MP's make my blood boil. Perhaps I have election fever...

The PM has had his last PMQ and the gloves are off. Buffoonery will ensue. Clearly it's time for a change, but what on earth is it likely to be ?

Sky have put out some very interesting stats via their iPhone app (of course). Starting from 1832 and covering all 44 General Elections there have been since then. Interesting stuff when you see that of the 44 Elections, 19 have been won by the Conservatives, 14 by the Liberal Democrats and 11 by the Labour party.

The average turnout of population on polling day is 72.1%, with the lowest being 53.4% in 1847, with the 2001 election being not very far behind that at a mere 59.4%. The Highest Turnout was at the 1910 election at 86.8% which resulted in a hung parliament (meaning a 2nd election that year with an 81.6% turnout). In fact the number of voters hasn't reached 80% since 1951.

The average percentage of the vote over this period of time is thus:

Con: 42.7%
Lab: 21.2%
Lib: 32.6%
Other: 3.7%

Of course this is the percentage of the vote and not necessarily the number of seats. The only way to fix that is proportional representation. Unlikely that we'll see that unless the Lib Dems make a comeback and given the state of the other two parties, it's not impossible. I am occasionally a gambling man, so the safe money would go Conservative. Clearly the Labour party won't survive unless we have a repeat of 1910 (Hung/Lib Dems) or 1974 (Hung/Labour), but you know it really is too close to call. I think I'll sit back and watch the fight for a bit and come back to this nearer the time.

One thing that is influencing my decision though... I recently wrote to my elected representative (Parmjit Dhanda) on the subject of the Digital Economy Bill. I specifically asked him to do all he can to ensure the Government doesn't just rush the bill through and deny us our democratic right to scrutiny and debate. And my response???

Thank you for e-mailing Parmjit. To allow the Member of Parliament to respond could you please forward to me your full Postal address.

David Purchase
P/A Parmjit Dhanda MP

Naturally I did this immediately on the 18th March (3 Weeks ago!!!) and the reading of the Bill was on Tuesday. In the Commons debate the bill was given "reluctant" support by the Conservative front bench and so looks likely to become law before the dissolution of parliament on the 12th of April. So what's my MP had to say on the subject ? Nothing, Nada, Zip, Nowt. He didn't even bother showing up for the vote!!!
Do you think ignoring the electorate is a vote winner ?? I know what I think.

Worse still is that as a country we are wandering blindly into a tech mess that could easily see my Gran being banned from the Internet for not securing her WiFi connection - and anyone with a little tech knowledge knows there are an awful lot of people with unsecured wifi. On top of which the method most people use for securing their WiFi, is not actually that secure, so it really does need some very careful thought. This combined with the fact that the Government (whichever colour) intend to move as many of their services online as possible worries me no end. Clearly the issue is being forced through, no doubt due to some serious expenditure by the record companies and movie industry lobbyists. I wonder how much they've paid and to which "cabs for hire" they've paid it to ?

Don't mistake this for pirate support. I whole-heartedly disagree with illegally downloading material, but not half as much as I disagree with bullyboy tactics by people who clearly don't understand the technology in the first place and are only dicking around with it because they're getting paid. Allegedly.

I digress, and no doubt, simplify. If you want more detail you can find some of the voiced opposition here: Stop 43 and if you want to see some of the grass roots objections, take a look here: on twitter

One word: REFORM!

While I'm on my political rant (and I rather wish I wasn't) I think it's right to make you aware of this incredibly useful resource. This is the first election since the digital revolution really took off.

This site has allowed me to understand my MP's Voting record (from PublicWhip), so that I can see how Parmjit Dhanda voted on key issues since 2001:

Voted very strongly for allowing ministers to intervene in inquests.
Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards.
Voted very strongly for replacing Trident.
Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws.
Voted very strongly for the hunting ban.
Voted strongly for introducing student top-up fees.
Voted strongly for equal gay rights.
Voted moderately for a wholly elected House of Lords.
Voted moderately for introducing foundation hospitals.
Voted moderately for introducing a smoking ban.
Voted for removing hereditary peers from the House of Lords.
Voted a mixture of for and against the Iraq war.
Voted a mixture of for and against greater autonomy for schools.
Voted moderately against laws to stop climate change.
Voted moderately against a transparent Parliament.
Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war.

Makes for interesting reading doesn't it... Well, perhaps not for you because he's probably not your MP, but take a look at yours and see if they're representing you as you would prefer.