2015 General Election

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Abby_W31
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So, there's 218 days until the general election, and I like millions of others will be voting for the first time!

Some people find this exciting, others feel unprepared and not entirely sure about what they're exactly voting for ... I'll let you guess which I am!

Sure you can ask parents, friends, teachers and so on about what the different political parties stand for but there's one slight problem ... they're probably biased towards the party they will vote for. Even if they do tell you unbiasedly, they may not know what it means for YOU as a student.

I want some answers and I'm going to go out and get them, but I thought why not give others a chance to ask their questions?

So, my question to you - wether you're a college student, uni student, or someone taking a gap year - is, if you could ask the main political leaders one question about what their party can do for you, what would it be?
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Quady
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Surely you just read the manifestos...?
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MagicNMedicine
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What measures will you take to make the UK a more open economy?
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Fullofsurprises
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Do you really care about global warming and if so, how would you like to see the UK, the EU and the world address it properly and with commitment? How can the UK help change hearts and minds globally on this topic?
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Moosferatu
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Why don't you have any balls?
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ChaoticButterfly
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Will you save the NHS from neoliberalism.
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illegaltobepoor
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(Original post by Abby_W31)
So, there's 218 days until the general election, and I like millions of others will be voting for the first time!

Some people find this exciting, others feel unprepared and not entirely sure about what they're exactly voting for ... I'll let you guess which I am!

Sure you can ask parents, friends, teachers and so on about what the different political parties stand for but there's one slight problem ... they're probably biased towards the party they will vote for. Even if they do tell you unbiasedly, they may not know what it means for YOU as a student.

I want some answers and I'm going to go out and get them, but I thought why not give others a chance to ask their questions?

So, my question to you - wether you're a college student, uni student, or someone taking a gap year - is, if you could ask the main political leaders one question about what their party can do for you, what would it be?
I would be focused on a asking a Government official about what kind of policies they can bring into law which generates & redistributes more wealth from the richest in society to the poorest.

Why?

You need people in good health to create and generate wealth. If workers are in survival mode they will be less productive and be side tracked about keeping their children fed or paying the rent.

The majority of abundance isn't held by the working class or middle classes. It is sat in bank accounts and invested in the stock markets where rich individuals merely extract wealth from various companies rather than generate wealth.

For these reasons I would be looking for a politician who would back the Robin Hood Tax.
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Abby_W31
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(Original post by illegaltobepoor)
I would be focused on a asking a Government official about what kind of policies they can bring into law which generates & redistributes more wealth from the richest in society to the poorest.
Good point, I completely agree with you and hadn't thought about that.


(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Do you really care about global warming
Global warming is so often pushed to one side by everyone, do you think we need some more drastic changes instead of petty things such as the congestion charges etc?
How about all new built houses must have solar panels installed?
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Abby_W31)

Global warming is so often pushed to one side by everyone, do you think we need some more drastic changes instead of petty things such as the congestion charges etc?
How about all new built houses must have solar panels installed?
It would be so great to hear some big goals like that from our government. It would spark a new 'green revolution', boost industry and act as a model for other countries, although increasingly, they are acting as a model for us laggards.

One thing I would love to see is a proposal to phase out all diesel engines by a certain date, say, 2025. Apart from anything else, they are an ongoing deep hazard to everyone's health, giving the UK some of the highest nitrous oxide levels, but it would also act as a massive spur on industry to start really seriously engaging with electric transport. We would also need to address the crisis in electricity supply head-on, perhaps by a mixture of expanded nuclear schemes (with newer more efficient and lower waste formats) and with big schemes like a Severn Barrage. Although the latter would have environmental effects, these would be outweighed by the substantial contribution to renewable energy.
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Chlorophile
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Can you please stop pretending that you care about anything than your own career?

(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Do you
(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
really care about global warming and if so, how would you like to see the UK, the EU and the world address it properly and with commitment? How can the UK help change hearts and minds globally on this topic?
Bit of a waste of a question in my opinion since the answer is obviously "No".
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St. Brynjar
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I'd like to ask what the leading politicians think the role of the UK should be in global affairs - America's lapdog? Scientific innovator? Culture capital? Moral compass?
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Chlorophile)

Bit of a waste of a question in my opinion since the answer is obviously "No".
About the current government, you are unfortunately correct. :sad:

I don't hold out much confidence that Labour will be different sadly.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
About the current government, you are unfortunately correct. :sad:

I don't hold out much confidence that Labour will be different sadly.
No, in fact I'm certain they won't be different. None of the major parties care about the environment, on account of the fact that the general public doesn't care about the environment. I think this tells us more about the intelligence of the British public than anything about particular parties.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
No, in fact I'm certain they won't be different. None of the major parties care about the environment, on account of the fact that the general public doesn't care about the environment. I think this tells us more about the intelligence of the British public than anything about particular parties.
To be fair to us poor dumb Brits, I think it's a struggle in all developed countries - it's too easy for the special interests that oppose the climate change agenda to hijack the discourse and pretend that 'the economy comes first' or 'raising living standards is more important' (in reality they aren't contradictions) and the main political parties tend to walk to the agendas set by special interest lobbyists and the media. The latter are also frequently against reacting in meaningful ways to climate change in many areas.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
To be fair to us poor dumb Brits, I think it's a struggle in all developed countries - it's too easy for the special interests that oppose the climate change agenda to hijack the discourse and pretend that 'the economy comes first' or 'raising living standards is more important' (in reality they aren't contradictions) and the main political parties tend to walk to the agendas set by special interest lobbyists and the media. The latter are also frequently against reacting in meaningful ways to climate change in many areas.
I think it's a bit unfair to blame the lobbyists and anti-climate change corporations. In my opinion, the message is extremely clear, despite the attempts of the denialist lobby. The only reason why the denialists have any kind of support - because their arguments are so laughably pathetic - is that the general public (and I'll agree that it's people in people in developed countries in general, not just british people) don't want to deal with the consequences of climate change and are therefore willing to be fed lies.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
I think it's a bit unfair to blame the lobbyists and anti-climate change corporations. In my opinion, the message is extremely clear, despite the attempts of the denialist lobby. The only reason why the denialists have any kind of support - because their arguments are so laughably pathetic - is that the general public (and I'll agree that it's people in people in developed countries in general, not just british people) don't want to deal with the consequences of climate change and are therefore willing to be fed lies.
To be fair i do think most people believe in anthropogenic climate change. The reason that i don't support extreme measures to tackle it is firstly because i'm not prepared to sacrifice improvements in my standard of living and secondly, many of the negative effects will hurt most in developing countries rather than the UK. Finally, i have relative faith that we can mitigate the problem via changes to energy and transport here.

There's also far too many scare stories.
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Rakas21)
To be fair i do think most people believe in anthropogenic climate change. The reason that i don't support extreme measures to tackle it is firstly because i'm not prepared to sacrifice improvements in my standard of living and secondly, many of the negative effects will hurt most in developing countries rather than the UK. Finally, i have relative faith that we can mitigate the problem via changes to energy and transport here.

There's also far too many scare stories.
Firstly, studies have shown that in the UK, the number of people who believe we have an impact on the climate is only about 50% (and much lower in the US). Secondly, you've got it completely backwards. You say "I'm not prepared to sacrifice improvements in my standard of living" as if you can just say that and that's the end of the matter. Nature and the laws of physics aren't just going to stop and apologise because people refuse to accept the consequences of their actions. If we do nothing now, our situation will get a whole lot worse in the near future. Any kind of compromise we make now will look incredibly luxurious in comparison to the compromises we will be forced to make in a few decades if we do nothing now. We've got a very simple choice - take a small hit in quality of life now, or a much bigger blow in the near future. There is no other option and no amount of pretending or denying will change that.

On the matter of people in developing countries - are you serious? It's the developing countries that are the most desperate to prevent climate change because they're the ones who are going to be hit the hardest by the consequences! In countries like the UK, the worst climate change will realistically do is seriously hurt the economy - bad, but it can be dealt with. In most developing countries, climate change could result in millions upon millions of people being displaced because of environmental changes, making any kind of previous refugee effort look laughable. Countries like the Maldives will literally not exist any more because of sea level rise. Natural disasters like drought and storms will massively increase the number of people dying from these catastrophes. They're the ones who are going to have to deal with the real consequences of climate change, not us - and they've realised that.

Thirdly, I don't share your faith at all. On the matter of "there are far too many scare stores" - what would you do if you knew about an impending global disaster but the public isn't doing anything about it because they're more concerned about inheritance tax or the price of petrol? Frankly, I'm absolutely amazed by how calmly climate scientists are dealing with the current situation. Personally, I've resigned to the fact that catastrophic climate change is inevitable but I have limitless admiration for the people who have the energy and optimism to campaign for change.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
Firstly, studies have shown that in the UK, the number of people who believe we have an impact on the climate is only about 50% (and much lower in the US). Secondly, you've got it completely backwards. You say "I'm not prepared to sacrifice improvements in my standard of living" as if you can just say that and that's the end of the matter. Nature and the laws of physics aren't just going to stop and apologise because people refuse to accept the consequences of their actions. If we do nothing now, our situation will get a whole lot worse in the near future. Any kind of compromise we make now will look incredibly luxurious in comparison to the compromises we will be forced to make in a few decades if we do nothing now. We've got a very simple choice - take a small hit in quality of life now, or a much bigger blow in the near future. There is no other option and no amount of pretending or denying will change that.

On the matter of people in developing countries - are you serious? It's the developing countries that are the most desperate to prevent climate change because they're the ones who are going to be hit the hardest by the consequences! In countries like the UK, the worst climate change will realistically do is seriously hurt the economy - bad, but it can be dealt with. In most developing countries, climate change could result in millions upon millions of people being displaced because of environmental changes, making any kind of previous refugee effort look laughable. Countries like the Maldives will literally not exist any more because of sea level rise. Natural disasters like drought and storms will massively increase the number of people dying from these catastrophes. They're the ones who are going to have to deal with the real consequences of climate change, not us - and they've realised that.

Thirdly, I don't share your faith at all. On the matter of "there are far too many scare stores" - what would you do if you knew about an impending global disaster but the public isn't doing anything about it because they're more concerned about inheritance tax or the price of petrol? Frankly, I'm absolutely amazed by how calmly climate scientists are dealing with the current situation. Personally, I've resigned to the fact that catastrophic climate change is inevitable but I have limitless admiration for the people who have the energy and optimism to campaign for change.
Fair enough, that is quite a low number. As i say, can be mitigated in the UK (desalinisation, nuclear, electric vehicles ect..), we have the time to adapt here.

Yes, that's basically what i meant. We don't have to take the refugees though and i don't much care what happens to those people affected in poor countries. That's not really evidence for the UK needing to make a massive push though.

I believe in representative democracy and that the political class should lead on issues where the electorate do not know what is best for them. But again, we have mitigating technology and we are sufficiently rich that you yourself accept that we can take a hit. Your asking us to take action to save Africans ect..
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Chlorophile
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Fair enough, that is quite a low number. As i say, can be mitigated in the UK (desalinisation, nuclear, electric vehicles ect..), we have the time to adapt here.

Yes, that's basically what i meant. We don't have to take the refugees though and i don't much care what happens to those people affected in poor countries. That's not really evidence for the UK needing to make a massive push though.

I believe in representative democracy and that the political class should lead on issues where the electorate do not know what is best for them. But again, we have mitigating technology and we are sufficiently rich that you yourself accept that we can take a hit. Your asking us to take action to save Africans ect..
We do not have the time to adapt. We had the time to adapt 15 years ago. I don't have enough time to write an in-depth piece because I've got to go in 5 minutes but a lot of people think we're already past the point of no return.

And yes, I think the big difference between you and I is that you don't appear to care about anybody but yourself, whereas I do actually care about the lives of the billions of people on this planet who aren't as fortunate as ourselves. You're exactly right - I am asking us to take action to save Africans (or to be more specific, humans) - because I'd consider myself to be a nice human being.
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St. Brynjar
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Finally, i have relative faith that we can mitigate the problem via changes to energy and transport here.
For me, this is almost entirely the reason climate change isn't a top, top priority for policy makers. No fault of your own, but we have this idea as a public that technology will come around and save us at some convenient point. It's the ideal scenario but if it keeps getting pushed back and back down the agenda people in low and island countries (say goodbye to half of Bangladesh) will lose out big time. I think the Netherlands will be one of the key proponents of the climate change debate for years to come - they stand to get a fair bit poorer as they spend more and more on sea defences. When we see it happening right on our European doorstep, we'll start to be decisive.
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