Vote for Policies
Came across this interesting programme yesterday through Richard Hall's "Connexions" blog, which has posted some great little titbits recently. It allows you to do a "blind tasting" of the policies of the "6 main UK Parties". I spent my lunch hour looking at the whole gamut of policies, and my results can be found, here... I seem to be 50/50 Green/LibDem, which is a little surprising to me. The Greens seem to be winning out overall, which may say more about the cross-section of people doing the survey than it does about the election, while in real life the LibDems are still buoyed up by their leader's performance last Thursday... We'll see if that holds up after the other 2 come gunning for him this week.
The main areas where I had difficulty in choosing were under the Health Service and Welfare, which, as a traditional leftie you would think would be cut and dried for me... I went back and checked out what my alternative choice might have been in both. I found that I might perhaps have opted for the LibDem option for welfare (my main reservation with the Labour policy was that it smacks too much of "bread and circuses" - lots of spending and little mention of where the money is coming from). But what was more worrying was that I discovered that I might well have opted for the Tory policy regarding the health service... Had to go and lie down in a darkened room after that.
Actually I had to offer a fraudulent postal code to complete the survey, as a BT5 code (Northern Ireland) sent the system into meltdown... So I had to substitute a family member's English code instead. And thereby hangs one of the major problems with this from my perspective, and indeed one of the main problems with the General Election in this part of the world... We don't really get a chance to vote on the policies or parties who will shape the direction of government policy here in Northern Ireland, rather, as David Stevens pointed out yesterday, we just get the same old tired sectarian divisions. However, given a hung parliament the support of Northern Irish parties may be crucial when it comes to forming a government this time around... cue local parties getting the begging bowl out again.
So, I would be interested to see if anyone has the time or inclination to do this on a Northern Ireland basis...