I’m Back!!

Miss me? 🙂

I have been offline because I went on Vacation. But I wasn’t going to announce that to the world. “Hey! my house is empty for the next 5 days!”.

I don’t think so.

But where was I?

Here’s a clue…and no this is not me in the photo…

Getting there was insane. I left last Wednesday at 9:30am then arrived at 7:40am Thursday at Heathrow. Then I had to stay up all day because if I didn’t going to bed at the hotel would have ruined the whole day.

I stayed at a hotel that was a 7 minute walk from here.

Why did I go?

What else, Doctor Who!!

The “Doctor Who Experience” to be precise.

An Exhibition with a 10 minute interactive hands-on “experience”.

Yeah, like I was going to miss this!!

But in perfect Murphy Gods fashion my car decided to have a catastrophic failure on the Monday beforehand, just to make my bank account smaller. 😦

But now I’m home and it’s time to get back to reality.

But what really got me was when I was picked by the Hotel Bus at Heathrow the driver had a talk show on the radio and it was all about immigration and if you are against immigration controls you’re somehow a racist.

I was floored, I thought I was back home here in Arizona.

As the driver dropped off other people this show went on for about an hour.

It was fascinating because a lot of the callers and the discussion ended up sounding a lot like here. It was amazing.

But the main difference was that Prime Minister David Cameron was the one proposing the restrictions!

I didn’t spend a great deal of time in my hotel room as could be expected but the other issue I kept hearing about is a referendum being held on May 5th called the Alternative Vote Referendum.

The Prime Minister and the Liberal Democrats (not like our Liberal Democrats by the way, more a quasi mish-mash of republican/democrats with a eurpeon liberal spin and closer to the Democrats of old) are against it.

The outright not-hiding-behind-cutesy-slogans Socialists in the Labour Party (think modern Democrats) are for it.

That automatically makes me suspicious.

Especially when the parties then have allies on the other side of the political aisle and start a war of words.

Apparently was it is, that the proposal has been made to do away with “first past the post” voting. That’s what virtually every country in the world use.

Australia is the only major democracy to use the same type of AV system as the one being proposed for the UK, but voting is compulsory there. Papua New Guinea and Fiji also use AV – but most Western democracies use a version of first-past-the-post in national elections. AV is often used for internal party elections. (BBC)

The AV system asks voters to rank candidates in order of preference. People can nominate as many preferences as they like. Only first preference votes are counted initially. Anyone getting more than 50% of these is elected automatically. If that doesn’t happen, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their second choices allocated to the remaining candidates in a second round of counting. If one candidate then has more than 50% of the votes in this round they are elected. If not, the remaining candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their second preferences (or third preferences if they were the second choice of someone who voted for the first candidate to be eliminated) reallocated. This continues until one candidate has 50% or more of the vote in that round of counting.

The Alternate version is the lowest person is eliminated until someone with 50% is elected.

Much like “Pop Idol” (the progenitor of “American Idol”).

Naturally, there’s lots of spin and the socialists are calling the other side liars and “protectors of the status quo”

Sound familiar?? 🙂

“The No campaign want to make Nick Clegg the poster boy for this campaign, and what I’m saying is, ‘Don’t make this a referendum on David Cameron or Nick Clegg or Ed Miliband – make it a referendum about what kind of politics we want in this country.'”–Labour Leader Ed Milibrand

It’s not about me- it’s about Hope and Change? A NEW TONE, if you will. 🙂

Mr Cameron said one of his biggest objections to the alternative-vote (AV) system was that it would result in more coalition governments, and despite the current one being necessary “at a time of national need”, that would tend to reduce political accountability.

“I can absolutely put my hand on my heart and say in preparing our manifesto we really did go through every pledge and thought, ‘We could be accountable for this. We aim to have, and believe we can have, a single party government so don’t put anything in your manifesto you don’t believe you can deliver,'” he said.

If you move to a system where coalitions become the norm rather than the exception I think you might find politicians start being very casual about what they put in their manifesto because you can put in policies that you know you can get rid of as you form a coalition.”– Prime Minister David Cameron

Or if you’re Barack Obama, you make promises, don’t keep them, or never intended to, but then just blame someone else for it!

So you can saw any old damn thing you want that wins the popularity contest and then can do any old damn thing they want. (Sounds familiar?)

The Conservatives agreed to the referendum as part of the coalition deal, which also allows both parties to campaign on opposing sides – but have insisted that the coalition will continue whatever the result.

Labour is split over AV – Mr Miliband is campaigning to change the system but other senior Labour figures, including former deputy PM Lord Prescott, want to keep first-past-the-post.

Under the first-past-the-post system voters put a cross next to their preferred candidate while with AV voters rank candidates in order of preference.

These preferences could be used to decide the outcome in places where no candidate wins more than 50% of votes cast.

Conservatives (“Tories”): They believe first-past-the-post is a tried and tested system which generally provides stable government and maintains the direct link between an MP and their constituency.

Labour: The party flirted with voting reform as an issue before coming to power in 1997, asking the late Lord Jenkins to head a review into the subject.

But his conclusions in 1998 were largely ignored and critics say Labour only returned to the issue when the party looked set to leave power.

Ala Democrats 2003-2008 anyone??

The Lib Dems are pushing strongly for a yes vote, having launched their own pro-change “fair votes” campaign at their party conference in September.(BBC)

Beware of a politician calling something “fair”.

And when reading about the other parties and a lot of them are for it and mention “fairness” I get very, very cynical.

Would I want that here?

No.

I agree with Prime Minister Cameron when he calls passing the referendum the end of one man one vote and that is bad idea.

And coalitions aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Look at the “compromises” the Republicans keep doing with the Democrats… 😦

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