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Elections - Ed's journal
OK, so. Currently we're coming to the end of a term of office.
Next general election is due within about a year.

And I have to say, like last time, I'm toying with the notion of standing. There's a large dose of idealism in there - I do think I could do a better job of being an MP than a 'career politician' though.

Was thinking that something along the lines of a 'manifesto' that was about getting on board the information age.

- Turning the UK into the largest university in the world.
- get fiber and basic computer systems into every household (we're not far off with the recent uptake of game consoles anyway)
- increase OU style education availability - both from the OU, and encourage 'traditional' universities to consider their ability to online deliver course material.
- Provide scholarship bursaries to _anyone_ who wants to learn - not necessarily a lot, but enough to make it worth the effort of picking up. Ideally via industry sponsorship of 'in demand' skills too, such that if there's a shortage of electrical engineers in the Midlands, the bursary for it will be higher.
- Ensuring that anyone willing to put the effort into their course, received funding for it, such that we don't have a tiered system - if you want to learn, you can, end of story.

Why? Well, because education isn't a finite quantity. It breeds and multiplies, and as you get more and more people who are able and educated, you end up with rapid improvements in a wide range of areas - from science, to design, to cultural improvements.
And as you educate people, you increase their employability, and increase their value as a result - that means more taxes for the government at the end of the day, which is why I've never agreed with the notion that you should be 'paying in advance' for and education that might not deliver.

- Use information technology to get everyone more involved in democracy. There's plenty of voter apathy these days, because ... well, commenting on something seems to take 4 years. So what I'd be looking at is planning for a day - maybe not soon, but that it will come - when democracy is held directly by the people.
To this end I'd look to increase and improve feedback loops of political process - have proper online interfacing of current issues and things being debated in Parliament. It's improving - more MPs are answering emails, and things like: http://www.theyworkforyou.com and http://www.writetothem.com but more. Better. More ... involved, than a portal into the proceedings of Parliament, and much more keyed into getting your representative to represent you, not their party line.

- Information and culture. The BBC have made leaps and strides in their remit, through good use of IT. Things like iPlayer, Listen Again and just http://www.bbc.co.uk are very good. And I want more. I think it's great that we can now, more than ever before, get information and entertainment delivered over the net - to choose what you want to watch, listen to, and read however and whenever you want. I think there's room for plenty more though, and I want to encourage high quality content to be delivered online - because not everyone can get to the opera house, and not everyone can drive to the theatre.

I don't know if the term of office is really enough to accomplish that - direct democracy at least, is something that cannot be done in 4 years - it might be doable in 40.
As for the rest? I live and work in the Coventry area. I want my constituency to be a good place to live, because I live here too. I want economic conditions to be good, because I live here. If I can, I'll make sure that discussions are open about every matter that needs a vote, but if I can't I'll be doing my best to make this area a better place - because I won't be in politics forever, and I'll want to go back to doing a job and living somewhere that's pleasant to live.
9 comments or Leave a comment
phyrbyrd From: phyrbyrd Date: May 1st, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had no idea you were actually a politician.
I love the idea of bursaries. Seriously.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: May 1st, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not. I was just thinking that I'd like to actually make a difference to the world, and maybe 'not being a politician' could be a good thing.
ash1977law From: ash1977law Date: May 1st, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd vote for you.
fishrgreat From: fishrgreat Date: May 2nd, 2009 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
As would I.
stgpcm From: stgpcm Date: May 2nd, 2009 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Direct Democracy is about as far as Benevolent Dictator as you can get.

tomf_ From: tomf_ Date: May 2nd, 2009 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'd vote for someone I knew over someone I didn't. I'm not sure I agree with all your policies though.

Do we live in the same ward? Jim C hasn't exactly been representing my opinions lately.

Sometimes people forget that anyone can stand to be an MP, politicians are normal people just like everyone else.
cbr_paul From: cbr_paul Date: May 2nd, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Politicians are normal people just like everyone else."
Having seen the likes of Cameron, Mandelson, Harmen and Jacqui Smith, I'd have to argue with you on that point!
cbr_paul From: cbr_paul Date: May 2nd, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd vote for you if I weren't living in a safe North London Labour constituency (although it is Jeremy Corbyn so I suppose it is "real" Labour at least).
Bring on Proportional Representation and let everyone have a voice, not just those who live in marginal constituencies!
From: sebbo Date: May 8th, 2009 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds good, but doesn't it sound like more of the same to the average joe? Education, Education, Education :)
(Of course what EEE does normally stand for in government terms is Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness)

Really what they need is someone to go in, take down the beaurocracy and rebuild it from scratch. And while they are there change a few of the fundamentally ridiculous laws, of which I am sure there are many.

So overall, lets say a few life times should do it^^
9 comments or Leave a comment