3 Quarters of a Long Weekend

Shame we don't all have today off as well which would have allowed for a full long weekend, but three quarters is better than none.

The TV debates are over so we've only got a week left of the incessant bolotics. And the results ? Well generally it seems Mr Clegg won the first one, the second was still slightly in Mr Clegg's favour with Mr Cameron a close second and yesterdays seemed to be Mr Cameron's night, although Mr Clegg held a very strong second. This leaves Mr Brown floundering around and in need of some serious hard work, which I'm afraid will get him nowhere. It's apparent that the population have already decided that a change is needed and with the mess the Labour Party have been making of their campaign you could be forgiven for thinking they are actually "trying" to loose the election. Between you and me, I don't think they need to "try" too hard.

Gordon and his "Team" unveiled new posters this morning with the slogans "Don't forget to vote Labour Mum" and "Vote Labour Gran". If my mum (or my Gran for that matter) voted Labour hell would have frozen over. Not only that but the event was a bit of a car crash, as some poor soul actually crashed their car into a bus stop nearby. Presumably distracted by the sight of a man who's collar and cuffs don't match! You can't blame Gordy, The Dark Lord and The Badger for trying, but in all honesty they've made an arse of it.

Where does that leave us then ? It's a two horse race, between the blues and yellows - and we keep being told that the likely outcome is a hung parliament. Some people I know would be "happy to hang the bloody lot of them". The problem here is the First Past the Post voting system. Here's what the Electoral Reform Society have to say about it:

The voting system: how it works
At a general election each of the 646 constituencies in the UK elects one MP to represent them in parliament. Political parties choose one candidate each and voters put an ‘X’ on the ballot paper next to their favourite candidate. The candidate with the most votes wins, and is elected to a seat in the Commons: it’s as simple as that.
This is the First Past the Post election system. Much like a race in which the winner is the first across the line these elections are ‘winner takes all’. It does not matter how close the race was, there are no prizes (and no seats) for those coming second.

Is it fair?
It seems fair that in a single seat the person with the most votes wins. But candidates don’t need to get a majority of votes, just more than their opponents. It means most MPs are elected when the majority of their electorate would have preferred someone else. Currently only one in three MPs can claim support from over half of the voters in their constituencies.
When we add up the votes across all the seats, the national results show that some political parties do better under this system than others. There are no prizes for coming second, so if a party is runner up in many seats it can win lots of votes but very few seats. In fact, in five elections during the twentieth century, the party that won the most votes did not win the most seats. You might say the wrong party won the election.
In the 2005 election, one party won 600,000 votes in the UK but no seats at all. Another party, which won less than half this number of votes, won nine seats. The election result depends as much on where your supporters live as how many you actually have. As the number of seats parties win determines who governs the UK, it is a serious problem if there are doubts about the fairness of the system.

I'm all for changing this because it really doesn't seem fair that my vote is actually only worth 0.2 votes. OK - Enough!!

Fairly quiet weekend planned. Lunch with the Mother-in-Law and the opportunity to see the newly refurbished bathroom (assuming that BBB has finished it by then) and a trip to LudLow to have a look round are two of the items on the list. We passed through Ludlow on the way to North Wales a couple of weeks ago and I was surprised at how nice it looked. Mrs G has been there a few times before, but it'll be a new experience for me, so I'm looking forward to that. Of course the weather makes deciding which day to go on a tricky choice, but it's looking like Monday will be the day. Let's hope everyone else stays home so the roads are clear (Although Scobi's vannin' could cause a tailback from the south west all the way back up to the midlands.)

Whatever you do, have a great bank holiday weekend safe in the knowledge that I'll stop cr*pping on about #ge2010 very soon.