Confused By Elections

You’ll recall that I blogged recently about a burst of political activity in Ealing, where I live, because our previous Labour MP passed away.

The political intrigue, while perhaps on a small scale, is heating up. Labour has selected a candidate who, if he wins, will be the eldest MP ever elected. Immediately after his announcement, five councillors defected to the Conservative party. A couple of the people who were standing as independents are now saying they want their supporters to vote for other parties (but it’s too late for them to come off the ballot).

There are several blogs about the by-election, some of which are linked in comments on my previous posts. If you really care, the Wikipedia page on the by-election is a pretty good summary of how we got here and who’s standing.  There are some interesting parties (you can find out more about each at the Wikipedia link):

  • Monster Raving Loony – their candidate visited me. They stand for raving loonyism. And getting out of Iraq, I think.
  • English Democrats – they want a devolved English parliament, like the Scots do
  • Respect – focus on anti-Iraq conflict and anti-privitisation
  • Green – focus no the environment
  • Christian Party – pro-life, anti-gay
  • UK Independence – anti-EU involvement

Of the three larger parties, the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives seem to be focusing on the same things: keeping the streets cleaner,  more law and order, and no west London tram. The Lib Dem seems to have the most info on his web page (and he’s the one who commented on my blog, and who has a Facebook entry, oooh). The Conservative doesn’t have much on policy that I can see. The Labour site for Ealing has nothing at all that I can find.

I find Ealing streets plenty clean. I don’t think the area is crime-ridden or needs more ASBOs. And I rather like the idea of a tram: I’ve seen this work really well in lots of other cities around the world. But I’m going to have to do a lot more thinking about this one.

We got our voting cards yesterday. The vote is on July 19th. I hope it’s an interesting election.