Thursday, June 10, 2004

exit poll...

Up early this morning to walk through the drizzle up to St. Marks church to vote. Funny to think that I only ever set foot in a church for two reasons; because I am on holiday (I always want to visit churches when I am away from home) or to vote. This morning the church hall was quiet (voter apathy or too early?) - the returning officer, looking bleary-eyed and shuddering out of semi-sleep, seeming rather surprised to see such early attendees. Voting still gives me, despite it all, the same peculiar mixture of pleasure and pride.

For those who have not yet exercised your democratic right, and - like me - found it very difficult to decide whom to vote for, the web throws up some useful links. Several sites, as Andrew has noted, make some effort to create interactive quizzes with the aim of attempting to pinpoint which party best represents the views of the voter. Sadly, I was unable to find anything which did so for the British electoral system, and it seems to me to be a resource which is badly needed. Elsewhere, one can encounter quizzes from Holland (the best and most detailed I encountered), Canada (of interest but less relevent) and the US (whose The World's Smallest Political Quiz is a model of economy, and the one that got the ball rolling).

The Guardian has attempted to confront the problem of voting Labour (or not wanting to vote Labour) in this election. If you can't vote Labour, who can you vote for? presents a variety of answers to the question with contributions from (amongst others)Michael Frayn, John Pilger and (talking rubbish) Tony Benn.

The Independent takes a more agressive stance than the Guardian, leading with "Mr Blair should suffer the electoral consequences of his calamitous war". Unfortunately (and ridiculously) I can't access this online without paying for it, so you'll have to read it in the newsagents during your lunch hour if you want that one :-)

Back in the Guardian, Polly Toynbee's article, Would-be protest voters need to get a grip on reality offers, as one would expect of a writer of her brilliance, a sensible and insightful argument for voting Labour today. For anyone undecided about which way to go it's essential reading - even if, in the end, I did not follow her advice.

Happy voting.


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