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Ralph Nimmann Home


Opinion & Comments on current issues
on R a i n b o w Network Cambridge

Last updated on Wednesday 7th May 2010
Below on this page:
  • Hopes for a hung parliament (25 April 2010)
  • Change the Voting System! (2 May 2005)
  • Cambridge is a 2 horse race - and Tony Juniper leads the poll (5th May 2010)
  • Cambridge votes Green - and the Cambridge Evening News try to hide it! (27 April 2010)
  • Election LINKS

    If you like to link to this page, please use www.rainbow-cambridge.org.uk/opinion/election.htm

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    Britain before the election:
    Hopes for a hung parliament written 25th April 2010 - updated 27th Apr.

    I believe, that politics spoil one's character. Therefore I agree with the Conservative Party, that we need a change - enough of Labour!
    I agree with Labour, that voting for the Tories is not a good idea.
    So the Liberal Democrats seems to be the best option - they have a good programme, best of all: the reform of the electoral system in Britain.
    But my heart and mind are deeply green...

    The phrase "hung parliament" makes me think of medieval gallows and revolutionary upheaval, where the wrath of the people might lead to the parliamentarians being executed. Of course, we don’t want that! I don’t know, who coined that phrase, but it somehow smacks of failure and defeat, to say the least.

    A hung parliament is one in which no political party has an outright majority of seats. This situation is normal in many legislatures with proportional representation (like Germany). In the United Kingdom, a hung parliament is a rarity – that’s probably why many seem to be scared of it.

    For various reasons I am hoping for a “hung” parliament in Britain in May 21010:

  • Established parties tend to get glued to their seat of power and cling on to it. It’s like the ring of power in “Lord of the Rings”: people are fighting for it, and want to put it on to have more power – but actually they are the ones who get into the grip of the power of ring.

  • A “hung” parliament would force the parties to co-operate, to form coalitions and to talk with each other. Isn’t that what we need?

  • If we get a “hung” parliament this May, chances are high, that the Liberal Democrats will become part of the next Government. And one of the main issues they want to do is to introduce a proportional election system (like in Germany), where every party (above 5% e.g.) would get seats in the parliamant.

  • I am a supporter and member of the Green Party. It is obvious, that the main key to the Green Party getting seats in the Houses of Parliament is in the hands of the Liberal Democrats.

    In the light of one of the recent opinion polls re. elections on 6th of May 2010, where the Liberal Democrats are in a leading position, my commentary 5 years ago (see below) has suddenly gained actuality again. What has been a vision then seems now to be a realistic perspective. And my made up example seems to become real...

    Once we’d have a proportional election system, voters would vote for the party they really favour (and not for any lesser evil, because their party might not have any chance for a seat). People living in Constituencies with a current one party dominance don’t need to despair any more; they might feel motivated to get involved in politics again, which means, our society will become more integrated. The Green Party would easily get seats in the Parliament and in City and County Councils, and Britain would catch up with our European neighbours and become more environmentally friendly.

    Generally politics would become so much more interesting!

    Ralph, 25th April 2010
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  • Change the Voting System! Comment & reflections about the national election on 5 May 2005

    by Ralph Nimmann, 2nd May 2005

    Compared with the election system in Germany, the British system is quite old fashioned and makes people vote for parties they don't really want just for strategic reasons. All small parties have no chance to get a voice in parliament.
    A realistic example:
    party A gets 34% of the votes, party B and C get 33% each. As a result A will get 100% and B & C (=66%) get nothing.
    Is that fair or democratic?

    So all parties (except the strongest one) get nothing - or the votes are "lost".
    The only party who is in position to change this and has an electoral reform in their manifesto are the Liberal Democrats.
    If voters and politicians would for once think for a longer term than for the next 5 years and would all support the LibDems in this national election, we could have a REAL change in the next election in 5 years after the law has been changed.
    At the County elections, which have no say on the national voting system, you can still vote for your favourite party.
    A change of power from time to time is good anyway - so why not vote LibDems this time (and you can still carry on discussing and campaigning your own party's programmes in the public)?
    Otherwise we might struggle on for decades with no chance of real changes....
    Think about this....

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    Cambridge before the election:
    Breaking News (5 May, 8pm):
    Cambridge is a 2 horse race - and the leading horse is GREEN, with Tony Juniper leading the poll: 53.6%!

    The Cambridge Evening News decided NOT to publish this result at all.
    On request John Deex, Deputy Editor of the Cambridge News, emailed me the following result:

    Cambridge Evening News electronic Poll for Cambridge city (between 30th April noon and 4th May afternoon,
    question: "With days to the election, who are you going to vote for?"

      621 votes were submitted on-line:
    1. Green 333 - 53.6%
    2. Lib Dems 191 - 30.8%
    3. Labour 34 - 5.5%
    4. Still undecided 30 - 4.8%
    5. Conservatives 26 - 4.2%
    6. Others 4 - 0.6%
    7. UKIP 3 - 0.5%
    I have been watching the online poll result taking shape over the Bank holiday weekend, and the result seemed to be more or less stable: hours before they closed the poll, the result was: Lib Dems (54.0%), Green (19.9%), Labour (9.1%), Still undecided (7.6%), Conservatives (7.3%), Others (1.2%), UKIP (0.9%).
    Why did the Cambridge Evening News not publishing their own poll at all? It seems to show how the media manipulate the voters...

    Hi Ralph,
    This was the final result of the poll you asked about.
    The result of the daily poll we run on the home page is published in the following day's paper.
    This was a secondary poll purely for the election section and as such the final result was not published in the newspaper.
    Hope this helps,
    John Deex, Deputy Editor, Cambridge News (01223) 434423

    I know, electronic polls are never accurate - and Cambridge people seem to change their minds frequently. Probaly the editors at the Evening News don't like the result, and decided to bin it unpublished.

    The Cambridge News asked 248 shoppers in the city of Cambridge instead, and published the following result:

  • Liberal Democrat Julian Huppert: 31 per cent
  • Labour’s Daniel Zeichner: 16 per cent
  • Nick Hillman: 15 per cent
  • Tony Juniper: 13 per cent
  • UKIP’s Peter Burkinshaw: 6 per cent
  • Cambridge Socialists’ Martin Booth: 2 per cent
  • independent Old Holborn: just under 2 per cent
    See www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Election/Exclusive-Lib-Dems-set-to-hold-on-to-Cambridge-poll-indicates.htm.

    Here is what I would suggest:
    Labour and the Conservatives are far off the lead in Cambridge (with no chance to win at all - sorry!)
    If you don't want Labour again, nor the Tories, why not vote for Tony Juniper, Green Party? The Green Party will support the change of the voting system.
    Actually: I have a German passport, so I can't vote for Tony! Maybe you could vote on my behalf?
    This is a unique opportunity to get a Green MP as a watchdog.

    For the local election (Cambridge City Council) you have another vote - please use your vote - and your mind!

    Ralph, 5th May 2010
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    PS (from 7th May): Green voters are probably on avarage more young and use the Internet much more than many voters of the traditional parties. That's probably why these on-line polls results are so for off the real result.

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    Cambridge votes Green - and the Cambridge Evening News try to hide it!
    web posted 27th April 2010 - updated 4 May
    NEW Poll from 4th May! Last tendency (from 4th May 1pm): LibDems 54%, Greens 20%, Labour 9%, Conservatives 7%, Undecided 7%
    UKIP 1%, Others 1% !
    Final results available from Wednesday 28 Apr. noon on
    www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Election/ [link to this article was removed after some days]

    The Cambridge Evening News made a poll among their readers (in and around Cambridge), published on Monday 26th April 2010, centre pages 26/27: "What are your voting intentions?"

    The result for the Cambridge constituency:

    1. Tony Juniper, Green Party: 24.2% (last election: 2.9%)
    2. Julien Huppert, Liberal Democrats: 23% (last election: 44%)
    3. Nick Hillman, Conservatives: 20% (last election: 17%)
    4. Daniel Zeichner, Labour: 10.3% (last election: 34%)
    This is an unbelievable landslide success for the Greens! Obviously the Cambridge Evening News does not like this, so they mention these results only in the small print at the end of their 2 page article; The big and bold table of results shows the outcome for the average of all 10 costituencies - so the Cambridge city result is "watered down", and it looks as if the Conservatives are winning:

    The result for all 10 constituencies around and including Cambridge:

    • Conservatives: 29.8%
    • Liberal Democrats: 21.3%
    • Green Party: 14.9%
    • Not sure: 11.7%
    • Labour: 11.1%
    • UKIP: 4.8%
    • Other: 3.2%
    • Not voting: 3.2%
    According to this poll, the Green Party has more than tripled their votes and is 3.8% points stronger than the governing Labour Party!
    The whole article (without photos and table) can be read at http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Election/Poll-results-show-up-key-election-issues.htm

    With each election the Green Party seems to increase their votes dramatically (In the last European Election. the Green Party had 18% from Cambridge voters), and this time, with Tony Juniper, they have a strong candidate with expertise and integrity.
    I would be proud, if Tony Juniper would reperesent Cambridge at Westminster Parliament.

    The Cambridge Green Party (www.cambridgegreens.org.uk) is now using the former Libra Aries Bookshop, 9 The Broadway, Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3AH (phone 213 049) as their campaign office, which is manned from around 8:30am to 6:30ish pm. Why don't you pop round and get a "Vote Tony Juniper / Green Party" poster or board and stick it up where you live? All signs indicate political change; would be nice to see Cambridge covered with green posters!

    You can view and hear a 20 minutes Cambridge candidates Election Debate www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Election/

    The most recent poll results for Cambridge from Tuesday 4th of May: "Who are you going to vote for?" (by the Cambridge Evening News) will be available from Wednesday noon at www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Election/.

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    Thu 6 May 2010: UK General Election day, 7am - 10pm

    General informative LINKS re. elections in Britain: back to top of page

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