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The 2005 general election campaign has been a defective democratic event in many ways

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The 2005 general election campaign has been a defective democratic event in many ways. Yet beneath the surface there has echoed a national conversation of passion and seriousness. Thoughtful people have debated for months with families, friends and colleagues - and with themselves - about how to vote in this contest. Much of the electorate is still undecided. It is an imperfect choice conducted under the imperfect electoral system, which is nevertheless the only one that we have got. What can be decided as the main issues everyone is debating on? Let's be honest: it is difficult. Some issues seem particularly important to some but to others, trivial. The main issues - considered by most - which all three parties are concerned with in particular, are that of Health, asylum/immigration, education, war on terrorism/Iraq, crime and pensions. The main parties consisting of Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats all deal with the same latter issues. The current Government: Labour, is concentrating on gaining a strong economy with higher living standards. They are also committed to attaining faster NHS treatment to individuals. Labour is also committed to bettering results at schools, as they believe good education is a fundamental right to every citizen. The party is also calling for tougher border protection and for safer communities. They have also pledged to give more aid to Africa. However the main priorities of the Conservatives are to lower taxes through savings on bureaucracy, bring about tougher school discipline and more school choice. ...read more.


If levels of anger or frustration over immigration are really as high as they appear, this could have an effect on Labour's ability to get out voters in some areas, thus giving them the possible problem of losing the election. This debate as stated has been an issue for approx five years and if the elected party does not do anything about it, then the problem will not cease to exist but will grow and become a very serious as it creates security issues too. Voters are therefore more likely to vote for the party that they believe will do something about the amount of immigrants coming into the country. This belief will be a major factor in determining the outcome of the election. As stated previously immigration poses security issues, which again is another major debate in the 2005 election as the Labour party announced plans to introduce ID cards. In February, the single most important issue in the minds of nearly a quarter (23%) of the British nation was immigration and asylum seekers, nearly double the percentage who expressed concern about either the state of the nation's health care (13%) or Iraq, terrorism and the nation's defence (13%). (Mori.com, 2005b) What was different about February and the month before was that the Conservative Party under party leader Michael Howard and shadow home secretary David Davis tapped the nerve of the nation on this issue. ...read more.


Many people have become fed up paying higher taxes while still waiting for real improvements in the NHS. This is especially so in Scotland where cracks are beginning to show in the machine of Labour domination. Other key issues that helped determine the outcome of the election was the much-debated strength of the tax issue on the election. A third of the public say that tax is an issue which will be one of the two or three issues on which will help to determine how they will vote. Over half say this of health care (Mori.com, 2005c). Three dimensions drove the public votes. The first was the parties' policies and their salience to the voter's own concerns. Leading the list was health care. Two people in three said that this was very important for their decision on how to vote, six in ten mentioned education, more than half crime and pensions. (Mori.com, 2005c) Iraq was just 14th on the list of the 16 issues (Mori.com, 2005c) with only one person in six saying it was important to them as an issue. But the results show that it played particularly strongly among students, who delivered several seats from Labour to the Liberal Democrats on conspicuously high swings, and in constituencies where there is a large Muslim presence. Labour's vote fell by three points and the Liberal Democrats' vote rose by four, above the average in these constituencies. For most other people Iraq was an 'image issue', not an 'issue issue'. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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