Thursday, April 07, 2011


For those of you who read the Thanet Extra, you will find in this weeks edition a quality piece of waffle as Roger Gale MP gives his opinion on AV.

I think his view is that should we change our electoral system, we'll suddenly find a host of nazi, socialists, cranks and nutcases take hold of levers of power, instead of the current mix of MPs' which vary from the principled, honest, to the ambitious, self serving, opinionated, uncaring, hypocrites we know so well.

Any how just what do I know about Roger Gale MP, firstly he replies promptly to correspondence, he's kind to animals, is rarely impressed with local train operators but apart from that, what are his politics, when did Gale ever pipe up on any thing of national importance.

Such things as economy education, health, foreign policy, really don't matter as far as MPs like Roger Gale are concerned since outside of a political tsunami they have as much chance of not getting elected, as I have of being invited for tea with the Queen to discuss the morality of inherited wealth and the Royalty.

How often have you voted like I have, not for your first choice but for some Labour deadbeat, rather than see some awful Conservative get elected or the other way round, once is too often but I'd guess some of us have voted tactically when if we had a more representative electoral system, we could make an honest choice.

Why any of this troubles Roger Gale is hard to see since he must be past normal retirement age and unlikely to fight again.

Of course I would have some sympathy with his view if safe seats such as his got a majority of the vote, but that is rarely the case.

We deserve better than an electoral system that effectively allows a local MP to be chosen by a handful local party hacks, I won't bore you with the gorilla suit cliche but you know what I mean.

Finally AV gives you the voter more leverage, so candidates might feel the need to be more open or precise about what they stand for, as I mentioned at the top of this, apart from a few superficial notions I've no idea what makes Gale tick, where does he stand on the economy, health, did he admire Thatcher, Major what does he make of Cameron or even Clegg?


  1. Really good post Tony, just about sums up where we are at. Politics has become an artform where you set out great manifestos to convince the voters but then do a 180 degree turn once elected. And if you are lucky enough to be in a safe seat then you don't even have to worry about getting your comeuppance at the next election. AV would change that.

  2. AV would change nothing for a safe seat would still be a safe seat. It is only in the marginals where second and subsequent choices would come into play.

    AV also moves away from the democratic principle of one man, one vote for not everybody's subsequent choices are taken into account.

    Frankly it is a hotchpotch of a system between FPTP and full PR that hardly any other nation uses.

    It would make far more sense to reject AV and continue to campaign for PR, where every party, however small, has a chance of representation.

  3. Margaret,
    I never understand this argument
    'AV also moves away from the democratic principle of one man, one vote for not everybody's subsequent choices are taken into account.'

    Surely if your first choice is used then you wouldn't care about your other choices?

  4. Your first vote only counts if your candidate is elected. If it then only takes the redistributed votes of the fifth candidate, who you did not rate at all, to push one over the 50% line, you have had no say in the selection at all. On the other hand, somebody who voted for the winning candidate as first choice and the fifth as second choice, has had two votes. Undemocratic and frightfully complicated.

    You had an example with the Labour leadership, where David Milliband was the mjority choice of the Labour cabinet, MPs and party members, got the most first choices but was pipped by his brother to the 50% line when the redistributed second and third choices came into play. Hence Labour did not get the leader most people preferred.

  5. It is interesting that you refer to Gale and the railway. He, with some other Tory MPs, said very firmly that Southeastern should not have its franchise renewed, or even extended by the two years allowed for under existing arrangements. His Government has done just that, ignoring his, and his colleagues' views.

    He blusters a great deal, but achieves nothing, even when his own Party is in power.

  6. Roger Gale has won more than 50% of the vote in five of his seven elections to North Thanet, for what it's worth...

  7. No to AV - Why give the lib dems what they want ??

    the Lib Dems are vaccuous, selfish, and acting like excitable little boys who are prepared to ditch their electorate to pursue their own agenda of "clinging onto power".

    Once a political party ditches their manifesto as wholesale as the Lib Dems have, what are you left with?

    A group of people voted in entirely under false pretences. I am actual shocked at how well the country has taken it.

    The very public "Pledge signing" by the Lib Dems in opposition of Tution Fees is an absolutely criminal piece of hypocracy.

    Clegg quite obviously idolises big Dave. i have no doubt that he would join the Tories tomorrow if he could get away with it. Whereas Dave can't believe his luck that Clegg has rolled over so easily like a ****ing puppy.

  8. And interesting news reports from Liverpool - where many would say the new breed of liberal democracy got kick-started a few years ago with "Jones the Vote". Liberal Democrats there have said that the Party should quit the Coalition before they are consigned to history as an electoral force.

  9. Interesting that Liverpool opinion on politics should be quoted. Half the population there would vote for Sinn Fein if they put up candidates thus explaining why the likes of Rooney and Gerrard do not sing the national anthem when playing for England.

    Don't think the Liberal Democrats have anything to gain by pulling out of the coaltion now other than obscurity. Their best chance lies in an economic recovery by 2015 leading to some restoration of their standing in the polls.

  10. If Ireland was (rightfully) re-united, they wouldn't have to worry.

  11. I think a whole host of Unionists might disagree with you 8:01, especially in view of the Irish economy, but not to worry. This 'old firm' stuff will soon be a thing of the past when we are all united under Sharia law and called
    The Isles of Actonistan.

  12. 8:01 They were born in Liverpool, England and they take the money. If they feel so strongly on their Irish principles they should play for the land of their forefathers. Trouble is, there is a lot less money in that so, so much for principles, what?

  13. Little to choose between sharia law/islamism and the fundamentalist christians. Both as barking mad and dangerous as each other.

  14. No more so than the fundamentalist atheists like Dawkins who take preaching to new extremes.

    Whatever view you take it will get under somebody elses skin. That is why it is best to keep them all in their own like minded groupings. Multi-culturalism is a recipe for disaster.