charamei: Books. Best weapons in the world. (DW10: Books)
The latest tax kerfuffle got me thinking, always a dangerous thing in any citizen of a supposedly democratic state.

The two big issues of this election, all parties agree, are the state of the economy and the 'public disconnect from politics' (which, roughly translated, means 'people have noticed that national politicians are all as corrupt and sleazy as one another, and given up'). Both of these are, to be fair, to them, real problems.

I'm particularly interested in something the Tories have been batting about (but that isn't, depressingly, in their manifesto) - an attempt to get people involved in local government via greater autonomy and devolution. I heard some ambitious target to get everyone in the country involved in at least one voluntary community activity come out of Cameron's mouth last week.

Whether or not he follows through on it isn't the point, though. The point is, he's talking about reintroducing direct democracy to combat public disinterest.

In other words, he's effectively reaching back 2,500 years to what Solon did for ancient Athens. And I find myself wondering: is there some way we can do the same for the tax problem?

This is more pie-in-the-sky than blue-sky thinking, but bear with me. )

Maybe I'm crazy, but a little bit of direct economy doesn't sound any less plausible to me than a little bit of direct democracy.
charamei: (DW10: Geeky and pretty)
An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry. - T. S. Eliot

...hm. Not the most apt quote. More like 'outright war is declared and the foxes slaughter one another to get at just one mangy, non-laying chicken'.

But anyway.

The foxes in today's instance would be the Conservative Party, who know where I live and also possibly what I did last summer. Alas, they are clearly unaware that I am an armchair political scientist with a blog, a tendency to analyse random bits of paper put through my door by political parties, and a desperate need to distract myself today.

They sent me an 'Issues Survey'. It's pretty poor, both in how little it covers (it's one side of A4) and in the way the questions are laid out. So before I send it back, let's go through it! Because political science is fun and socially responsible!

Winston Churchill defines a parliamentary candidate: 'He is asked to stand, he wants to sit, he is expected to lie.' )

Those were my thoughts on yaoi Issues of the Day as defined by the Conservative Party. Now to go and find something else to do so I don't end up stewing all day.

ETA: OH ONE MORE THING. I initially thought this survey was anonymous, but it's not - it's printed on the back of the form letter they wrote to get people to fill it in. The form letter with my name and address on. If I hadn't checked the Data Protection Act box already, I would now.
charamei: Skience! (DW10: Science)
Ubuntu 9.10 boot disk: free
Time spent arguing with OS, mistakenly assuming it was a software fault: Three weeks
New physical drive: £50

A functional work space that no longer crashes every two minutes, uncluttered and running my OS of choice? Priceless.

/\/\/\


Got the first election pamphlet through the door today, from the Conservatives. It's not exactly inspiring: the most interesting thing about it is that our MP is retiring and the new candidate is the younger brother of a fairly major political figure.

Which, uh. Damnit. That means the party thinks my constituency is a reasonably safe seat, and since I don't intend to vote Tory, I might as well not bother.

First past the post: worst. Electoral system. Ever.

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