Though I try to keep political commentary to a minimum, I could hardly ignore the forthcoming general election, and I’ve actually already voted, since I’m voting by post in my home constituency. There’s quite a scandal surrounding the new system of postal votes, and I certainly found it very easy to do. I’m not convinced this is a good thing, since I’d have been a lot happier being forced to go through a few identity checks. As it is, all I had to do was fill in a simple form, then fill in and return the voting forms once they arrived. Sure, I had to get someone to witness my vote, verifying that I am who I claim to be, but they’re hardly going to check them all. In fact, I’d be surprised if they checked any of them. There have been nervous predictions of Florida-style shenanigans, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the results in some wards are contested. (Particularly those where there have apparently been thousands of void forms distributed.)
Diamond Geezer is a blog I have recently begun to read, and he has an interesting graphic showing the voting of different newspaper readerships in the last election. I had no idea the percentage of Mirror readers voting Labour was so high, and that as many as 16% of Guardian readers voted Conservative. As for the proportion of Guardian readers voting Labour, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it drop below 50% this time round. I’ll leave you guessing which paper I read myself.
Modern politics certainly doesn’t fit on the simple political spectrum, and the folks at Political Compass have handily added an extra dimension to proceedings. As well as the simple economic labels of ‘left’ or ‘right’, a new ‘authoritarian’ or ‘libertarian’ axis has been added. There’s an online test to plot yourself in this landscape, as well as graphs showing the positions of famous polemical figures, historical and current. I took the test (all 61 questions) and found myself plotted squarely in the bottom left corner. My close neighbours include Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama and Ghandi. Whooo!!