Archive for April, 2011

Why cats prefer AV

I just love this video about AV for kitties, it made me laugh lots! 😀

I’ve had a most unproductive day, just been poking around on Ravelry, a great site for people who like to play with yarn 🙂 and ordering some crochet books from Amazon…

Shame to waste a sunny day, but I had a walk yesterday and I don’t want to make me knee swell up again. Also I should have been preparing my Viking re-enactment kit as we have an event at Tutbury castle which we shall go to on Monday. I had thought of making a new kirtle, but I didn’t feel up to it, so I shall to trot out the old grubby one yet again…

Oh well, it should be fun anyway!

April 30, 2011 at 8:49 PM 2 comments

Alternation

That’s a good word actually. I’d quite like to alter this nation. But there you go, I was actually thinking about WordPress suggesting alternating between PostADay and PostAWeek. How do I feel about the idea, they ask.

Well, I have no problem if anyone wants to do that, but I signed up for every single day of this year and I am stubborn so I don’t intend to do this. However, I may have to at some point, so I shall bear it in mind as a possibility.

At the moment though, it’s still every day. And trust me, today it is tempting to not bother. But here I am, blogging even though I don’t feel like it. That was part of the point, the discipline.

I missed the last PhotoAWeek 😦 I might post one on it late, or I might not. I’ll just have to see. I’m not great with time, or deadlines. There’s a good bit of understatement for you. Fun Fact: the literary term for understatement is litotes. The Vikings liked using it.

Well, that’ll have to do for today. At least I get to tick that off my non-existent to do list. Yeah, I’ve given up to do lists for the moment. You can’t fret about not doing the stuff on your list if you have no list. That’s my theory anyway, even if it doesn’t actually work… Ho hum.

April 29, 2011 at 11:19 PM 1 comment

More about AV

I feel compelled to write about AV again in response to some of what the No campaign are sending out. I am offended that they are trying to imply their system is more democratic!

They say it would give rise to more coalitions. But that will happen anyway if most of the population disagrees about who they want. It seems quite clear to me that most people don’t like any of the options at the moment and certainly not new labour or the conservatives. If they did, there would have been a clear winner.

Why do so few people bother to turn up to vote? Apathy is a trite answer – what causes the apathy if not a feeling of pointlessness. In a two party system, which FPTP favours, it is very hard for even the biggest third party to win, and other parties are totally a wasted vote, or a protest vote.

If only we had ‘none of the above’ as an option I’m sure we’d have higher attendance and the people who run our country would be alerted more clearly to the lack of support they have!

So we are likely to have more hung parliaments and coalitions anyway, whichever voting system we have.

In fact it even seems they are wrong, AV would be less likely to produce coalitions! I just read this on the Electoral Reform Society website as I was looking for links: “The Society has long argued that AV is the best system when you’re out to elect a single winner.” That doesn’t sound like a hung parliament to me.

Only 3 other countries use AV and Australia want to get rid of it? Then why oh why were we not allowed to vote on a better PR system? Why could we not have at least had a vote on keep the old system or change it for something better? Then if we all decided we want something, that is the time to discuss what.

AV was thrust on us as a compromise, the only alternative the conservatives would allow the lib dems at all. I was not happy about that at the time and I am not happy about it now and I am even more annoyed that they use this as an argument in their campaign! Not fair! But then, do I need to be surprised? It’s still better than FPTP!

It allows the second or third place candidate to win. Er yeah, what’s wrong with that? I’d rather have second or third best than the person I least want! If 40% of people want one person, but 60% want anybody but that person, but they can’t agree on who, then is it not better that they all have somebody none of them hate rather than somebody 60% of them hate?

The expense of implementing it. Well, that’s a tory ploy if ever I saw one! How much was it that the politicians were claiming in dodgy expenses? I’d rather have a slightly less undemocratic voting system than paying for them to have stuff I can’t afford anyway!

Someone else’s 5th preference is worth the same as my 1st preference. Er yeah and my 5th preference is worth as much as their 1st. I’m quite happy about that thanks very much! A veto vote might be better than a vote for anyway. (Maybe they would try a bit harder if we got to vote one of them off each week! 😉 )

“It would mean that supporters of the BNP and other fringe parties would decide who wins… That would encourage other candidates to pander to the likes of the BNP.” Actually why is it that the bnp don’t want AV then? Why should people who support other parties like the greens not have their voice heard?

Support for the two main parties is at an all time low. Why should we not be allowed to listen to other parties? The bnp is paraded as a Big Scary Monster because of the nazis, but in fact not very many people support them, they never were all that popular and what support they did have seems to have fizzled out. I live near some areas where the bnp used to be very popular, but this year in our local elections they have not put up a single candidate for lack of funds! Hardly a big scary!

In fact AV penalises such extremist parties as they would be unlikely to get many second choice votes. Which is why the bnp don’t want it.

The Electoral Reform Society also point out “It encourages candidates to chase second- and third-preferences, which lessens the need for negative campaigning (one doesn’t want to alienate the supporters of another candidate whose second preferences one wants) and rewards broad-church policies.” That has to be a good thing!

Yes to fairer votes!

April 28, 2011 at 4:33 PM 2 comments

Tiiiired…

Too tired to write a proper post really, but I’ll do my best to write something. Had a lovely day out with my Mum, we went to various nice shops, craft shops and Scarthin Books and that sort of thing. The weather was beautiful and we sat outside at Arkwrights Mill having yummy healthy soup for lunch.

And I managed to resist buying too much stuff, just two second hand books! Mostly because I’d been to all the shops we went to quite recently 🙂 Today was about sharing some places I like to go with Mum, some of which she knows and loves already, like Scarthin Books and other of which are new. This was an outing I promised her for Mothers’ Day.

Scarthin Books were especially kind to find her a cushion for her bad back while had our delicious lattes 🙂

So now I am tired and just want to go to bed, read a little and sleeeep.

April 27, 2011 at 10:16 PM Leave a comment

Democracy and AV

Britain is supposed to be a democratic country. According to Wikipedia “Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.”

So then, Britain is not a democracy!

Our current system of electing a government, known as FPTP or First Past the Post, is the least democratic voting system we could have (assuming we are not likely to change to a worse one, which might be a false assumption…). People who live in a safe seat area (where the favoured party could put up a donkey and it would get elected (mind you, I’d vote for a donkey rather some politicians…!)) do not have a vote, effectively. They can vote, but their vote does not count.

Therefore, if their vote does not count, they do not have an equal say in how their country is governed with someone who lives in a marginal seat area.

So Britain is not a democracy.

AV is less undemocratic. Any Proportional Representation (PR) system is less undemocratic than the ridiculous, antiquated and outdated system we currently use.

AV is not the best of the PR systems, but the wretched government would not allow a referendum on any other system, so I shall have to vote yes to AV because it is less bad than FPTP.

Yes to fairer votes campaign logo

If you want to read more about the yes campaign, this is their website.

We learned about FPTP in school, over 20 years ago and I was astonished then that we still used such an unfair and corrupt system. Because it relies on the geographical boundaries of the voting areas, the party in power can redefine those boundaries to maximise its own safe seats and minimise the opposition’s safe seats. That is not democratic, it is corrupt!

Oh, it sounds fine in theory, the person with the most votes wins. But that is within a narrow geographical area, whose boundaries are defined as I said, by the party in power.

I decided back then that if there was ever a vote to change the system to PR I would support that. I’ve had to wait a long time for that opportunity!

Wikipedia says: “To a greater extent than many other electoral methods, the first-past-the-post system encourages tactical voting. Voters have an incentive to vote for one of the two candidates they predict are most likely to win, even if they would prefer another of the candidates to win, because a vote for any other candidate will likely be “wasted” and have no impact on the final result.”

The whole system needs a massive overhaul!

Even if AV gets in, which I doubt because most people can’t be bothered to take the time to understand the issues and will therefore probably be apathetic and either not bother to vote at all or take the easy option and vote for the status quo, it is such a tiny step.

But one tiny step in the right direction is better than nothing.

What are your views?

April 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM 2 comments

Running out of time…

I came up to write a blog post at 8pm, but got distracted by reading this freshly pressed post about yarn crafts, which had a link to Ravelry, a site with lots of distracting stuff about crochet 🙂 (knitting too, but I don’t knit, so that doesn’t distract me). I joined and spent nearly an hour poking about there, lots of patterns and forums etc… 😀

But then there was something I wanted to watch on TV and I hadn’t paid attention to what time it finished, which was 11pm, only giving me a short time, late before bedtime, to write my post.

This is not an infrequent occurrence, that getting distracted and failing to leave enough time for stuff. Or considering only now and next, not the whole plan. I try to analyse my planned use of time, I’m sure I over analyse, yet this still happens.

Of course, I could have blogged earlier in the day too, but I didn’t get to it.

Oh well, I’ve done my blog post now 🙂 and still with a little time to go back to Ravelry before bed…

April 25, 2011 at 11:18 PM 3 comments

Rejoice! Jesus is alive!

Woohoo! I don’t have to fear death or anything because my Saviour defeated death and evil two thousand years ago! He is alive! He suffered and He died, but He won and He rose again and now He lives forever more and all for me and for you too.

I celebrate this every day but most of all on this day, the anniversary as close as we can tell to the day on which He rose triumphant 😀

I praise the Lord for His amazingness! 😀 His love which overcomes all, His mercy, His sacrifice, His victory! Hurrah!

I like to imagine what it must have been like for His friends on this day. They were in despair, they didn’t understand why He had to die, they thought He had been defeated, that all was lost. They were in shreds for so many reasons. Then they found He was not in the tomb. They did not understand this either at first. Imagine the joy when they realised!

I wrote a poem about this which I shall share now:

Empty/Hope

Empty we went to the garden,
Despairing, mourning, lost,
His death the end of all our hope,
At far too high a cost.

Empty the tomb gaped open,
His body was not there
The final blow, denied our grief,
We turned back in despair.

Empty, the garden had been,
The gardener then drew near
We asked him who had got the corpse
He told us not to fear

Hope is always with us
The end becomes the start
Recognition dawned in us,
Hope quivered in my heart.

Hope for He is risen,
Hope for our Lord has come,
Defeated death, negated sin,
Hope has overcome.

[Edit: this comment no longer valid, thanks to Little Things of Life 🙂 It worked! I think it looks better now anyway. The formatting is not ideal here for this. There seems to be no way to remove the extra space between paragraphs, which I generally like when they are paragraphs, but not when they are lines of poetry. Ho hum.]

I hope you have the joy of a wonderful Easter Sunday filled with love and celebration 🙂

April 24, 2011 at 11:25 AM 4 comments

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