Here in the UK we are in the run up to the General Election, where we the British public get to vote in a whole new Government. Except, it doesn’t quite work that way.
I am not going to go into the ins and outs of our election system, but it is first past the post. It’s not good.
Since I have been old enough to I have voted, but this year I feel more fired up than usual. I am not sure why – I think it’s because so much of it makes me angry. If you follow British politics you will know that the year has been a complete farce – expenses, economy and lastly the digital economy bill. If you haven’t heard of you it you can look here for more here. From the Open Rights Group:
Consumers and companies (including Google, Facebook and Internet Service Providers themselves) alike are up in arms about the Bill, which proposes that an Internet connection could be cut off if there is suspicion that it is being used for the downloading of copyrighted content. This is very disturbing:
- Although proof is required before disconnection, the evidence does not have to relate to you: you can be punished for the actions of a friend or even a neighbour who has used your Internet connection.
- Rights holders could have the power to demand that sites they believe to contravene copyright law be blocked by ISPs. Right now, we don’t know what the government will propose, as they have yet to draft their new proposal
- As it is not the perpetrator that is punished, as you might expect, but the owner of the connection, and others using it, cafés and bars may have to stop providing wifi.
It is horrible and the way it got rushed through the process? Even worse – the country watched as it all went to hell – you can read updates from the Guardian on it here.
The whole farce has made me start twittering (@DarkPurpleMoon)- you can see my comments on the right hand side. I have written to three candidates in my area to see what their response was, although for my current MP (a labour supporter) I could see that he voted positively for it. So I asked how he thought his stance was supporting the people he represented?
My local Lib Dem supporter Carys Davis responded very positively to my email and said she and her party will fight against it. We have had an email discussion and she has offered to come and see me to discuss my thoughts. Wow, a Politian, engaging with the voter. My gods its amazing! Combined with that and the very cool tool which is Vote for Policies which allows you to see which party you most agree with I think my vote maybe heading in this direction. They seem to talk sense about a whole range of issues. However it is not guaranteed as yet and I may yet be swayed, however talking to me and engaging with me is a good place to start.
Politics is a tricky thing, and I never really have an open conversation with people about it like this. This blog has really changed me from an intensely private person to one who shares personal thoughts with the world (even if it is to a small readership). My other half and I have to agree to disagree on politics as we come from very different viewpoints on the whole thing and so it is strange to put these ideas ‘out there’ as it were.
I think most of my readers are abroad – what are your views on the Digital Economy Bill (#debill) and British politics? UK people what’s your thinking at the moment?