Friday, May 07, 2010

UK Election: Dr. Death and the Lib Dems Get Theirs

When I first perused the UK election news this morning, I was discouraged. After too many years of predations from the Left, a majority of voters cast their ballots for the two Leftist parties? Has Labour stuffed the UK that much with immigrants? Is Cameron that noxious? Are the British people that far gone?

But then I saw the result from Oxford West. My mood immediately brightened. Lib Dem Evan Harris, aka Dr. Death, was defeated.

His nickname is well earned as came to my attention when I read this article during my stay in Oxford back in 2007. To say he is rabidly pro-abortion is only the half of it. He is profoundly hostile to human dignity in a whole range of life issues.

I am particularly pleased to see that his anti-life stands were an issue during the campaign, to his chagrin. Yes, there is still a pro-life impulse in UK politics.

Looking at the bigger picture, I think this result helps illustrate why the Lib Dems surprisingly lost seats in spite of Slick Nick Clegg. They are way out Left, even more so than Labour. And enough voters saw that to cost them seats. That, and many made it a priority to get Gordon Brown OUT, and rightly saw the Lib Dems were not the way to go about that.

1 comment:

Michael said...

On a small point of correction, the Lib Dems actually received more votes in this general election than ever before. I think they were up about 2%, which I know isn't a huge difference in terms of percentage but it is certainly not a numerical loss. So the loss of seats was not due to fewer people voting for them as you suggest but rather because of the distribution of those voters across constituencies.

Sadly, that's how our system works in the UK. A party can receive a high percentage of the vote but in order for those votes to win seats, they need to be concentrated in particular constituencies. Similarly, a party can have a low percentage of the vote but provided that those votes are concentrated in the right areas, they can potentially win a higher-than-representative number of seats in parliament.

For example, in this general election, the Lib Dems got 23% of the vote. That 23 % of the vote won them less than 10% of the seats because the voters were too evenly distributed across the country to have a major impact in all but 57 constituencies. 120 seats would have been more reflective of the proportion of votes that they actually got.

This betrays an electoral system that is in dire need of revision. Of course, slimy Cameron knows this. He also knows that something more proportional would result in a smaller number of seats than the larger parties currently enjoy, both because the number of votes they receive now would win them fewer seats in a proportional system and also because they would lose the votes of those people who only vote for them because they feel that a vote for the smaller parties whose policies they may actually support would be a wasted vote under the current system.