Saturday, 21 March 2015

in which i try using the internet to work out 'who should you vote for?'

Instead of just throwing a knife at a target, I thought I'd try the who should you vote for? quiz, to see what it thought my vote should be in the upcoming election.

I expect I'll try it again in a couple of weeks because there were a few questions where I didn't really have a strong opinion, which might dilute the result.

Then I decided to look up the candidates for around here. A curious mix in this curiously 'C' shaped constituency.

The prior MP is standing down, and so we have a new entrant as inevitable successor.

The new person will win simply because they belong to the party which has a huge majority around here. More votes than all of the other candidates' votes combined.

I googled the official party web site where there was a recent picture of the new candidate and a small amount of text, combined with three central party office questions. I suppose this constitutes the nearest thing to a platform for this follower of the line. Not my cup of tea, but my vote won't really affect things.

The candidate from the conventional opposition to the likely winner didn't have a declared email address or picture on theyour next MP web site. I soon found it though, when I looked at this 26 year old's impressive LinkedIn web site entry.

This competitor probably didn't have time to add the information. A still-in-twenties candidate who has already had 29 different job roles, mostly as advisor. It includes supporting the last Obama campaign in the USA. More than a dozen International Awards, and active support for more than 15 causes, including cheering the London Olympics bid to victory in Singapore, supporting Sochi on the ground and planning to visit Rio to support the Olympics there.

I think this candidate still lives in another area around 50-60 miles away and may not have quite such comprehensive knowledge of this constituency's environment. Perhaps scaling back on some of the wide-ranging activities (like being a Managing Director) could help?

A more likely competitor to the one that will actually win gets around a quarter of the votes around here. They don't have a picture on 'your next MP' website nor on their own party web-site. Actually, the whole constituency had been left out of the front page 'meet the faces' section of the Party web-site. Maybe I'll call this candidate's mobile (the number I found easily enough) to let him know his own Party are hiding him.

Next up, and with a picture, is the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, although I notice it's billed as simply 'Loony' on the candidate list. Their Manicfesto is as bonkers as usual and I notice their results don't get listed in the final mix. As they say, they are loonies, not nutters.

That brings me to the final candidate, a local lad and friend of Farage, seen together in chummy and suited photos in grandiose once-tobacco-stained lounges and smiling. This man is clearly a self-starter having set up his own branch of the party before selecting himself as the candidate.

So what to make of it all?

Firstly, I doubt if many people do what I just did and trawl through the candidates. Based upon the paltry information gleaned, I can see why.

Some people I ask don't actually know the name of the incumbent MP for this area. Most probably don't know who the candidates are, where they live or what they represent beyond the big ticket top 2-3 ideas punted onto television.

Presumably we'll still get the slips of paper through the door when it all kicks off properly.

I guess it can still come down to that moment with a pencil in the booth, trying to find something recognisable to put a cross against.

Against my preferences, it seems to be coming down to a 'least worst' over a 'none of the above vote' at the moment.

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