Envie d'un snog?

Election

It's been interesting, this election. I'm not surprised at the impact that the debates have had, or that Nick Clegg has made a bit of an impact now he is actually getting airtime on an equal footing. I have been surprised at how comfortable Gordon Brown looks in the debates, and astonished at how rubbish David Cameron has been. Whatever one thinks of his politics, it would surely be expected for his education to have prepared him for this sort of thing? Apparently not. The description by a debate analyst (i.e. someone who assesses debates in general) last night of Cameron remaining becalmed seems spot on. It was striking that the only people who have tried to claim Cameron did well were YouGov in a poll for the Sun and Sky, neither of which are disinterested parties. (loveandgarbage has an interesting post on the first debate showing Sky's initial claims and rapid backpedalling.)

A couple of months ago, thinking about the looming election, I was in a quandary. Labour's period in office hasn't made me enamoured of them, what with their illegal war and their propensity to jump straight to making draconian laws at the slightest excuse, not to mention the ID card business... No, not enthusiastic about their re-election at all. Their recent discovery of something like enthusiasm for some electoral reform is a good thing, if a cynical one under the circumstances. The Tories, though... OK, they would scrap the ID scheme, which is a good thing. That apart, they would be catastrophically bad. And, to focus on just one thing, I really don't want that bunch getting their hands on the BBC. I did think that the best outcome I could envisage would be a hung parliament which would force some inter-party cooperation, moderate the bad policies of the main parties, and hopefully lead to at least some level of electoral reform so that future elections would better reflect the views of the electorate. (The results of first past the post are outrageously undemocratic — see this illustration of how seats might be distributed should the three main parties each take 30% of the vote.) This is now looking a lot more likely, I'm pleased to see. And if you'd like to see a hung parliament, here's a guide on how to vote to achieve it.