I have been very consciously trying to balance the content of this blog recently, because I know I have readers who come here for a variety of different things – some of you like Doctor Who, others my music posts, others the comic posts, others my views on politics or science, and so on.
But with what may be the most important general election of my lifetime going on, it’s hard to do that. And on Thursday I got an email from a comic blogger I respect (won’t say who, as it was a private email) saying (in part) ” fuck keeping the blog balanced or politics free – I want to know what you’re thinking about all this,… Your blog will still be a great music/comics/who blog once the election dust has settled – in the meantime, why not kick up a storm with the politics side of it, because I for one would love to hear what you’re thinking.”
And a couple of other comics bloggers since then have echoed that so, with apologies to everyone who isn’t interested, this is going to be a politics-dominated blog until at least May 7th. (Though there will still be posts on whatever comes into my head).
To begin with, today and tomorrow I’m going to do two “Beginners’ Guide To The Election” posts. These will partly be to explain our system to my foreign readers, but mostly to explain for British people. In the last *week* alone, I’ve had to explain our voting system three times – once to a couple of people at work, once to my sister, and (and this was the thing that made me decide to write these posts) on Thursday to the person sat in front of me at a gig. My sister and I were at Rufus Wainwright’s gig at the Apollo, and I was explaining the voting system to her, and the person in front of me turned round towards the end and asked me to repeat the explanation, as she’d never understood what a hung parliament was properly, and the asked many more *basic* questions.
None of these people were unintelligent, and none seemed particularly ill-informed by general standards, but they’d never been exposed to anything telling them the basic rules by which our ‘democracy’ works, and didn’t even know where to look.
So today I’m going to do A Beginners’ Guide To The Election Part 1 – Our Voting System, and tomorrow I’m going to do A Beginners’ Guide To The Election Part 2 – A Guide To The Parties. These will establish a common basis for discussions on this blog for a couple of weeks, but I hope they’ll be useful for anyone wondering “what *IS* First Past The Post?” or “What *do* Racist UKIP stand for?” Please feel free to link them to anyone you think might be intersted, and I’d be delighted if lurkers asked questions.