Friday, May 7, 2010

British election

I am watching the British election on Skynews. The final results are not in yet but it is clear that all the excitement about the "liberal democrats" (imagine separating out the subset of the US democrats with degrees in sociology or political science and giving them their own party) is not playing out at the ballot box.

Other bits: the CURE party has not won any seats but has gotten non-trivial numbers of votes in some places - ahead of many of the serious minor parties. This party illustrates something that we generally miss in the US due to (appallingly) restrictive ballot access laws. Looking up the CURE website reminded me of the OWL party in Washington State, which put enormously funny bits into Washington's voter's guide when I was in high school. What we generally miss are humorous parties designed to have a bit of fun at the expense of overly serious politicians.

The way they do the counting of votes in the UK is that each district counts its votes and then announces the total, and the nice Skynews people seem to have reporters at nearly all of them, and to broadcast many of them. This has a certain charm, as it means one gets to watch the local luminaries who do the announcing as well as even watching shots of the counting of the votes. Watching the luminaries read out the votes for the CURE party while maintaining a straight face is particularly good fun.

Also, the media do a better job of matching colors to parties in the UK. The labor party is red and the tories are blue.

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