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8:00am on Thursday, 22nd May, 2014:
It's the day of the local and European elections here in sunny Colchester. I voted 15 minutes after the polls opened, on the grounds that there's less chance someone can masquerade as me and steal my vote that way.
The local election ballot sheet had four names on it, the candidates for the Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives.
The European election ballot sheet had dozens of names on it, mainly because it uses the odious party lists system. There were 10 parties on this one, half of which are at least anti-EU and possibly anti-everyone else too. I'm not even sure what their actual names are in some case, so I'll just list them as they appeared on the ballot paper:
An Independence from Europe — UK Independence Now
British National Party — Fighting Unsustainable Housing Because We Care
English Democrats — I'm English, NOT British, NOT European
NO2EU — Yes to Workers' Rights
UK Independence Party (UKIP)
UKIP's electoral strategy seems to be: you kip, we're elected. However, because parties are listed in alphabetical order and one of them has a name cunningly starting "An" that looks vaguely UKIPish, it could be that they don't get as many votes as they're expecting.
The other parties, which are either surly about the EU but not formally anti-EU or are flag-waving EU zealots are:
Conservative Party — For real change in Europe
I thought the Conservatives were an association, not a party, but what do I know?
The final group on the list is the Christian Peoples Alliance. I've no idea what their policies are, but I do rather hope they don't get elected. That's mainly because they don't seem to want to commit to an apostrophe in their name, but my being an atheist also rather puts me off them.
Overall, the Liberal Democrats seem to be the most pro-European, judging by the addresses on the party lists: these may be elections for the East of England constituency, but one of the people on their list lives in Belgium...
As for what I voted, well the answer to that is "in secret".
Oh, OK, I voted Lib Dem. They need all the help they can get.
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