Is this going to be the Internet election? Or is it going to be the election where everyone talks about it being the Internet election? Here’s some evidence that seems to suggest the former, while not ruling out the latter!
There is a pressing need for open debates in which ordinary voters can test candidates’ views and characters. Hustings in dusty churches and echoey halls may now seem consigned to the past, but that is all the more reason to cheer ingenious schemes to fill the gap by electronic means.
The Independent on civil service purdah
The solution is a sharper codification of purdah (on precisely when it applies and which institutions are bound by it) and a move to fixed-term parliaments. The concept of civil service neutrality is too precious for it to be abused in this fashion by unscrupulous politicians.
The story about someone trying to poison the soup at Stowe school has added piquancy for me (much like the soup, boom, boom) as my brother works there. Like the Independent though, I did have a wry smile at the idea of carrot and coriander soup being served at a boarding school. Good on the school and its systems though for catching it before it could do anyone any harm.
The Big thinkers blog at the CoI reports on an interesting project using mobile phones to support literacy.
I can’t help wondering if the discussion about a hung parliament is a little bit like the discussion about an “internet election”. But this leader in the Independent is quite interesting, not just for what it says, but also the discussion after it, which for a newspaper comments discussion seems to be quite sensible! I do wish they had linked to the survey they refer to though, so we could have seen for ourselves. Comment is Free over at the Guardian seems to have got that element of online comment a bit more sorted.
Charlie Beckett on which media will matter in the 2010 General Election
But here’s the headline news for election 2010: Mainstream Media is Back.
As a political sciences graduate, with a terrorism studies postgrad student in the house, I found Dave Wearing’s article on political sciences quite interesting. Should it even have the word science in it – the debate re-ignites…
I have yet to be convinced by the idea that the study of politics can be apolitical and value-neutral. Our choice of research topics will inevitably reflect our own political and moral priorities, and the way in which that research is framed and conducted is bound to reflect assumptions which – whether held consciously, semi-consciously or unconsciously – remain of a moral and political nature.
Charlemagne – one of the best blogs on European issues, even if I don’t always agree with him – gets to grip with Greece
EMPATHY is always in short supply in recessions, even within the European Union where we are all supposed to understand each other instinctively. But really, the cross-border debate on Greece is depressingly simplistic.
Will Hutton talks some sense on the position of the VP/HR.
Ashton’s problem is not her power, but her lack of it. Before the meeting in Córdoba, she badly needed the letter David Miliband and Swedish foreign secretary Carl Bildt co-wrote saying that EU foreign ministers should get behind her. The world, and EU member states, needed more of the European Union, not less.
Charlie Brooker takes on the leaders’ debates:
if Nick Clegg spends the first 50 minutes rousing the audience with his fiery, lyrical rhetoric – as per usual – only to sneeze unexpectedly five minutes before the end, leaving a giant pendulum of mucus dangling off the end of his conk, the unfortunate mishap would be looped and repeated ad nauseam on every rolling news bulletin for weeks to come. He’d be Mr Snot. And do you want to vote for Mr Snot? No way. What if he sneezed on the nuclear button?