babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » current events   » international news and politics   » Tony Blair calls election for May 5th

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Tony Blair calls election for May 5th
Reality. Bites.
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6718

posted 05 April 2005 02:23 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well I guess that's when poodles like to breed.

(Source is AP in Globe and Mail, but not enough additional information to make it worth a link)


From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 05 April 2005 02:39 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's the report from the Guardian.

quote:
"A country where people who play by the rules get on and those who don't, don't.

That really sounds like a Labour leader, doesn't it.

quote:
The Guardian/ICM poll shows Labour's lead down by three points, with the party backed by 37% of the electorate, the Tories on 34% and the Liberal Democrats on 21%. Downing Street confirmed parliament would be dissolved on Monday next week.

At the bottom of that report, click on the link to "Smaller parties." Go, SSP, go.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1885

posted 05 April 2005 04:07 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*cheering for the Lib Dems*
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 05 April 2005 04:15 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's amazing, isn't it. Blair really has given up any pretence of leading any kind of Labour party, forget old, new, or third way. He might as well be running for office in Nebraska with that kind of bland message.

I do not understand why the party is putting up with him.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
faith
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4348

posted 05 April 2005 04:35 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
skdadl what do you think about the liberal democrats? Reading what I can from the UK news media I can't seem to get a handle on where they stand on the political spectrum.
Could the split in popular vote shown in the news report result in a minority government?

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3138

posted 05 April 2005 04:47 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My understanding of the way the electoral math works is that the map favours Labour a lot. Apparently even if Labour and Tories were tied in the popular vote, Labour would get about a 60 seat majority in Parliament.

I'm starting to like more and more of what i see about the Liberal Democrats. They seem to be more "liberal" on social issues and on civil liberties, they opposed the war in Iraq and they seem to attract a lot of teachers and progressive minded people. I think i might be tempted to switch to them from Labour depending on what riding I was in.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 05 April 2005 04:50 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Guardian didn't seem to think so (nor did the bookies ).

About the Lib Dems: I have persisted in believing that the real Labourites are still in the Labour party (at least in England), but they're not accomplishing much at the moment, are they. We need someone on the spot to tell us about the Lib Dems right now. I remember resenting them when they left Labour, way back, before Tony's ascendancy, although that history is now foggy in my mind. In a way, they were prematurely looking for a third way, I think. Do we say that Tony beat them at their own game (by staying in the party and taking it right with him)?

In both Wales and Scotland (and of course in some parts of the English west, midlands, and north) there is a real socialist vote. I was interested to see that the Lib Dems are going strong in Newcastle, definitely a class- and region-conscious hotbed.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sharon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4090

posted 05 April 2005 05:03 PM      Profile for Sharon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
*cheering for the Lib Dems*

Briguy? Why have you chosen the Lib Dems?


From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
faith
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4348

posted 05 April 2005 05:59 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks both skdadl and stockholm I'm glad I asked because I had no idea that the LD originated with Labour. ( the things you learn on babble!)
Tony Blair is indeed a political strategist that seems to survive no matter what but my first impression of Blair was negative and has remained so. Blair came across as someone who was acting out a role and not very convincingly. He was too sincere, too righteous, and too conciliatory to be real.
Whatever happens in Britain I think it will be very interesting to watch. My impression is that the political leader that has the guts to turn somewhat to the left with an inspirational message will be easily elected after decades of right wing austerity for the poor and good times for the rich.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
thwap
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5062

posted 05 April 2005 06:05 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But i always thought the Liberals(Democrats) in Britain were the still struggling remnants of Lloyd George and Keynes's Liberal Party.

Are these Liberal Democrats a different animal all together, or do the coexist with the Liberal Party?

(I could google this m'self in 10 seconds, but i'd rather talk with you nice people!)


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 05 April 2005 06:17 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No, the Lib Dems were at first a splinter that left Old Labour, but damned if I can remember now why they left (pun = serendipity). As things have ended up, they are now definitely to the left of Blair and his crew, although not, I think, to the left of all the Old Labourites. But then they will have evolved over the years. They are thoughtful, polite, intellectual, and certainly more principled than Blair.

I dunno. Maybe they're the good guys now.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4717

posted 05 April 2005 07:02 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Technically, the SDP were the splinter group from the Labour Party in 1981, who then went into the Alliance with the Liberal Party in the 1983 and 1987 elections, and merged to become the LibDems in 1989 or so.

I'll disappear off again into the magic otherworld of lapsed and former babblers now. Toodles!

[ 05 April 2005: Message edited by: Screaming Lord Byron ]


From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1299

posted 05 April 2005 09:22 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Paul Wells makes fun of the UK Tories

quote:
Suddenly, "Putting People First" doesn't sound so lame

The UK Tories launch their campaign with the slogan....wait for it...

"Are You Thinking What We're Thinking?"

Well, gee, I don't know. Are they thinking their adman must be on crack? Because if so, I'm thinking precisely what they're thinking!

Other highlights of the Tories' hallucinogenic website:

The slogan is actually punctuated ARE YOU THINKING? WHAT WE'RE THINKING? And then it fades from the edges in flash animation, so for a second the Tory slogan appears to be HAT WE'RE THINKI. Which is funny, because that's precisely what I was thinking, you thinki hat. Way to get out the Finnish vote.

The main Tory promise, when I loaded the page, appeared to be DIRTY HOSPITALS AND LONGER WAIT LISTS. But that turns out to be Michael Howard's dire prediction of life after a Labour re-election, not an actual Tory promise. Because if you're thinking what I'm thinking, dirty hospitals are pretty thinki.

Polls show Labour down to a three-point lead over the Tories. It is sporting of Howard to work so hard to let Blair break back out ahead.



From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3138

posted 05 April 2005 10:00 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just to set the record straight on who the Liberal Democrats are (it is a bit complex)

1. There has always been a Liberal Party in the UK, this was the party of Gladstone and of Lloyd George. The were the traditional party of the cities and of professionals etc... and before universal suffrage, they were the "leftwing" alternative to the Tories (the party of the insufferable aristocratic snobs). The Liberals were not able to appeal to the new urban proletariat and the newly formed Labour Party started to make major inroads.

2. After WW1, the Labour Party came in second to the Conservatives and the Liberals were crushed (reminiscent of how the NDP supplanted the Liberals in Manitoba and in BC in the 50s and 60s). There is a book called "The Strange Death of Liberal England" that explains how this happened.

3. For the next 50 years or so the Liberals stumbled along as a minute 3rd party usually winning 11-12% of the vote and with about a dozen seats and they mostly got votes in Celtic fringe areas of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. They were classic small "l" Liberals and in the cities and in southeast England they were the party you would vote for if you were a "progressive" professional type (ie: teachers, lawyers, nurses etc...) who wanted to "Save the Whales" and ban the bomb - but you couldn't bring yourself to vote Labour because it was so totally associated with unions and miners and factory workers. Every so often the Liberals would win a flash in the pan byelection in some hitherto safe Tory seat in the London suburbs...and then lose it in the following general election.

4. The Liberals are not unlike the NDP in Canada in terms of being the traditional protest party and having a lot of senior parliamentarians with unshakeable ethics.

5. In 1980, after Labour lost to Thatcher, a major split developed in the party as a bunch lunatic fringe leftists called the Militant Tendency started to take over the party (they would make the socialist caucus of the NDP look like Red Tories!). There were big splits over defence policy and nationalization of industry ertc... In 1981, four leading Labour front benchers ("The Gang of Four") including David Owen, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins and some other guy bolted to form a new party called the Social Democratic Party (SDP)

6. They formed an electoral pact with the Liberals so as not to split the centre-left vote. Als, like the Liberals in canada, their vote was too spread out to win a lot of seats so in 1983, Labour ran on an extremely leftwing platform (described at the time as "the longest suicide note in history"). Thatcher won in a landslide and labour was reduced to just 28% of the vote and 209 seats. The SDP/Liberal Alliance got 26% of the vote and just 28 seats!!! (As an aside, Tony Blair was elected in 1983 for Labour and remained loyal to Labour through this whole period)

7. The SDP/Liberal Alliance eventually morphed into the Liberal Democrats and some might wonder in what way they differ from just being "Liberals" if no SDP had ever been created. As we all know, the Militant Tendency lunatics in the Labour Party were eventually purged and under Kinnock, Smith and finally Blair - Labour moved to the centre (ie: back to where it was under Wilson and Callaghan) and won in 1997.

8. So, the great irony is that Labour today is more like the SDP than the Liberal Democrats are, and it could be argued that the Labour Party is now to the right of the LDs. However, Labour still hasd formal ties to the labour unions and still wins all the really working class seats up north etc... The LDs do well in Celtic areas that are NOT industrialized and in a smattering on Tory held seats.

9. Thanks to rampant strategic voting, the LDs are starting to win more and more Tory seats. In 1997 and in 2001, while Labour was winning across the country in a huge landslide - in seats where the LDs were the traditional opposition to the Tories, the Labour vote actually FELL as peoiple vote strategically for the LDs to defeat as many Tory MPs as possible.

So there you have the whole story.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3453

posted 05 April 2005 10:10 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
8. So, the great irony is that Labour today is more like the SDP than the Liberal Democrats are, and it could be argued that the Labour Party is now to the right of the LDs.
Yeah, gotta love the irony when a bunch of (relative) right-wingers left Labour, and now find themselves the left alternative to Labour.

Incidentally, John Cleese is an outspoken Lib Dem. He put out a great ad in the 80s explaining PR in 10 minutes.

For the record, my Labour history isn't amazing, but parallels between the Militant Tendency and the Socialist Caucus aren't perfect. For one thing, the MT wasn't absolutely marginal. ex. they had many caucus members (i think). Also, for all the talk of a 'lunatic fringe', it was Jenkins and *his* crew that split the party. (ps. Michael Foot wasn't a lunatic. Wasn't a great leader, but wasn't a lunatic)

Is RESPECT running candidates? Go Plaid Cymru!!!


From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
kyall glennie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3940

posted 06 April 2005 01:48 AM      Profile for kyall glennie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that Socialist International should reject the membership of the UK Labour party if they are unwilling to boot Blair.

After using the BBC's election guide to compare parties, it is clear Labour in the UK no longer wants to stand up for the working class.

They adamantly reject any notion they were wrong on Iraq, they can't wait to fully increase tuition fees to 3000 quid a year (that's more than $6000 CDN) and they are fervently pro-business with no ramifications for the working class.

If I lived in the United Kingdom, my picks would be the Liberal Democrats in England, Plaid Cymru in Wales and the Scottish Socialist Party in Scotland (although I do reject the notion of an independent republic of Scotland...)

A great guide can be found on BBC.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
kyall glennie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3940

posted 06 April 2005 01:53 AM      Profile for kyall glennie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
oh, and I did I forget to mention, Labour is in favour of civil unions and not same sex marriage? Talk about spineless.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4795

posted 06 April 2005 05:31 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Even more confounding are the gays and lesbians who continue to support Labour.
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1885

posted 06 April 2005 08:47 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sharon:

Briguy? Why have you chosen the Lib Dems?


Liberal Democrat webpage

Their policies are in alignment with my own. They criticise Labour for lacking a real plan to tackle climate change. They (eventually) want to eliminate tuition fees. They want to remove unfair residential fees from seniors requiring long-term care. They support improvements to public transport. Most importantly, they were critical of the Iraq debacle from day one.

If Labour turfed Tony Blair and made Robin Cook (or some other strong voice from that wing of the party) their leader, I would support Labour. I believe that there are a lot of true Labourites remaining within that party. But I cannot support the failed third way policies. Right now, supporting Labour gives tacit support to the third way types. Public services have gone off the tracks (pun intended) thanks to ill-conceived PPP implementation, at the behest of Tony Blair, under the third way.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 06 April 2005 09:12 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Great discussion -- thanks Screaming Lord (gosh, but I miss you) and Stockholm for the great historical summaries.

Gee, I agree with almost everything everyone has said here, with reservations, of course, about Stockholm's characterization of early '80s Labour as "lunatic."


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4795

posted 06 April 2005 09:22 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Me too. I wish SLB would come back... C'mon, SLB, what d'ya need with an actual life?! Come back to babble!
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
aka Mycroft
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6640

posted 06 April 2005 09:51 AM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:

5. In 1980, after Labour lost to Thatcher, a major split developed in the party as a bunch lunatic fringe leftists called the Militant Tendency started to take over the party (they would make the socialist caucus of the NDP look like Red Tories!). There were big splits over defence policy and nationalization of industry ertc... In 1981, four leading Labour front benchers ("The Gang of Four") including David Owen, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins and some other guy bolted to form a new party called the Social Democratic Party (SDP) .

Yes, and didn't serveral of the splitters latterly praise Blair (wouldn't that make Blairites and the splitters the "loony right" who advocated trashing Labour's political heritage and turning it into a Liberal party?


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
aka Mycroft
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6640

posted 06 April 2005 09:56 AM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kingblake:
Yeah, gotta love the irony when a bunch of (relative) right-wingers left Labour, and now find themselves the left alternative to Labour.

Incidentally, John Cleese is an outspoken Lib Dem. He put out a great ad in the 80s explaining PR in 10 minutes.

For the record, my Labour history isn't amazing, but parallels between the Militant Tendency and the Socialist Caucus aren't perfect. For one thing, the MT wasn't absolutely marginal. ex. they had many caucus members (i think). Also, for all the talk of a 'lunatic fringe', it was Jenkins and *his* crew that split the party. (ps. Michael Foot wasn't a lunatic. Wasn't a great leader, but wasn't a lunatic)

Is RESPECT running candidates? Go Plaid Cymru!!!


Militant had the support of two or three Labour MPs and it and its sympathisers controlled Liverpool city council for several years. Blaming Militant for Labour's defeats in the 1980s is absurd, if anyone is to blame it's the Gang of Four who bolted the party and formed the SDP and their sympathisers who remained within the Labour Party.

As for RESPECT, they don't have a lot of credibility. Galloway has taken some unpopular stands such as being anti-abortion and RESPECT refuses to take stands on issues such as abortion, gay rights and women's rights in general in a rather opportunistic attempt to appeal to religious Muslims. There is another left alliance running called the Socialist Green Unity Coalition BTW.


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
josh
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2938

posted 06 April 2005 10:04 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Briguy:
*cheering for the Lib Dems*

Agree. Labour deserves punishment for its failure to get rid of Blair and, by implication, its support for his neo-conservative foreign policy and neo-liberal domestic policy.


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3138

posted 06 April 2005 11:14 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
oh, and I did I forget to mention, Labour is in favour of civil unions and not same sex marriage? Talk about spineless.

I would not hold this against them. From talking to gay people in the UK and from what I have read, it is clear that we cannot project the current Canadian political debate onto the UK. The topic of debate in the UK is CIVIL UNIONS, the idea of same sex MARRIAGE is not even on the radar screen and none of the gay rights groups are even talking about it. To them, civil unions give them all that they want. As a matter of fact some British gay guys I have talked to cannot understand why we are making such a big deal about marriage in Canada when civil unions would give us all the same rights!!

Anyways, I'm sure they will get to marriage at some point in the UK, but for now, I don't think you can fault Labour for only going as far as to bring in civil unions, when no one in the gay community is pressuring them to go any further than that.

Similarly, I would not condemn a Democrat running in Texas for "only" backing civil unions and not going for marriage.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3138

posted 06 April 2005 11:18 AM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think that Socialist International should reject the membership of the UK Labour party if they are unwilling to boot Blair.

If the SI starts to expel members for not being "pure" enough, then all of the following parties will also have to be expelled:

Australian Labour party (against gay marriage and support draconian anti-immigrant policies and also cracked down on labour when in power)
New Zealand Labour Party (they were the original neo-cons in the early 90s)
German Social Democrats (Schroeder seems to be rolling back the welfare state and impose wage cuts on the civil service)
Chilean Socialists (they support NAFTA)

and this is just the beginning...who woudl be left in the organziation?


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4717

posted 07 April 2005 03:37 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks, Skdadl and Heph - sadly the internet is pretty filtered at work, and I'm pretty busy at home, so net time is at a premium - hopefully I'll have more time in summer.

As far as the NZ Labour Party go, Stockholm hasn't got it quite right - what happened was this.

In 1984, a clearly drunk NZ PM (and leader of the National Party - Tories, basically) Robert Muldoon called a snap election, months before the expected date. This left NZ Labour without much of a platform - a nasty void to have when victorious in an election, which allowed Finance Minister Roger Douglas to implement a series of monetarist and Thatcherite moves which introduced a strongly free market system in NZ.
Douglas (and his henchman Prebble) got away with this because much of the Labour caucus was socially aware but economically illiterate. Eventually, Labour PM David Lange, who had made great strides towards a nuclear-free Pacific and was geniunely a decent, left-of-centre politician (his great failing was his inability to control the Douglasite faction) confronted Douglas, leading to both their downfalls and the loss of the 1990 election to National.
Since then, NZ Labour has returned to a somewhere left-of-centre position, and Douglas's followers have formed their own party, the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers (ACT). Another party which formed due to this political earthquake was Jim Anderton's Progressives, the NZ equivalent of the NDP.
I would say that, while NZ Labour was horrible economically, the social, environmental and anti-nuclear record of the Lange government is geniunely admirable.


From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4795

posted 07 April 2005 03:40 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
YAY!!!

*happy snoopy dance!*

SLB is back! (You know you'll never stay away, boyo!)


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
NDP Newbie
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5089

posted 07 April 2005 03:43 PM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kyall glennie:
I think that Socialist International should reject the membership of the UK Labour party if they are unwilling to boot Blair.

After using the BBC's election guide to compare parties, it is clear Labour in the UK no longer wants to stand up for the working class.

They adamantly reject any notion they were wrong on Iraq, they can't wait to fully increase tuition fees to 3000 quid a year (that's more than $6000 CDN) and they are fervently pro-business with no ramifications for the working class.

If I lived in the United Kingdom, my picks would be the Liberal Democrats in England, Plaid Cymru in Wales and the Scottish Socialist Party in Scotland (although I do reject the notion of an independent republic of Scotland...)

A great guide can be found on BBC.


The "Socialist" International is a joke.

Any organisation that includes anti-Chavez parties in Venezuela, New Labour, the Aussie Labour Party, and (most offensively of all) Mexico's Institutional "Revolutionary" Party could more accurately be called the Fascist International. Make common cause with the GOP, our Tories, the Kuomintang, and the Aussie Libs.


From: Cornwall, ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
faith
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4348

posted 07 April 2005 06:13 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have enjoyed reading all of the informed posts and taking in all of the relevant background provided.
I remember reading about a by -election awhile ago in England that was won by a social democrat, a young woman if I remember correctly( my memory is so dim). The winning of that seat seemed to be viewed as a bit of a breakthrough .Could the centre vote and centre right vote of the Tories and New Labour split enough of the electorate between them to allow the social democrats to come up the middle?

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Screaming Lord Byron
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4717

posted 07 April 2005 06:54 PM      Profile for Screaming Lord Byron     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sarah Teather, Brent East - all 4ft 10 of her.

I'm not sure I'd call the LibDems social democrats though - Kennedy is, perhaps - he certainly was a member of the SDP, but really they are social liberals with some progressive economic policies.
As far as a breakthrough goes, this (sadly) argues against it.

UK 1983 General Election results
Conservatives 42.43% 397 seats
Labour 27.57% 209 seats
Liberal/SDP Alliance 25.37% 23 seats

This is probably the worst example of the inequities of First Past the Post out there - 25% of the votes and less than 4% of the seats, and this is the problem the LibDems face - if they are to establish themselves as a real force challenging for government, they must reach 30% of the vote (today, they're around 21%) - which means overtaking one of the big two parties.
Sadly, the LibDems will not likely come out of this election with more than 60 seats (out of 646).


From: Calgary | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Doug
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 44

posted 07 April 2005 07:30 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Screaming Lord Byron:
I'm not sure I'd call the LibDems social democrats though - Kennedy is, perhaps - he certainly was a member of the SDP, but really they are social liberals with some progressive economic policies.

Which makes them a hell of a lot closer to social democrats than New Labour is now. I'm continually shocked that Labour Party members, and especially the trade unions, continue to put up with this nonsense.


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca