07 April, 2010

Election observer

Confession: this will be the first UK General Election I haven't voted in since I was able. Sorry. I just didn't get my act together with the postal overseas voting thing. Too busy arranging the emigration in under two months.

So this time around I shall be watching from afar and actually I'm quite glad about that. I'm not sure how much difference my vote would have made. I've always managed to end up in non-marginal constituencies, mostly Labour ones. In London I spent my time in Diane Abbot's constituency, where you find you often have an opposition Labour MP even when Labour is in power. We wrote to her to protest about Labour's decision to enter the war and vowing never to vote for them again, only to receive a letter from her agreeing with us and indicating she had and would continue to vote against the war. Which made it seem a bit churlish to withhold our votes from her. I am as you know to the left of things, so in Wales I was a bit surprised to find I couldn't vote Labour at the council elections even if I wanted to as there wasn't a Labour candidate. Just over the "top" from the valleys that lay claim to Aneurin Bevan, Michael Foot and many others, and things are rather more conservative though not necessarily Conservative. 

Who knows how it's going to go this time. It is looking interesting which is something I can say because I'm not living there so it's not so painful to watch. A major advantage over the American system is that it is quick. Four weeks and it's all over. Here the Americans have been talking about the November Congressional elections for ages and there's still ages to go. 

I shall miss the crazy animations on election night - remember the exploding tower blocks in 1997? But at least the time difference means I will be up for the results. And that's something else we do faster. George Bush got two months to tidy up the White House before he left - Gordon Brown will have a few hours if he goes. 

1 comment:

just Gai said...

My daughter has just turned 18 so we'll be following this campaign very closely.

My first vote was for the Scotish Nationalists but it's been Labour ever since ... until this year, when I'm seriously thinking of backing the Greens. But who knows where I'll place my cross on the day!

Staying up to watch the results coming in is a ritual in our house. I couldn't conceive of going to bed before I knew who was going to be in charge of the country the following morning. There was talk of counts being held over until the next day but fortunately the suggestion was quashed, for the present at any rate.