MD Quality and the UK General Elections

From: Ant McWatt (
Date: Sat May 07 2005 - 00:56:53 BST

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    Ant McWatt wrote May 5th:

    Don’t forget now… vote for Charles Kennedy, eat organic food, read Noam

    Mark Heyman stated May 5th:

    Well, I'm good for two outta three, but I can't vote for Kennedy. However,
    I'm interested in where he fits into the political scheme of things t'other
    side of the pond. You guys have three major parties, right, Labor,
    Conservative, and Tory?

    Ant McWatt replies May 6th:


    Thanks for your interest. Sam has made an excellent summary of the official
    political situation in the UK so I have very little add to that!

    Mark Heyman stated May 5th:

    Where does Kennedy fit in, and how did he do? Somehow, I get the feeling
    you, Ant, wouldn't vote Conservative or Tory, but Blair is Labor, right?

    Ant McWatt replies May 6th:

    With having a family background in the trade union movement, I am
    traditionally a Labour person. However, the values of Blair and the present
    day Labour party have moved significantly to the right since the early 1990s
    (for a start, how can a Labour prime minister even think of supporting a
    Republican president in an escapade as misguided as “Iraqi-gate”?) so my MOQ
    orientated values are now more in tune with the Liberal Democrat Party (who
    are the third largest party in the British system and were against the

    However, because we have a “first past the post” electoral system here, the
    Liberals will be lucky to achieve national government in the next twenty
    years, if ever. As Sam noted they slightly increased their vote and number
    of seats this time around achieving 22% of the vote giving them 61 seats.
    Compare this to Labour who achieved 37% of the vote – only 15% more - but
    because of the first past the post system here, won 355 seats and therefore
    a 66 seat majority! As Bill Hicks would say, let’s go over these figures
    again… yes, that’s right, Labour have been given 55% of the available 650
    seats in the UK by achieving 37% of the total vote while the Liberal
    Democrats have been given just only 9% of the available seats despite
    obtaining 22% of the total vote.

    A proportional representation system (which would improve democracy by
    taking account of a wider range of political views) will probably only be
    introduced in the UK by a centralised European Union government – sometime
    in the far future – as it’s in the interests of the two biggest UK parties
    to retain the present “first past the post” system. And, of course, there’s
    also the case that political parties are a low quality idea in the first
    place as regards democracy.

    Mark Heyman commented May 5th:

    And the evidence of his deception is just about overwhelming by now, right?

    Ant McWatt replies May 6th:

    Very much so, hence the substantial drop in the Labour vote and the election
    of George Galloway, an ex-Labour MP who stood at this election as an
    independent candidate on an anti-war platform. At least in the next
    session of parliament we can look forward to some barracking of Tony Blair
    about the “Iraqi-gate” affair from good old Galloway!

    Mark Heyman commented May 5th:

    Sipping tea and munching crumpets, I send by regards from Anglophilia,

    Ant McWatt replies May 6th:

    That’s much appreciated Mark (from a coffee drinking and Bagel munching fan
    of liberal America!)

    Best wishes,


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