Well I got to vote in my first British election today. I wasn't enrolled for any of the previous ones. Yes, pommies, we colonials are allowed vote in your elections, but you can't vote in ours when you live there. Sucky huh? I say no taxation without representation!
Anyway, I really dislike the first-past-the-post way they run these elections. You can only select a single candidate to support, which means if they're not one of the top two your vote is worthless. How annoying. In Australia you order the candidates in preferential order and your vote keeps getting transferred until it gets to a candidate where it counts for something. That way you can still put the Tories (called "Liberals" in Australia, just to match the whole water-down-plughole backwardness) last but give the Greens your first vote. Actually you'd probably want to put One Notion last, if only for having a site that could have come straight from 1994.
So I ended up voting for Sarah Teather of the Liberal Democrats as a tactical vote. Blair really needs a kick in the plums, and losing a safe seat like Brent East is probably the only wakeup call the spin-driven idiots at Labour central office understand.
Sarah seems like your average school-debater-come-politician wet chardonnay leftie, and though undoubtledy lovely she just doesn't seem to have the fire in the belly I want in a politician. The whiny electoral advertisements coming through the door have been pretty tedious. No, Sarah, I don't think our lousy street sweeping service in Brent is a big enough issue for central government to be worrying about. The Lib Dems have great policies and are set to become the opposition in this country, but do they have to be so damn dull and sensible? Why not point out how Blair lied to the country?
So, all in all, a rather unsatisfying brush with democracy, but I hope Sarah wins.