The LDV 2×2 Daily View (17/05/09)

Welcome to the first Sunday outing for The Voice’s new daily post series highlighting two big stories from the media and two “must read” blog posts from Liberal Democrats. As it’s a Sunday, there’s also a bonus extra supplement. If you spot anything for future posts, do let us know on [email protected]

2 Big Stories

Indian elections
The big election story of the week is India: massive democracy, increasingly influential in the world and located right next to some of the world’s trouble spots which most make their impact felt here in the UK.

The election results, which have been coming through on Saturday, are looking good for the Congress Party. Indian politics are sufficiently complex and different from the UK’s that for Liberal Democrats it isn’t a simple matter of cheering on one party in particular, but overall it looks like religious extremists are faring poorly. The BBC has an extensive write-up of news as it came in, including the person with a majority of over 350,000, the political analyst who commented that expert predictions turned out to be less accurate than astrologers, the Twittering candidate and links through to lots more detail.

Parliament and Labour in race to the bottom
It’s a tough call at the moment as to who is taking the worst battering: Parliament’s reputation or the Labour Party, who are plumbing new polling depths and now bumping along in the low 20s. There are stories aplenty in the Sunday papers, but the one I’d pick out is The Observer’s round-up as it contains perhaps the oddest comment from a Minister:

“This has been Gordon being too scrupulous: it’s not that he doesn’t get it, but he has felt you have to take parliament with you,”

Silly me, I thought he’d tried to bounce Parliament with his expenses reform proposals and had to pull key parts after it turned out hardly anyone supported them.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

Is our electoral system partly to blame?
Mark Reckons asks the question and does some analysis, concluding that the safer an MP’s seat, the more likely they are to have abused the system – and of course our electoral system means that many MPs have safe seats.

Our political system is still getting some things right
Meanwhile, Caron’s Musings rightly highlights that there is more to our political system than MPs’ expenses and lists some of the good things that MPs have done in the last week.

Sunday Bonus

For a bit of Sunday enjoyment, here’s a great spoof advert from last year’s American elections:

And finally, our favourite Conservative GLA member, Brian Coleman, has been in the news this week:

A SENIOR Tory politician tried to gag the Times Series to stop it reporting a standards committee investigation into his conduct … When the story was reported yesterday, the cabinet member for community safety claimed falsely he was not the councillor involved and threatened this paper with criminal proceedings if his name was published.

Speaking to The Times Series, he said: “This investigation has absolutely nothing to do with me, nothing whatsoever, and if you say otherwise you will be hearing from my solicitor.”

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