The Kewl Doodz 'n' Chyx

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Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Voting profiles of the new Cabinet

Posted by Martin Poulter on 14 May 2010

Via TheyWorkForYou, a summary of the voting records of the top people in our new Government:

BBC News has more biographical details of these people.

Previously on KDnC: see how the House of Commons has voted on your top priority issues.

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Before the election, do your homework

Posted by Martin Poulter on 3 May 2010

There will always be people who base their vote on which candidate has the shiniest teeth, or on how their newspaper tells them to. I hope you, fellow voter, are less superficial. Probably the least superficial thing you could do in advance of Thursday’s UK General Election is this:

Go to Public Whip and see how each party’s MPs vote on the issues that matter to you.  Manifesto promises are easily broken, and presidential-style debates are irrelevant when we’re electing not a president but a legislative body. The voting record shows what the parties really work for, and Public Whip’s hard work makes it visible at a glance.

Some votes to take a look at:

My personal reaction is that, of the three main parties

  • one almost always votes the way I would if I were an MP,
  • another seems to be disastrously old-fashioned and authoritarian
  • the third  is very divided, with a lot of rebels who I agree with more often than the rest of the party, but again, they’ve backed some disastrous decisions.

If you want to look at the voting record of a particular MP, go instead to TheyWorkForYou.

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Skeptical Voter

Posted by Martin Poulter on 18 April 2010

This interesting wiki-based project doesn’t “rate” politicians, but simply lists their positions on various science-related topics and lets the reader decide whether and how that should affect their voting intentions. Like all wikis, it’s a work in progress. Pretty much the ideal candidate from a skeptical perspective is Dr Evan Harris (Lib Dem, Oxford West & Abingdon). Probably the worst, in the sense of wilful scientific illiteracy, is David Tredinnick (Conservative, Bosworth). The thought of Peter Lilley (Conservative, Hitchin & Harpenden) getting back in is horrifying as well, not to mention the anti-science party policies of  UKIP.

I’d be interested to hear about other projects looking at the candidates from different perspectives. My Gay Vote is a related project, though it summarises historical voting patterns rather than looking at specific candidates’ opinions.

A postscript, June 2010: tragically for science and rational thought, Evan Harris lost his seat by a narrow margin. David Tredinnick is now a member of the health select committee.

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Barack Obama Wins: The Insanity is Over!

Posted by Martin Poulter on 6 November 2008

The world celebrates as an academic defeats the forces of anti-intellectualism and wins more votes than any US president in history. Tuesday was emotional- I was close to tears several times, and have to pay tribute to the crowd at the Cube Cinema for partying in the early hours. The drama is recorded for posterity – from first results to the morning after – in this long MetaFilter thread.

FiveThirtyEight.com‘s election predictions were surprisingly accurate – chalk one up to the appliance of science. I want to especially congratulate the DailyKos online community for their amazing stories of dedication to the cause, day by day for years. If only British politics were half this interesting!

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