', but ignore the fact that nicotine addicts can't 'choose' not to smoke, even if they want to quit - which 70% of them are prepared to admit they do? Free will doesn't even come into the equation - it's just a (ahem) smoke screen.

Finally, yes, cars are also poisonous, and no one is saying they aren't. But when was the last time you saw a car driving around inside your local pub? I couldn't tell you, but I can tell you exactly when I last saw someone smoking in a pub - December 9 2004, the day before smoking in any workplace was banned here in NZ. Since then, my hair and clothes have never smelt better.
posted by Soulfather at 4:47 PM on April 14, 2005


Labour 2
Conservative -62
Liberal Democrat 78
UK Independence Party -8
Green 17

"Oh look - another lefty Brit on Metafilter"
posted by anagrama at 5:22 PM on April 14, 2005


You guys better not let us Americans down like we let you all down. That would just be adding insult to injury.
posted by Bugbread at 5:23 PM on April 14, 2005


Anybody but the poodle.
posted by orthogonality at 5:33 PM on April 14, 2005


Yes but I think that this party is trying to win over two groups of people, those who want smoking totally removed from our existence, (I don't think I'm dealing with slippery slope here, I know people like this, and that is actually what they want, or at least that's verbatim what they say they want), and people who want marijuana legalized.

I'm not saying that we are getting a perfectly free choice, in almost anything there will be factors weighing down people's ability to choose, and if those people are nicotine addicts, I don't doubt that the weight involved in choosing whether or not to smoke is overwhelming.

But denying they have free will is buying into that sheeplike masses concept I think. It's things like that that make me want to go vote libertarian until I realize that they wouldn't have any social programs and would actively deny starving soulful-eyed orphans needed organ transplants and all.

But I still think they should be allowed that option even if it's hardly an option at all, I mean that's the only reason I can think of for allowing cannabis to be legalized. So it does seem bizarre to me to reign in smoking on one hand and legalize pot with the other. If they're trying to pull them both to the same point, ok. But it really seems like they're trying to advocate two mutually exclusive positions at once, in order to reach out to two fundamentally different groups of voters.

What they REALLY ought to do is keep smoking legal but have massive free governmental programs aimed at helping people who want to get off nicotine to do it. tax and spend! TAX AND SPEND!
posted by SomeOneElse at 6:48 PM on April 14, 2005


I didn't take the quiz, but I did look through the BBC website on the different parties. And so, I find myself asking, does the UKIP remind anyone else of the government in V for Vendetta?
posted by Hactar at 10:34 PM on April 14, 2005


Blair will win, because too many of those who should be voting Lib Dem will actually vote Labour because they're afraid of the Conservatives getting in if they don't.

I will be voting Liberal Democrat yet again, in the hope that some people have wised up since the last time. They won't win though, the best realistic result would be a hung parliament. Although what with Labor and the Conservatives being so close in ideology now that might turn into a bit of a mutual lovefest on most issues leaving the liberals out in the cold again. Ho hum.

I predict that the liberals will take votes from both labour (due to their anti-war stance) and the tories (self-interest drives the grey vote) quite possibly in equal measure - but it won't be nearly enough.

Vote on policy. "Tactical" voting only serves to preserve the status quo. No, they won't win this time - but give them a bit of a boost now and they might do the time after.

Also, I wish someone would stand up and say "20,000 civilians, dead. Who cares about the euro when we helped kill 20,000 innocent people? Who cares about hospital choice and school choice when we slaughtered 20,000 men, women and children? Who cares about fucking childcare? 20,000."
posted by cell at 2:54 AM on April 15, 2005


Tangentially related is not apathetic, for when all the options are equally dreadful.
posted by grahamspankee at 3:53 AM on April 15, 2005


Gosh, it's tricky for a dinner-party-attending, chattering-classes liberal.

Labour: redistributive taxation policy, good economic management, civil unions, minimum wage... but then they go and lock people up without trial, require us to carry papers at all times and abandon the vital right of anonymous secret voting in an attempt to shore up turn-out (usually helping Labour.)

Conservatives: they're all reasonable and pleasant, saying sensible things about too much interference and being on the side of the individual.. and then they go and get all authoritarian over abortion and ID cards.

So I'm left with the Lib Dems because of their strong civil-liberties manifesto, even though their economic policy is ludicrous (free long-term care for the elderly? Yeah, I'm desperately keen on paying tax so that rich middle-class kids can inherit their parents' house instead of selling it to pay for the care their Aged P requires.)
posted by alasdair at 3:57 AM on April 15, 2005


Labour 10
Conservative -41
Liberal Democrat 53
UK Independence Party 3
Green 5

Not a big fan of those Tories...anyway, I will be voting Lib Dem, and since I'm a student I get to pick and choose between my home constituency and my uni one, which is nice because I think my vote will "count" more at uni, with Lib Dems only trailing by 4000 votes or so.
posted by Orange Goblin at 4:11 AM on April 15, 2005


Labour -2
Conservative -33
Liberal Democrat 54
UK Independence Party -5
Green 33

I'd be Lib Dem i guess. I'm happy my UKIP was negative, and surprised my Labour score was, too.
posted by amberglow at 5:11 AM on April 15, 2005


What that site doesn't do is take into account the voting patterns of the constituency people live in...It could be more interesting if it said..."you should idealogically vote for [x] but due to voting patterns where you live [x] would be a wasted vote, so the next best option to get rid of [y] is to vote [z]..."
Or something like that...
A good anti-war 'lets punish Labour but not let the Tories in' website is www.strategicvoter.org.uk which focuses on the best way to vote for people living in marginal constituencies.
Of course if you live somewhere where the main party has a huge majority, then how you vote makes no difference, in which case you may like www.makemyvotecount.org.uk
posted by rocklad at 6:51 AM on April 15, 2005


Blair will win, because too many of those who should be voting Lib Dem will actually vote Labour because they're afraid of the Conservatives getting in if they don't.

Precisely. A lot of our Labour-voting friends seem to think that the Tories getting in would be more of an outrage than supporting a mendacious war criminal who has contributed significantly to a grotesque abuse of international law and human rights, and who has knowingly backed mass slaughter.

I don't have a lot of time or respect for those people. I'd rather see Howard win and Blair get a hiding than support that vile, unforgiveable bastard - even if he did make the trains run on time, as it were. And I say that as someone whose loathing for conservatives can reach temple-bursting proportions.

But yes, Blair will win. Hopefully with a significantly reduced majority, at least.
posted by Decani at 7:36 AM on April 15, 2005


And yes, as other Brits have said: don't be fooled by the name. "Labour" is about as left-wing as my Daily-Express-reading old dad. The Lib Dems are significantly to the left of them, and have been for some time.
posted by Decani at 7:38 AM on April 15, 2005


A lot of our Labour-voting friends seem to think that the Tories getting in would be more of an outrage than supporting a mendacious war criminal who has contributed significantly to a grotesque abuse of international law and human rights, and who has knowingly backed mass slaughter.

The Tories completely supported the war. They would have done exactly the same.
posted by Summer at 8:02 AM on April 15, 2005


The Liberal Democrats did not support the war, so it would seem reasonable for those who disapprove of it to vote for them. Politicians, whether Labour or Tory, will be reminded that they cannot pull the country into an unpopular war without suffering the consequences. Those like Polly Toynbee who call upon voters to put New Labour back in so as to continue their social policies in the UK are trading the welfare of British children for the welfare of children in Iraq and anywhere else that Blair and his cronies might wish to drop their bombs
posted by TimothyMason at 8:39 AM on April 15, 2005


Labour -6
Conservative 25
Lib Dem -22
UKIP 16
Green 3

Huh? I should vote Conservative?

Interesting that it seems I'm thinking what they're thinking whilst being completely repelled by their fearmongering non-campaign.

Vote for Howard and co? I'd rather boil my head.
but I think this means I am getting old .....
posted by grahamwell at 11:07 AM on April 15, 2005


Labour -20
Conservative -53
Liberal Democrat 86
UK Independence Party 2
Green 55

The UKIP thing has thrown me a bit...maybe it's the anti ID card stance.
posted by jackiemcghee at 4:06 AM on April 16, 2005


Labour heading for victory - polls
posted by amberglow at 4:02 PM on April 16, 2005


The Tories completely supported the war. They would have done exactly the same.

Indeed so. Which is yet another reason - as if one were needed - not to vote Tory.
posted by Decani at 9:24 PM on April 19, 2005


« Older Buddy Rich ain't got nothin' on this cat!...  |  More than 16,000 photos... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments