Ideas & Discussion

First-past-the-post is no longer fit for purpose

Earlier this month, a group of Labour and Green supporters launched www.voteswap.org. This website operates a system in which Labour voters and Green voters ‘swap’ votes to their mutual advantage. Green voters pledge to vote Labour in seats that can win; in return, Labour voters pledge to vote Green in seats that Labour can’t win. Labour supporters living in unwinnable or safe seats have the opportunity to transfer their vote to a marginal seat, where they are more likely to influence the outcome. Conversely, Green supporters have the opportunity to ensure that the Green national vote share is as high as possible, while working towards the toppling of the current Coalition Government. For Labour and Green supporters, everyone wins. (Read More)

'Scottish Parliament' / Andrew Cowan / CC
Scotland

An intriguing contest: West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

Situated in the North East of Scotland, surrounded by spectacular forests and stunning Lochs, it provides a home to exquisite castles including the royal favourite of Balmoral. It stretches all the way to The Cairngorms National Park in the shadow of the picturesque mountains. No, this is not a tourism pitch; this is my local Westminster constituency. (Read More)

'Scottish Parliament' / Andrew Cowan / CC
Scotland

A golden age for Scottish politics

This is a golden age for Scottish politics. No, don’t close this page and go back to Twitter just yet. It really is. The referendum was an extraordinary democratic event, which engaged — and expanded — the electorate like never before, and we’re still feeling some of that being reflected in the way that the General Election is being approached. Many of the campaign groups that emerged to fight the referendum have turned their attention to this new battle, and new groups specific to the election — not least those interested in grassroots tactical voting — are starting to come to the fore. (Read More)

'Scottish Parliament' / Andrew Cowan / CC
Politics & Society

Let the SNP govern the UK, it will expose how incompetent they really are

Collective amnesia governs instead of the SNP in Scotland. Local councils have been stripped of their budgets, the NHS endures a roller coaster of budget cuts, disastrous waiting times and a shortage of nurses. Education has been mismanaged and colleges closed, despite promises not to, and dissenting voices across the political spectrum are treated as somehow unpatriotic by representatives and supporters alike, particularly on social media. (Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
UK

Why are we not talking about drugs this election?

Jamaica has set the wheels in motion to bring about the legalisation of the medical marijuana industry. The move is yet another change in the direction of global drug policy that raises the question, in the run up to the 2015 General Election, of why we aren’t discussing legalisation at home. (Read More)

Photograph: 'Westminster Palace' / Pexels
UK

Is British politics in crisis?

British politics entered 2015 battered and bruised. With only a few months until the General Election, it is widely acknowledged that nobody really knows what to expect. What is certain is that democracy in the UK is entering into a period of crisis. It is a crisis that can be viewed from two perspectives – those on the outside of the political bubble and those on the inside. (Read More)

'Talks & Events' / CC
Politics & Society

How the TV debates can avoid watering down policy issues

With some surprise and excitement 2010 saw the first of three American style leadership debates for the General Election. The 2015 General Election will see debates return, but this time with a plurality of parties represented to offset criticism that smaller political parties that have the same right to be held.

But will the inclusion of so many voices drown, coupled with the need to get through an agenda of policy items, drown out the issues that really need to be discussed? (Read More)

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon TV interview / Scottish Government / CC
Scotland

Will Scotland prove to be the Kingmaker?

In little over 4 months, Britain will go to the polls in the most eagerly anticipated General Election in recent memory. As margins go it will be a tightly run. Every single seat will count; incumbents of previously ‘safe’ seats will be looking over their shoulders nervously. Nowhere more so than Scotland, where the stakes are incredibly high as the result may well determine the makeup of the next UK Government. (Read More)