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Does the campaign focus enough on policies?

09:43 UK time, Monday, 26 April 2010

It's the final full week of election campaigning and the last prime ministerial debate is on Thursday. But have you heard enough about party policies?

Labour want to cut the deficit by more than 50% by 2014, protect "frontline investment" in childcare, schools, the NHS and policing and restore the link between the state pension and earnings from 2012.

The Conservatives want spending cuts in all areas apart from health and foreign aid, to create a Pupil Premium, giving more money to schools that teach the poorest children and to recognise marriage in the tax system.

The Liberal Democrats want to focus on raising the threshold at which people start paying income tax from £6,475 to £10,000, introducing a banking levy until such time as banks' retail and investment arms can be separated and scrapping the identity card scheme.

Has the campaign been more focused on debates and polls than actual policies? What do you want the election campaign to focus on ahead of polling day? Have you changed the way you are likely to vote because of the campaign so far?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Policies are very thin on the ground during this campaign, simply because the politicians are frightened to say anything that can be used against them at a later date.

    The people of this country are tired of being told lies by a bunch of professional liars.

    However telling the truth is unlikely to win them any votes, 'so we just say nothing and hope to get in' seems to be the most popular technique.

    What a sorry state of affairs from a lot of second rate politicians regardless of which party they are from!

  • Comment number 2.

    No,the Tories haven't told us anything that people who were voters during the Thatcher years don't already know. They haven't changed and all they care about is supporting their own vested interestsand those of the privileged few (they are not called the Conservative Party for nothing!!)and will forget about the rest of us.

    Just a postscript, how come 'just call me Dave' is reverting to his old posh voice?

  • Comment number 3.

    The media is dumbing down the election campaign into an X-Factor style personality clash.

    The politicians are trying to put their policies through but they are taking second place to looks and image.

    It's a sad reflection of our dumbed down, pandering to the lowest common denominator society that we have after 13 years of New Labour.

  • Comment number 4.

    A considerable amount of straw clutching going on by Tories and Labour alike.
    I am particularly fond of the "if you vote liberal you will..... comments
    Followed by "get Labour" (from the Tories) "get Tories" (from Labour) "get Liberal" (which sound reasonable from the Lib Dems)
    "Get stuffed" from UKIP BNP SNP Plaid Cymru etc.

    The latest risible adaption on this them is Mr C's ludicrous assertion if you want Liberal you should vote Tory because of their views on Human Rights (Would withdraw from HRA) Electoral reform (don't want any) and Green issues (well admittedly Mr C rides a bike in front of his Bentley!)

    I think He needs to look again at Lib Dems policies on this one!

  • Comment number 5.

    The BBC have really chosen some headline items there in this HYS ..

    "Labour want to cut the deficit by more than 50% by 2014" - you DO know what this means don't you ? it refers to DEFECIT = ANNUAL CHANGE IN DEBT ..
    so if it is MINUS X£ today, then they hope to make it HALF of MINUS X£ by 2014 .. still negative .. and cumulative.

    Focus on policy ? no - there has been no focus on past performance or policy or reality. Just TV debates .. that FOCUS has been placed there clearly by the BBC, ITV and SKY.

    The Election and future of this country has been hi-jacked by short-term thinking Media-Ratings-Obsessives.

  • Comment number 6.

    We've been inundated with images of how the potential Prime Ministers stand and talk, how they style their hair, their body language, how their wives dress etc etc. This is what modern politics is all about. How dare we ask them to define their policies and what they will do to and for the people who elect them. Perhaps they should all have Digby Jones (Lord) as their common mascot.

  • Comment number 7.

    From what I’ve seen so far the most important policies have been:


    Conservative policies: Sack all public sector employees earning less than £50,000 a year, privatise the NHS, education system, BBC and anything else they can get away with. Give tax breaks to the rich while reducing the availability of front line public services for everyone. Pretend they know what to do about the economy even though they’ve got every single call wrong since the financial collapse started.

    Labour policies: Borrow all of the money that the markets will allow and then waste it all on ID cards, ID database, even more benefits, subsidies for corporate donors and then just hope the economy doesn't collapse. Hope everyone forgets they’ve been in charge and are therefore responsible for what’s gone on over the last 13 years.

    Lib Dem policies: Remove low paid people from Income Tax system, stop wasting money on ID cards, ID database & cold war weapons while trying to reduce the deficit in as sensible a way as possible and reforming our political system.

    BNP policies: Blame everything on immigrants and pretend that the streets will be paved with Gold once we’ve got rid of anyone who looks a bit brown or speaks with a funny accent. Adopt the financial policies of Mugabe and sit back and watch as the UK turns into Europe’s Zimbabwe.

    UKIP policies: Blame everything on Europe. Pretend we’re still a Global power with the wealth, resources and capabilities that we had at the height of our Empire and ignore the fact that we’re a very small European nation that has benefited greatly from our membership of the EU.

    English Democrat policies: Convince everyone we’re not racist. No seriously, we’re not racist, not even a little bit. Look guys we’re definitely not racist, but…

  • Comment number 8.

    No, the campaign is pretty much trying to frighten children & the faint-hearted by showing how awful G. Brown looks & how good looking Clegg, Cameron & their wives come across; however, S. Brown does get a look in. This is surely presentation & style over substance. There should never be televised debates, period.

  • Comment number 9.

    All I demand from politicians is that they are honest. Stop treating us like children. We need to have serious grown-up debates about the difficult choices we face if we're to get ourselves out of this mess.

    The voters also need to grow up and stop pretending that nice Mr Brown/Cameron/Clegg has a magic wand they can wave to make everything better. They don't.

  • Comment number 10.

    Labour want to cut the deficit by more than 50% by 2014, protect "frontline investment" in childcare, schools, the NHS and policing and restore the link between the state pension and earnings from 2012.

    The problem is that there's no penalty clause against Darling NOT reducing the deficit as stated. The UK is in a very iffy position. If Brown/Darling are about to make yet another mistake the UK could go into a downward spiral. With the recent stimuli, growth of 0.2% is hardly "recovery".

    I'm not convinced about Brown's efficiency savings either. That kind of saving i) has to be paid for and ii) won't filter through for 3 or 4 years. So I've dismissed these fairy-tale savings.
    Some severe cuts are inevitable and we haven't got many assets left to sell.

    = = = = = = = =
    The Conservatives want spending cuts in all areas apart from health and foreign aid, to create a Pupil Premium, giving more money to schools that teach the poorest children and to recognise marriage in the tax system.

    Again, we need details of what these cuts are. How do they translate into jobs actually lost; the price of their incumbents being out of work? Because everything seems to hang on a rise in consumer confidence. Until we get growth somewhere there is no chance of getting this country out of debt. It's going to hurt.

    As for the Libdems, I've been totally put off recently by Vince Cable's continued attacks on banks. He'd better watch out: unless he's talking about parochial little savings banks, the banks might sort him out in the end. They are large global corporations, their operations beyond the control of any one government. The chance of getting global governance is exceeding small but you need that before you can deal with the banks.

    If he interferes too much the banks will simply isolate the UK from its hitherto important role in the overall system. Tax on banks in the UK? Guess who will pay for that? Yup, us, their customers.

  • Comment number 11.

    I've not heard much about transport. Every day I travel on a poor and deteriorating bus service and nobody is addressing this. If we are going to use public transport, bus travel is key for all of us not living near a train station but only the Greens even mention it. So I'll be voting for them.

  • Comment number 12.

    Probably not . Brown has made a big issue about choking off the recovery - by my reckoning we do not have a recovery - we are still losing jobs at an alarming rate. Their idea of cutting the deficit is far too reliant on growth - if the growth does not happen what then ? Lib Dems talk about cutting Income Tax - obviously a very popular message but has it not occured to people that that is exactly what we cannot afford right now. Also their Immigration policy concerns me - we alraedy have a huge number of economically inactive people now - that needs fixing first and all new jobs created in the forseeable future must be used to address the economically inactive problem first and foremost. I would also like to see our government over the next few parliaments get rid of our benefit dependency culture - it is all well and good having a safety net for the less fortunate in our society but thta is where we draw the line . I was livid the other week after reading of a family in Anglesey - wife never worked husband gave up his job who are receiving £ 42k in benefits . Vast majority are lucky if they get half of that before tax for working hard.

  • Comment number 13.

    I was wondering if the Tories were planning to do anything about Labours ongoing persecution of motorists with their large-scale expansion of speed and parking cameras, including planned average-speed cameras on major roads. I sent an email to my MP and received a very detailed and helpful reply.
    The reply stated that indeed they plan to scale back cameras, based on safety criteria, and cancel average speed cameras on main roads, and also abolish speed camera partnerships which fund themselves from fines.
    This is very strange. Why are the Tories keeping this hugely vote-winning policy a secret? They should be shouting it from the rooftops.
    I am very disappointed that they seem only to keep attacking "Labours jobs tax" over and over again. Do they actually want to win? if so why not promote vote-winning policy?

  • Comment number 14.

    Policy? Whassat?

    It may be because the current crop of politicians are so mediocre and bereft of ideas that they don't actually have policies, or it may be because they feel that if the electorate understood what they wanted to do they would not get much support... it may just be that they are too lazy to come up with the convincing arguments to show the merits of their ideas...

    But policies are very thin on the ground. All we get is the resounding negativity of reasons why we shouldn't vote for t'other fellow and vague hopes of gaining our 'trust' rather than any credible effort to sell the policies that they wish to implement.

    And what I want to hear from candidates is what THEY want to do, their vision. Not a soundbite 'fairer society' or 'time for change' vision, either but sound, costed policy options.

    Have they fallen into the celebrity trap, and decided that the 'product' they are marketing is themselves rather than what they will do on our behalf?

  • Comment number 15.

    No. And it's very clear Dave's plan to win by simply not being Gordon has failed because he failed to realise that the 3rd party does indeed exist

  • Comment number 16.

    No, there isn't enough focus on policies. If you look on the BBC website, nowhere is the EU listed as a policy concern and I know plenty who are a little annoyed about the referendum fiasco to be interested in what this lot have to say on it.

  • Comment number 17.

    My first vote was at the (in)famous Orpington election when the Liberals took Orpington from a safe Conservative seat. It was a protest vote against complacency and self-satisfaction.
    This time mine will be a protest vote again, for similar reasons: policies by all the major parties are nebulous in the extreme.
    Where is the serious "clear blue water"? Labour, in their previous "Manifesto" said that there would be a Referendum on Europe and neither the Conservatives nor the Lib-Dems made any issue of the fact that the British people should have a say in their own future - but suddenly, amazingly, they think that I should have a say in re-electing them?
    I would accept the results of any Referendum as being at the least democratic - but I will not accept being used as vote fodder! I seriously believe that we now have a self-perpetuating "political class that spans generations and seeks only a lifelong "gravy train - in the UK or in Europe.

    Terryb

  • Comment number 18.

    Actual policies are irrelevant as they will say whatever they think we will be gullible enough to believe to get them a vote. Once they're in then all bets are off and we then find out what their real policies are. But of course, by then it's too late.

    I think in the current society where lawyers reign we should be able to sue them every time they break an election 'promise'.

  • Comment number 19.

    Brown keeps going on about how removing 5,6,7,8 or 9billion, depending on the day, from the ecomany, by the tories to fund their plan not to put up NI, will stop the recovery stone dead.

    Yet on Budget day Mandy (not Darling or Brown) anounced in a press conferance (not the house) 9Billion of imediate cuts including over 4billion from the NHS all of which take place this year.

    These cuts were on top of other cuts anounced over the last 6 months and on top of those anounced in the budget.

  • Comment number 20.

    2. mo_czar

    Can you deal with facts and not generalities ? spurious comments and name calling ? then you must be at the heart of NuLiebour as that is their trademark ... you've been in power for 13 years - lets hear more on your record ? OH yes, you cannot comment because you've transformed the ONS so that all statistics can longer be compared properly but can be quoted randomly or selectively for political gain and not real measurement.

  • Comment number 21.

    "5. At 11:46am on 26 Apr 2010, James wrote:
    The BBC have really chosen some headline items there in this HYS ..

    "Labour want to cut the deficit by more than 50% by 2014" - you DO know what this means don't you ? it refers to DEFECIT = ANNUAL CHANGE IN DEBT ..
    so if it is MINUS X£ today, then they hope to make it HALF of MINUS X£ by 2014 .. still negative .. and cumulative.

    Focus on policy ? no - there has been no focus on past performance or policy or reality. Just TV debates .. that FOCUS has been placed there clearly by the BBC, ITV and SKY.

    The Election and future of this country has been hi-jacked by short-term thinking Media-Ratings-Obsessives."

    Yes thats their policy, Iv been playing a spot a candidate calling defecit debt game. Current tally is arounf 80% of all interviews talking about the defecit the polititian or the interviewer uses the phrase "dept" or "Borrowing" when they mean "Defecit".

    I would love an oppinion poll to be carried out asking how many people beleived that NuLabour or the Tories would cut "Debt"? I susspect well over 50% would say that both parties were planning to

  • Comment number 22.

    So far it's been too much of a "Beauty Contest" about personalities and "What if" questions about a Hung Parliament. Please BBC, more Policy content/debates! Many of us want to Vote on these as well as possible PMs.

    This sounds cotradictorary, but can an Expert explain why using an AV system would also create an "unbalanced" Parliament, as was stated on BBC at the weekend.

  • Comment number 23.

    No, key policy areas are not being discussed.

    Europe, immigration and the environment are barely mentioned, because the LibLabCon parties are broadly in agreement on all of them.

    7 - Buck, writes "Lib Dem policies: Remove low paid people from Income Tax system, stop wasting money on ID cards, ID database & cold war weapons while trying to reduce the deficit in as sensible a way as possible and reforming our political system."

    Utter rubbish. The LibDems will carry on, anti-democratically, taking us further into the EU. They will carry on flooding the country with immigrants, encouraged by the fact that Clegg is willing to offer an amnesty to the illegals already here, rather than chucking them and their families out, quickly.

    I love the way the LibDems oppose urban sprawl at local level, but support the policies on immigration which lead to the growing population which provides the excuse for the additional housing.

    The LibDems are getting a very easy ride on immigration and the EU, and the way they oppose at local level the policies which they support at national level.


  • Comment number 24.

    each party should set there agenda to the concerns of the nation tax and pensions,immigration, housing,hospitals, law and order police, eec, troop deployment and finiancial aid overseas, these are the mojority of people concerns

  • Comment number 25.

    No, we are not hearing enough about policies.

    What is annoying me the most about this though is the constant discussion of "The Clegg Effect". Everyone reporting on the Lib Dems' recent successes is talking about it as though it is purely a result of the "X factor style" debating shows, and that by being "down with the kids", Clegg is winning votes.

    I'd like to venture a second opinion on that. Many of us who have not been able to vote in previous elections have watched in dismay as the country has been fought over by Labour and the Tories, have taken part in multiple mock-elections and studied policy on a fairly deep level. Most of us, certainly in my area have come down on the side of the Lib Dems well in advance of the TV debates. Our parents may have only had the choice between Labour and Tory government but we no longer feel the need to vote the same way as they do/have done.

    So yes, the Lib Dems have a lot of youth support. But that is not because we are ignorant, easily swayed by television trickery or because we want a "protest vote". It's because we finally feel the freedom to vote the way we actually want to. By focusing solely on the leader's personal performance the media are refusing to acknowledge this and it is patronising in the extreme.

  • Comment number 26.

    Fifty years after Kennedy debated Nixon, the UK has dipped its toe into gingerly into the waters of direct civil confrontation of the candidates pitting their positions as they express them against each other and displaying their ability to think on their feet before the public in something other than pre canned and tested campaign stump speeches and carefully crafted TV ads.

    Britain's sham of a democracy is revealed by lack of choice, the three candidates representing the interests of Britain's ruling oligarchy. For example, not one of them even offered the promised referendum on the EU, the oligarchy fearing the answer might not be to their liking. It is clear the government does not trust the people to decide what is best for themselves and it is also clear that with no sense of self empowerment among the voters or population at large, the government and the oligarchy whose interests it really represents has little to fear from them.

    The brief one month campaign leaves little time for an extended debate on all of the subtleties of all of the issues confronting Britain. It's just a quiet short little process the outcome of which could hardly matter less to the real powers who rule the country. They say people get the government they deserve. In Britain the mediocrity and failure of the past that has been the real heritage of Britain since forever is sure to continue on into the indefinnite future. Britain doesn't even understand what real democracy is about or that it can only be won by fighting for it. That is why they will never have it.

  • Comment number 27.

    No one reads or believes the policy announcements. All we are interested in is whether the Toffs are better than the Commies. This time its time we had the Toff's back in to fix the economy.

  • Comment number 28.

    What policies? The current bunch tell us nothing just stupid little soundbites they think we want to hear. How much will the basic rate of tax go up? What about VAT? No we have a bunch of gutless wonders dodging the real issues but doing quite nicely from it. So far all I've heard is the pathetic NI contribution of table tennis politics.
    PATHETIC!

  • Comment number 29.

    Is this really, really the best that our country can come up with in terms of leadership. Three professional politicians whose main aim is to keep themselves in the forefront of the media to try and persuade us to vote for one or other of them, and who will do any deal they can in a hung parliament to get some kind of power. This despite the fact that all three have not the slightest interest in, or idea about, how ordinary people are having to live these days. Swamped with taxes to pay for economic inactivity into the 3rd generation, swamped with immigrants putting pressure on all our services, swamped with increases in petrol and energy which are becoming unsustainable and fearful of losing their jobs in a recession. Where is the creative thinking, where is the focus on real people with real problems, where are the solutions, where is the truth? What is the point of asking the electorate to trust you, when can offer nothing but cheesy soundbites and slag off your opponents. It is poor, shabby politics and I ask again, is this really the best we can do!?

  • Comment number 30.

    14. At 12:04pm on 26 Apr 2010, Megan wrote:
    Policy? Whassat?

    It may be because the current crop of politicians are so mediocre and bereft of ideas that they don't actually have policies, or it may be because they feel that if the electorate understood what they wanted to do they would not get much support... it may just be that they are too lazy to come up with the convincing arguments to show the merits of their ideas...


    All parties know that this country is teetering on the edge. Even a small mistake could throw the UK into a downward spiral like Greece. So it's no surprise that NONE of them have pushed too many policies because they're going to have to drive the thing by the seat of their pants while praying fitfully.

    The LibDems seem somewhat in front, declaring policy but even they are tied to what happens elsewhere affecting our economy. Sooner or later the B of E will have to raise interest rates or send us into rampant inflation (I have no confidence in the B of E speculation that current inflation is temporary - it is not known for acting fast), the £ will revalue then we have to see what happens.

    This is one election I would NOT want to win.

  • Comment number 31.

    #11. At 11:55am on 26 Apr 2010, SerenAur wrote:
    I've not heard much about transport. Every day I travel on a poor and deteriorating bus service and nobody is addressing this. If we are going to use public transport, bus travel is key for all of us not living near a train station but only the Greens even mention it. So I'll be voting for them.

    ------------------------

    The problem with the buses and trains stems back to the 1990's when they were de-regulated (ie privatised) by Mrs Thatcher and the Tory government. I know from first hand experience as both myself and my husband used to work on the buses. When they were privatised the Companies would work for profit for their shareholders and not for passenger service or convenience. Bus routes were cut and timetables vastly altered, and it was probably the same on the trains. As they are now private companies none of the political parties are going to address the problems that you and many others face.

  • Comment number 32.

    I think the Lib Dem policy of making the threshold 10 000 pounds before paying tax is good cos it gives more incentive for scroungers to get to work.
    I hope the Torys take this policy on board as I dare not vote Lib Dem as I fear a wasted vote

  • Comment number 33.

    Policies? You mean they still *have* those? And there was I thinking it was all about soundbites and what tie someone's wearing, or how often they go jogging with photographers in attendance, and important things like that.

    Before jumping on the 'Nick Clegg is the Saviour of the Country, the World and Indeed the Known Universe OK' wagon I think people need to start asking themselves (not to mention the Lib-Dems) serious questions about what shady deals are being made with Cameron. It's beginning to look to me very like that's what's being done.

    If Nick Clegg really has already made some sort of pre-election pact with the Tories - you know, the ones who've aligned themselves in the EU with THE most unsavoury gang of extreme right-wingers they could have scraped up - then in my book he can think again about calling himself a Liberal, or a Democrat, and even less about any possibility I might ever again entertain even a fleeting thought of voting for his party.

    What a chancer. See a glimmer of possible "power" and all principle goes straight out the window.




  • Comment number 34.

    Regarding the comment (No 2 post):

    "No,the Tories haven't told us anything that people who were voters during the Thatcher years don't already know. They haven't changed and all they care about is supporting their own vested interestsand those of the privileged few (they are not called the Conservative Party for nothing!!)and will forget about the rest of us."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but whilst Margaret Thatcher was disliked by some, her policies were also favoured by many and accordingly she won every election she fought. I for one am glad that she tackled the undemocratic levels of power that were previously wealded by some Union Leaders. Had this not happened, the country would have gone to the dogs by now with the likes of Bob Crowe bringing the underground to a standstill in 'sympathy' with comrades in air traffic contro, firemen etc etc wanting 50% pay rises to keep up with inflation.

  • Comment number 35.



    There was certainly not enough coverage of policies. People had no idea of how poor the LibDem policies were on Trident, immigration, and the Euro and that is why they got a big but presumably temporary blip in support.

    I still think folk are even now only beginning to get to terms with how just poor the LibDem policies are for the economy. The slowest of all parties to address the key public spending/debt issue, with an economic policy which is anti-aspirational and was described by the Times yesterday as the most "anti-enterprise since the Labour Party of the 1970's".

    I do not think the TV stations have done a good job at all in description of party policies and that could have had dangerous consequences.

  • Comment number 36.

    No. I would like to hear more about the tories private school policy where wealthy middle class parents can get goverment funds to set up their own school and exclude the children from poorer backgrounds.

  • Comment number 37.

    Who shall I vote for? - I wish the parties would give me more details of their policies and I mean more details - i.e. on pensions, immigration crime, on human rights, a return of discipline in our schools, respect for law and order a complete review of social benefits. Oh yes and of course the economy and truthfully how they will deal with it.

  • Comment number 38.

    I will vote for the Conservatives as I relate to their Manifesto much more strongly than Gordon Brown and a very unscrupulous Nick Clegg's tripe. "A future fair to all" has Brown just realised that was his job away back 13 years ago...a dash sight too late. Gordon Brown has spoken about giving us a referendum about the House of Lords ..Has he taken a qualms of conscience about the lost referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
    How deep will Labour's cuts be when /if they get back in? I will be very concerned if they do, particularly about Darlings threats of "Deeper Cuts than Maggie Thatcher" back in the 80's. Labour need to be ousted once and for all. For Order to be returned to Britain and get it working again.
    Labours policies are almost short of genocide to our way of life, culture and history. Handing Britain to the damned EU, and total loss of control to their could not care less attitude to "Free entry into Britain" for the masses of immigrants swelling our systems.
    The nation needs to analyse it's thinking, and look back at how this scourge of a Labour Party (for the working man) has kicked them in the teeth so often and so hard and has never given the nation a smidgin of a thought but only to fulfill their own needs.

  • Comment number 39.

    Policies?????

    this is 2010 and we are still victims of crime, fraud and to be honest a pretty rubbish system of running the country.

    The 3 big parties have all had MP's in parliament, there to run the country in our best interests..surely?

    The very fact that the public dont believe their lies and that as other posters have said, these candidates are reluctant to promise anything,just shows how out of control our government is.

    As someone who doesnt read papers or watch much TV, I would hardly know there was an election on!

  • Comment number 40.

    I have to say no. The leaders debates are about personality and each leader, in particular Clegg, are masking their true policies. It is a complete disgrace that the leaders are not expertly cross-examined on their answers by the debate arbiter. The manifesto of each has rarely been scrutinised in a clinical way - thus the public are left with soundbites! Not a good way to run a general election. Come on BBC, change the rules for Thursday and examine the policies - the country needs this.

  • Comment number 41.

    I think this debate would have been so much better if the newspapers and the Tv stations where not so biased.
    STOP picking and choosing what you think we should hear and see.
    You at the bbc have parliment live. Most of the time the house is empty. WHY did you not ask them to use this for the Debate.
    Why not let them go at each other to see who has the most passion for Britain.
    90 minutes could have been more.
    First some of the cabinet.. then the Pm and the other parties all of them being asked questions by the public for the public.
    Not your hand picked people you could have went into work places and taped them asking the questions.

    WHY WAS THIS NOT DONE? we pay the license you have to act for the people. that pay it.

  • Comment number 42.

    I am stuck between voting for the Liberals or the Conservatives and have discounted Labour long since for several reasons. If you have just had the benefit of thirteen years power, the worst thing to do is to warn everyone about voting Liberal or Tory instead of focusing on your own policies. If your own policies were that sound, you would have no need to be concentrating on the policies of anyone else. Labour is like the gambler in the casino who has repeatedly put money on red and not yet won. They assure us that if they borrow just a little bit more, red will come in and all will be rosy. Enough said about Labour. I believe I am a typical voter with the following dilemma: I don't want to join the Euro or get any closer to Europe than we already are and yet, I do not want the "first past the post system because it is fundamentally so unfair and unrepresentative". Only because I see the need to cut borrowing sooner rather than later am I considering voting Conservative for the first time. Also, the Conservative stance on immigration is definite, realistic and has a cut-off point. If I wake up on the 7th and find either Mandelson, Brown or any of their cronies still in power, I will stand as an Independent MP myself come the next Election. My country has engaged in wars upon which I do not agree. I have a Prime Minister for whom I did not vote. Northern Rock was taken into public ownership and yet other banks were bailed out with squillions of our money. With the largest Public Sector in Europe, we now have a huge national liability on our hands - which I did not vote for. Mr Mandelson departed government twice in disgrace and is now back again. Again. My fear is change. I do not fear change. I fear that too many voters do fear change. Please don't vote Labour. They have not been honest and show no signs of changing.

  • Comment number 43.

    No, the campaign is definitely not concentrating on policies. As others have mentioned before, it is more of a beauty parade than anything else and as such poor old Gordon doesn't stand a chance. Hopefully he will get a better chance at the next TV Prime Ministerial debate which is supposed to be about the ecomony - his pet subject.

    I would also like to know who is included on the polls that you hear so much about. None of my friends, colleagues, family or myself have ever been asked what we think.

    I also had to laugh at a Tory politian on the TV over the weekend addressing a few select people in a market regarding the question of the lack of rented council housing and why councils were not building more. If Mrs Thatcher and the Tory party/councils had utilised the money they had received from all the council houses that had been sold with the hopes that it would improve Tory votes, to actually build new houses for rent then we would not have such a shortage of rented council property now.

  • Comment number 44.

    I have to laugh at Cameron's "Big Society".

    "Power to the People"? How about a voting system which dosen't stitch-up the majority of the people then Mr. Cameron?

    I've actually looked into this "Big Society" stuff a little. To the extent you can work out (or that any Tory can/will tell you) how it would actually work in practice, it seems to be nothing more than an activist's charter.

    We all know that the type of people who will lobby and agitate for running their own services and stuff will be those who have a religious and/or political and/or financial motive for doing so.

    The vast majority who just want a straightforward public service untainted by self-interest, predjudice and profit will simply get stitched up even more than they do already.

    Most Public services should have less involvement of people and organisations with vested interests and self-interest agendas, not more!!

  • Comment number 45.

    To be honest, I have heard more in this campaign about how opponents' policies are wrong, rather than what a particular party will do if elected. All campaigns have been far too negative in this election, which I suppose is a mark of how competitive and closely fought it has been.

    What has actually annoyed me most about policy is Gordon Brown's line on immigration. The same four words over and over again in both debates. "Net immigration is falling". This tells me nothing about what Labour policy is on this issue. David Cameron's plan may be unworkable, and Nick Clegg's may need to work out a few kinks, but at least they both have policies on this issue.

  • Comment number 46.

    Apple-Eater wrote:
    Utter rubbish. The LibDems will carry on, anti-democratically, taking us further into the EU.


    The Lib Dems have been the third party with a very small minority of seats in the last few parliaments. They've therefore not had the chance to take us anywhere, democratically or not.
    They may have voted in favour of the recent Lisbon Treaty but I think you'll find that this was in accordance with their parties published intentions towards Europe.

    Lord McNally said he wanted to avoid any confusion about the Lib Dem position on the Lisbon treaty.

    He told peers: "Let there be no doubt that we on these benches want to see this Bill passed and this treaty ratified.

    "Our general election commitment to a referendum was on a constitutional treaty. That commitment died with the constitution which was rejected by the French and the Dutch.

    "We have taken the view that the present treaty is an amending treaty which should be carried through by the Parliamentary process."


    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7324901.stm


    You may want like to get all worked up about the Lisbon Treaty and the transfer of powers to the EU but the reality is that most people couldn't care less if we're governed from Westminster or Brussels. The simple fact is that the Lib Dems have always been a pro-European party and have never hidden this fact; their MPs were elected on the basis that they'd be pro-European and they've then voted this way in Parliament, only a fool would consider this to be in any way undemocratic.



    They will carry on flooding the country with immigrants, encouraged by the fact that Clegg is willing to offer an amnesty to the illegals already here, rather than chucking them and their families out, quickly.


    How can they carry on flooding anything, as I've shown above they have not been in government, the Labour party have. They haven't even been the official opposition either, the Conservative party have so how have the Lib Dems been flooding anything ?
    Their amnesty towards immigrants is probably one of the most sensible ideas I've heard in this campaign, if people have been living and working here for many years then what's so bad about getting them to register the fact and to move them into the tax paying economy ?

    They're already here, they're not going anywhere and there's no way any of the parties would ever come close to getting rid of them. Why not offer them the chance to become normal members of our society and allow them the opportunity to pay taxes and help make our country a better place ?

    Surely its better than leaving them in the hands of criminal gangs, earning money on the black market and contributing to crime ?

    The Institute of Public Policy Research said such an amnesty would bring in £1bn in extra taxes and save costs of £4.7bn needed to deport people.

    So what you're supporting is that we spend over four and a half billion pounds trying to deport these people even though we have no idea where they are, what they look like and what they're up to.
    What a brilliant idea, we'll waste billions of pounds in a futile attempt to try to find and deport these people instead of offering them the chance to earn their citizenship and contribute to our society.

    With well thought out ideas like that I just can't wait to see how you're going to deal with the really difficult decisions like national defence, the economy and education.

  • Comment number 47.

    No it's very little about policies, just look at the impact of the 'leaders' debates - all about how each individual looked, their camera presence etc.

    But that is not new (just getting worse or more obvious) people don't vote about policies they vote according to tradition (eg a 'working man' will vote labour); If it were about policies any party willing to really get tough on crime, reintroduce capital punishment, slash foriegn aid, revolutionalise the benefits system and withdraw from the EU, would win a landslide victory!

  • Comment number 48.

    I think there is a prospect of electing a majority for the Liberal Democrats if they focus their message on the fact that only a vote for them will guarantee electoral reform. We need to sort the crisis in confidence in politicians and electoral reform (PR and elected House of Lords) is the priority that best offers the chance to regain a sense of direction as a nation. As far as other policies are concerned, the LDs and Labour share a similar (and safer) approach to the economy and social justice but reject the authoritarianism of the current government as do the Tories. There is enough common ground across the parties for most policy to reflect the views of the majority of us. The LDs are apparently the only party that can offer such leadership that offer something to all and excludes no one, so lets vote for them.

  • Comment number 49.

    #42. At 1:02pm on 26 Apr 2010, charlesburgessfry wrote:
    ...... I have a Prime Minister for whom I did not vote. Northern Rock was taken into public ownership and yet other banks were bailed out with squillions of our money....... My fear is change. I do not fear change. I fear that too many voters do fear change. Please don't vote Labour. They have not been honest and show no signs of changing.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    First of all I have lost count of the times that both I and others have said before - we do not vote for a Prime Minister (apart from the people in the constituancy from where they stand) but for our prederred political party and the leader of that party automatically becomes the Prime Minister.

    With regard to your second comment (Northern Rock and the Banks), I do not remember hearing from David Cameron or Nick Clegg for that matter, coming up with any better ideas about how to deal with the situation more effectly, apart from moan at the government afterwards.

    Lastly, I am not afraid of change but I am afraid of what the Tory party will do if they gain power this time, and I do not like being told not to vote for the Labour party, as I feel they are the only party that is going to get us through the present economic climate.

    And before you all have a go at me, please remember that this is my opinion.

  • Comment number 50.

    I am very disappointed with both the content of the live debates and the policies offered generally by the main parties.All parties seemed scared of being open and direct with the public about the tough policies needed to help a much needed economic recovery plan.
    No main party is prepared to acknowledge the fact that we have adopted an open door policy on immigration for too many years,and we have allowed ourselves to have our hands tied when dealing with the asylum issue.When confronted,they all refer to our 'friends in Europe',and the same problems they face.
    Personally,i would very much like to have the opportunity to vote for a party who would be honest with the electorate about the tough decisions needed to move this country forward,and away from the politically correct,Brussels influenced,socialist doctrines inflicted on our once great country.What happened to the Conservatives?

  • Comment number 51.

    "#40. At 12:51pm on 26 Apr 2010, teessidetommy wrote:
    I have to say no. The leaders debates are about personality and each leader, in particular Clegg, are masking their true policies. It is a complete disgrace that the leaders are not expertly cross-examined on their answers by the debate arbiter. The manifesto of each has rarely been scrutinised in a clinical way - thus the public are left with soundbites! Not a good way to run a general election. Come on BBC, change the rules for Thursday and examine the policies - the country needs this."

    I know you can't change the rules, but this is a good point. Rather than 3 90 minute debates every Thursday, we should have had 3 interviews each week with Paxman (or someone equally aggressive) pulling the 'policies' apart.

    We would then find out haw Cons. are going to plug the £6bn gap, how Lib-Dems. are going to make their 'regional immigration' policy work, and finally what excuses (beyond the worst global economic turndown in the entire history of the solar system, ever) Lab. have got for the state of everything after 13 years of 'prudence'.

  • Comment number 52.

    Honestly ...................NO!!

    But I DO know that any further time spent under a Labour government would be a disaster for this country and it`s people and that anyone considering voting Lib. Dem should be appaled and outraged by Cleggs recent comments which are more or less saying that he is already admiting defeat but is prepared to form a government with Labour , although both of them could lose the election on their own. So there you have it if you want a Labour government returned to further ruin this country and attack it`s people then just vote EITHER Labour or Lib Dem , if you have any sense however ,you will vote neither because this country NEEDS change desperately !

  • Comment number 53.

    No, key policy areas are not being discussed.

    Europe, immigration and the environment are barely mentioned, because the LibLabCon parties are broadly in agreement on all of them.

    7 - Buck, writes "Lib Dem policies: Remove low paid people from Income Tax system, stop wasting money on ID cards, ID database & cold war weapons while trying to reduce the deficit in as sensible a way as possible and reforming our political system."

    Utter rubbish. The LibDems will carry on, anti-democratically, taking us further into the EU. They will carry on flooding the country with immigrants, encouraged by the fact that Clegg is willing to offer an amnesty to the illegals already here, rather than chucking them and their families out, quickly.

    I love the way the LibDems oppose urban sprawl at local level, but support the policies on immigration which lead to the growing population which provides the excuse for the additional housing.

    The LibDems are getting a very easy ride on immigration and the EU, and the way they oppose at local level the policies which they support at national level.
    ------------

    So I take it that UKIP central office is a bit quiet today?

  • Comment number 54.

    If people want to know policies then they can read the manifestos like I did. I want to know what the candidates are like - whether they have honesty, integrity, the ability to admit when they're wrong, etc. If the BBC was simply parroting what's already in black and white I'd switch off.

  • Comment number 55.

    More to the point, do the Tories want us to know what their policies are?
    As soon as they put their heads above the parapet and come out with a policy they lay themselves open to attack even from their own party.
    Look at what's happened with their crazy ideological idea about independent state schools set up by parents - sounds a good idea until anybody really starts to think about the implications ... as a number of Tory county councillors have done today.
    Tories on the ground know that some of the airy-fairy ideas Cameron spouts about are based on nothing more than attractive soundbites - they must be dreading the prospect of a Conservative victory!!!

  • Comment number 56.

    No. I would like to hear more about the tories private school policy where wealthy middle class parents can get goverment funds to set up their own school and exclude the children from poorer backgrounds.

    -
    You have about as in depth knowledge as they do on this and any of their other polices.

    Try asking a Tory "cut an extra 6 billion this year how?"

    Answer "Don't vote Liberal!"

  • Comment number 57.

    I would like to know which of the parties is going to tackle the problem of rapist Catholic priests and is going to confront the pope about his role in helping paedophiles to escape justice.

  • Comment number 58.

    It's not the policies that are missing but the politics. None of the mainstream parties address the real issue and that is that free market capitalism is failing to meet the needs of the majority of the world's population.

  • Comment number 59.

    Could we please have a referendum on the top ten policy commitments any incoming government must fund from a choice of twenty alternatives which voters place in order from first to twentieth choice? Shouldn't take a computer too long to work out the results and give us the top ten.

  • Comment number 60.

    If financial markets are really so scared of a hung parliament, how come the pound hasn't budged an inch the last two weeks, despite all the polls pointing to a three-way split? And anyway, Greece doesn't have coalition governments. But Germany does. So go figure.

  • Comment number 61.

    There has been the usual bluster and indignance about the EU throughout the campaign, much of it directed at LibDems for being pro-european.

    On the whole, they are. But if you look at actual POLICY, anyone to whom withdrawal from the EU is their top issue should be voting LibDem.

    Tory Policy is to have a referendum on transfer of any major new powers to the EU should such a transfer be proposed. They are firmly committed to EU membership itself, and rule out a referendum on EU membership.

    LibDem Policy is to have a referendum on continued membership of the EU should transfer of any major new powers be proposed.

    Of course, Both parties' policies are carefully worded to use words like "major" which they can't/won't explain/define - and therefore give them their get-out to break the promise.

    I honestly don't know what Labour Policy is - presumably the "Status Quo" ?

    Yes, you can also vote UKIP etc. whose policy is simply withdrawal (without referendum) - but the voting system will effectively disenfranchise you.

  • Comment number 62.

    No; I'd like to see more policy from Cameron and his chums (where are they). At the moment he only spouts old Tory jargon and that can't get my vote.

  • Comment number 63.

    2. At 11:38am on 26 Apr 2010, mo_czar wrote:

    ..

    is reverting to his old posh voice?

    ..

    'Posh'? You sound like you should be in a playground! Does your mummy and daddy know you're on their computer?

  • Comment number 64.

    No politician standing in this election is going to say, in order to sort out the financial situation we will have to produce a plan which will satisfy the international bond markets(where governments sell bonds to raise revenue),get a coherent plan together(in the bond's markets terms) and they will lend to us indefinitely. The bond market is not worried about 'hung' parliaments or whether one party takes power, what they want to see is a plan.
    That means public expenditure cuts(they love those), tax rises(except on business) and signs that the government is serious.
    What politician is going to say to the voters 'I will govern in the interests of the bond markets if elected.'

  • Comment number 65.

    "It's not the policies that are missing but the politics. None of the mainstream parties address the real issue and that is that free market capitalism is failing to meet the needs of the majority of the world's population."
    - 58. At 1:41pm on 26 Apr 2010, Human0Bean

    That's because the mainstream parties and the voters they represent know that the alternatives are even worse.

  • Comment number 66.

    To be fair to the politicians I suspect that some of them would like to focus on the issues but the media is obsessed with looks and sound bites, it's so superficial and easy reporting this way. I think Brown has been forced into joining in this beauty contest which Clegg and Cameron are happier with. The public have to accept the medias interpretation of the campaign, we have no say in how it is presented to us.
    Brown has constantly been saying he wants to discuss the issues as he feels he is stronger there, likewise Clegg and Cameron don't want the same in depth debate as they feel their strength lies in critising. As the campaign progresses it has become obvious that Brown is actually a lot more comfortable meeting the public than we would have thought from the media coverage he has received in the past

  • Comment number 67.

    I have missed the first 2 debates and have no interest in the 3rd. Regardlss of policy detail I know i want Gordon Brown to be removed as Prime Minister and this profligate wasteful corrupt government gone. Other than this I'm not too bothered. We are going to be taxed more and public sector workers are going to lose their jobs on mass whatever.

    Interesting that suddenly Labour are unhappy with the substance and outcome of the debates with Nick Clegg becoming much higher profile. Now they write to all the TV stations asking for more policy focus. Desperate really.

    None of this makes much difference. The Conservatives will win a working majority on May 6th regardless of the media having convinced first themselves then most of the electorate that a hung parliament will result.

    Last time round Labour won 55% of the seats (345) with 35% of the vote.
    Liberal Democrats 22% Vote 9% Seats.

    With 232 of these seats won with Conservatives in 2nd place if 1 in 10 Labour voters switch to the Liberal Democrats (very likely if polls are remotely accurate) and 2-3 in 100 switch to Conservative and another 3-5% of Labour voters just fail to vote period, being completely disullusioned with Labour but unable to switch - well you do the maths - Labour are likely to lose 150 seats next week leaving Cameron with a 30-50 majority. Mandleson knows this which is why he is saying "Flirt with Clegg you are likely to marry Cameron"

  • Comment number 68.

    With the 3 failed parties all agreeing on the biggest policy of all, total subjugation under the EU Reich, the media have been struggling to find any policies.

    They have been carefully avoiding any mention of the EU, immigration, the huge debt that £45 million per day has run up and the total destruction of traditional British institution, values and culture. It borders on ethnic cleansing.

    Freedom and democracy are dead in this country unless we make real change now and dump these EU gravy train politicians.

  • Comment number 69.

    No I dont think there is enough focus on policies. The TV debates have shown that if you can talk the talk and act a bit like Tony Blair then some people are easily spellbound. BBC just interviewed some young students all asked the same question "who are you going to vote for" the answer Lib Dems, when asked why, not one could provide an answer, only that they had watched the TV debates and they liked what they saw. Its not about policies, its absolutely the X Factor. Does anyone remember how we were charmed by Tony Blair, who blatantly lied to this country, I fear Nick Clegg is the same.

  • Comment number 70.

    Clearly not. The LibDem surge based on a single TV appearance where very few policies (and not the most important one, the economy) were discussed shows that this is a all presentational. Witness the fact that only about 11% of those saying they will vote LD said they know what LD policies are. I read this morning that some woman said she won't vote for Dave because she doesn't like his lips!

  • Comment number 71.

    Anybody who will give us,not promise us a referendum on are withdrawl from the EU will get my vote.

    So i guess it will be between UKIP or BNP.

    Everything this country is suffering from including economy,out of control immigration and are justice system stems from being part of the parasitic liberal empire.

  • Comment number 72.

    JML1970 perhaps you should read the LimpDim policy again, they will only have a referendum if there is a sunstantial transfer of power to the EU. That has all ready happened, there are no more powers to transfer. They handed over the keys to the Kingdom when they signed the tratorial Lisbon Con.

    It's over. That train has gone, the horse has bolted.

    jml1970 wrote:

    On the whole, they are. But if you look at actual POLICY, anyone to whom withdrawal from the EU is their top issue should be voting LibDem.

    Tory Policy is to have a referendum on transfer of any major new powers to the EU should such a transfer be proposed. They are firmly committed to EU membership itself, and rule out a referendum on EU membership.

  • Comment number 73.

    #51. At 1:27pm on 26 Apr 2010, Peter Nunn wrote:
    "#40. At 12:51pm on 26 Apr 2010, teessidetommy wrote:
    I have to say no. The leaders debates are about personality and each leader, in particular Clegg, are masking their true policies. It is a complete disgrace that the leaders are not expertly cross-examined on their answers by the debate arbiter. The manifesto of each has rarely been scrutinised in a clinical way - thus the public are left with soundbites! Not a good way to run a general election. Come on BBC, change the rules for Thursday and examine the policies - the country needs this."

    I know you can't change the rules, but this is a good point. Rather than 3 90 minute debates every Thursday, we should have had 3 interviews each week with Paxman (or someone equally aggressive) pulling the 'policies' apart.

    We would then find out haw Cons. are going to plug the £6bn gap, how Lib-Dems. are going to make their 'regional immigration' policy work, and finally what excuses (beyond the worst global economic turndown in the entire history of the solar system, ever) Lab. have got for the state of everything after 13 years of 'prudence'.

    -------------------------

    There have actually been two in-depth interviews on TV so far with Jeremy Paxman - the first with Nick Clegg and the second with David Cameron. On both occasions the interviewees were squirming in their seats and not giving an adequate response to Paxman's questions in his eyes. The third interview with Gordon Brown, is I think due to take place sometime this week. Should be interesting!

  • Comment number 74.

    Since the media seem reluctant to tell you the full story, I'd suuggest reading the following:

    Conservative Manifesto:

    http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Manifesto.aspx

    Labour Manifesto:

    http://www2.labour.org.uk/manifesto-splash

    Lib Dem Manifesto:

    http://www.libdems.org.uk/our_manifesto.aspx

    UKIP Manifesto:

    http://www.ukip.org/content/ukip-policies/1567-ukip-manifesto

    BNP Manifesto:

    Couldn't find a specific manifesto but here are their policies:
    http://bnp.org.uk/policies/

    Green Manifesto:

    http://www.greenparty.org.uk/policies.html

    SNP Manifesto:

    http://www.snp.org/issues/manifestos

    Plaid Cymru Manifesto:

    http://www.plaidcymru.org/content.php?nID=44;catID=7;lID=1

    I'd advise not using their "Let's see if you agree with us" questionnaires as they invariably end up matching over 50% as the questions are very leading. Read and make up your own minds. My personal advice is to think about the following:

    - Labour have been in charge 13 years so any 'putting things right' should have been done by now.
    - Labour have also gone back on many promises since the last election (Constitution Referendum, etc.)
    - Many manifestos will have vague wording to allow worming out at a later date (see Labour and the referendum issue above)

  • Comment number 75.

    re 43 Mofro

    build new houses for rent then we would not have such a shortage of rented council property now.

    So what exactly have the current government being doing about it these past 13 years then ? Or have all those new houses gone to the immigrants as well as all the new jobs ?

  • Comment number 76.

    I am aware that the politicians are too scared to outline their policies which do not differ from each other, and thus the election is about presentation, eye contact, playing to the cameras and so on. No problem when, after six months of a hung parliament we have a new election and no one can be accused of breaking promises or departing from policy.

    This said, surely media experts and experienced BBC reporters should be capable of forcing the politicians into a political debate. This has to be the worse election for decades regarding absence of politics.

    Come on BBC surely there is a political story somewhere.

  • Comment number 77.

    Fact is that they can all say what they like, but we don't trust them to do any of what they say.

    So it's now become sad,all about TV face, and run like Heat magazine.

    Next time round it'll be Kerry Katona as PM, and Cheryl Cole at the Home Office. Just as long as we don't get Graham Norton, Jordan and Harry Hill in there maybe it'll be OK. (it can't be any more farcical than Brown's crew, can it)

  • Comment number 78.

    Why would politicos focus on their weakest topic? They are experts in spite, glibness, nastiness and banality. Why get into areas with rationale, logic and thoughts? Those areas require thought! Politico leaving the building!

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    I've followed every election in the last 50 years and can honestly say the following:

    1 I have never seen a copy of ANY party manifesto, (I believe they only produce about 100 and give them all to journalists).

    2 I have only met ONE candidate, who wanted to become my MP, he appeared on my doorstep and told me an outright lie which I threw back at him. (he became my MP and was culled in 1997).

    3 The USA are said to look with awe at our three week election campaigns as opposed to their whole election year bean-feast. Well to me 3 weeks seems like a lifetime, we knew it was comeing so why couldn't we have just one quick week, please.

    4 Everyone I have ever spoken too about politics at election time has already made up their minds, so please can we have the French law that bans opinion poles just before elections, (i.e. 3 weeks before).

    5 Politicians, even very savvy ones like Tony Blair, repel the majority of people, but thats all we ever get, sound-bites and photo-opportunities. At the last election a politician turned up at a school and when asked the 11 year olds all knew this was just for the election.
    We know what the policies are, tories = small government; labour = big government, lib dems = not the other two. Lets just vote.

    6 The outcome of the election is immaterial as the government is allways elected.

  • Comment number 81.

    I find the "Big Society" ideas of Dave and his party quite scary, frankly. Schools for one instance - do we really want any set of moneyed cranks to be able to run our all our local schools? People with their own weird and peculiar axes to grind, trying to get control of all those young minds. Perish the thought!

    And volunteer societies and charities are going to step in and take up the reins for providing all the other Govt services that make society relatively civilised, are they? Everything we, our children or elderly relatives rely on. Everywhere, all over the country? How's that supposed to work then?

    To me it all seems like an airbrushed front for the fact that the Tories are proposing VERY BIG CUTS IN EVERY DIRECTION (whilst making sure the fat cats stay fat, naturally). Tell the truth Cameron, and spell out the financing and where, and how deep, your cuts are going to be.

  • Comment number 82.

    With the advent of the TV debates, this election has become too focussed on personalities and presentation rather than policies. Moreover, there has also been too much focus on the leaders rather than their teams. Judging by the polls, many voters don't seem to realise, for example, that if they choose David Cameron they also get George Osborne, Michael Gove and Theresa May who are all weak links compared with their opposite numbers in the other major parties.

  • Comment number 83.

    Yes, yes, yes, we know all the policies. What we don't know is what they'll actually get up to once in power.

  • Comment number 84.

    Both Labour and Tories should tell us more about the spending cuts they plan.

    Especially the Tories, who although they are planning an emergency budget, and will have discussed this in confidence with Treasury officials, refuse to tell us details of what they have in mind. They have said that they will need a strong government, presumably one with a good working majority, to do what they think should be done. The implication is that their plans would not be acceptable to many voters.

    The Tories have form. In 1979, the Thatcher government nearly doubled VAT in order to reduce income tax, very soon after a general election in which they kept quite about this change, even although it must have been already planned.

  • Comment number 85.

    Nope not at all. So far Clegg as gotten away with his wacky polices because Cameron wants to look cooler than Clegg and Brown is, well, just being daft old Gordon.

  • Comment number 86.

    i have not seen or heard any reaseon to vote for any particular person or party ,all the so is slag each other ,and not give us any real poicies ,

  • Comment number 87.

    What policies?? If Cameron talked about policies he wouldn't be able to change them all two days later as he likes to do.

    Personally I think the debates have had undesirable effects that were perhaps unforeseen. Sky News appears more interested in analysis of body language than what was said. The media in general have focussed far too much on style nowhere near enough on content. We are in danger of selecting a Prime Minister using X factor criteria. Were we living in a republic such debates might be worthwhile but no matter how impressed I am with with any of the leaders, I cannot vote for any of them and I am not going to vote for a useless candidate just because I am impressed by his/ her, leader.

  • Comment number 88.

    All Election Party Policies at best are very vague, for however much ANY Manifesco addresses an one single Issue, these Issues as always "Subjet To Change" as many past Manifesco pledges have either been overtaken by the event of finding - out later upon reaching Office that any one particular promise is found to be un-affordable, or otherwise they are Time Shifted and dragged - out for so long during The Parliamentary Term process so thereby being lost for the duration only to return again in the Next Manifesco and beyond over and over again until even the idea of such a pledge goe's out of style with the Political Party in question, or out of fashion with the Voting Public at large.

    Currently, we are hearing what can only discribed as Snap - Shots or, Sound - Bites as to what "Maybe" is in ANY given Political Party Manifesco, for the idea here is to let YOU the Voting Public make your OWN ideas up upon what you THINK you ALL heard or read about any given Policy to be, to the point whereby when you compare Notes upon what you assumed was clearly "The Policy" at hand, everyone else around you has effectively interpreted their understanding of the SAME Information by arriving at a completely outcome of what is on offer upon ANY given Agenda subject.

    This confusion arrives because of Double - Standards about the vagueness of understanding of what YOU thought was "The Policy" in the First - Place, for this is WHY there is to be found a wide gap between what your understandings of events was/were originally of "The Policy" on offer [ In the Manifesco ], and the vague Answers given by ANY/ALL of the representatives of ANY Politial Party when asked to comment about their Policies and give more fully details about what defines clearly the wording of the Pledges and what they really mean in practice, by translating them into layman terms for clear understanding and definitions.

    Hence: The reasons why still now today many People are STILL trying to come to Terms and fully understand just what any one given Political Party will really do about everyday matters relating to a whole raft of everyday Issues such as in: Education, Tax, and Public Services etc:, for many people still are not understanding where they WILL end up in their own Personal Lifes after the next General Election, and just WHAT will be the effects of what the next Government Policies will have in their everyday lives.

    Therefore, we should view ANY Political Parties pledges in their respective Manifesco's as being - 5% Froff, and 95% confusion.

  • Comment number 89.

    Amazingly, I've only had 1 leaflet through my door throughout this election campaign and while this means I might not hit my recycling target this month, it did mean I paid more attention it than I might have done otherwise.

    The leaflet was for the Labour candidate and was entirely about what the current local (Lib Dem) goverment wasn't doing and hadn't done. No mention of what this Labour politician would do if he got in, just going on and on about the Lib Dems, how they agreed with the Conservatives, how they'd failed the local people and so on.

    If he'd mentioned just once what he intended to do in the event of him being elected, I might have taken him more seriously. Instead, he just derided the opposition. So no, I'd say the election hasn't focused enough on policies at all.

    Of course, him pointing out that we could contact him via "face book" (as two words) shows (to me anyway) just how out of touch Labour really is.

  • Comment number 90.

    All of the parties, as far as I can tell from the published stories, are totally focused on rubbishing each other and none are standing up to be counted on what they actually stand for. Not "believe in" - everyone is going to say things like "fairer society" and "less crime" - but actually what are they going to do and who are they going to favour ?

    They are all cowards. Pigs at a trough and the trough is emptying slowly...

  • Comment number 91.

    85. At 2:35pm on 26 Apr 2010, Toad In The Hole wrote:
    Nope not at all. So far Clegg as gotten away with his wacky polices because Cameron wants to look cooler than Clegg and Brown is, well, just being daft old Gordon.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    We now have a 3 Horse Race in The Wacky Races Derby, with the 3 Front Runners - Voting each way upon whom will take 2nd Place.

    So what are they Feeding the Horses on - Bull S**t.

    Saids alot about the state of the Field, for we WILL end up paying to clear it ALL up.

  • Comment number 92.

    #72 - not sure what the problem is?

    Tories, Labour - No referendum on EU membership - fully committed to membership.

    LibDems - Referendum on EU membership if EU goes ahead with further substantial/major transfer of powers.

    UKIP, BNP - No referendum on EU membership - fully committed to withdrawal.

    Realistically, you may be correct in saying "its over", but you can't blame the LibDems for that - only Tories and Labour for their consistent acceptance of further integration without the people's consent, despite (particularly in the Tories' case) being blatantly duplicitous with the public over many years and EU treaties.

    Since the LibDems are the only party who both MIGHT get some sort of lever on the corridors of power, and MIGHT offer voters an in/out choice, the only way you can have even a small chance of EU withdrawal (via democratic process!) is to vote LibDem, since the greater the LibDem mandate, the more chance that choice may come about...

    It might not sit easily with many people's views, but the fact remains that the ONLY chance in the forseeable future of achieving EU withdrawal is to vote for (on the face of it) a pro-european party... Strange, but true.

  • Comment number 93.

    If the Lib Dems can rise by 10% in the polls after a 90 minute TV debate, the answer must be no. The Lib Dems policies are so awful that it's quite obvious they would lose support if everyone read their manifesto.

    VAT on new houses, amnesty for 1 - 2 million illegal immigrants and their families, scrap Trident, more wind farms, no nuclear power stations, increasing air passenger taxes, more general taxation on houses and incomes. They make the Labour party look positively frugal.

    Whenever Clegg and Cable talk about “fairness” they mean taking money from those who have earned it to give to those who either won’t or don’t want to work. This may well be the right thing to do but “fair” it is not.

    Now they propose to raise taxes so those who work the hardest pay more. There are two things wrong here. Firstly, it is not an incentive to work harder but more importantly it sends a message of entitlement to the indolent and lazy that it is “fair” to live off your neighbours. It isn’t.

    A man on the radio last week said he was voting for Clegg but didn't know what his policies were, so there should certainly be more focus by the BBC on policies.

  • Comment number 94.

    And they wonder why so many people don't vote.

    Even the introductory remarks on policies on this page are misleading.

    Labour policy is plain and clear - to remain in government at all costs

    You don't believe me ?

    Watch and see what happens after the results are known.

  • Comment number 95.

    Baronet Osbourne is doing a panic press conference at the moment about a hung parliment the tories have been found out and they in a panic because it looks like the public does not want Cameron or Brown in charge on their own

  • Comment number 96.


    To me, "you don't want a hung parliament" sounds like a desperate plea from parties that don't have the policies to win voters on their own merits. We're not idiots. Stop and telling me what I should be doing; we're here to choose what you should be doing.

  • Comment number 97.

    It would help if the BBC got its facts right on reporting, saying there was a dispute between Kent County Council and Micheal Gove on education policy when there wasn't. It seems the BBC bias is against the Conservatives and it doestn't help when you report spin facts fed to you by the Liebour Party.

  • Comment number 98.

    Andrew Marr did some good work trying to find out what Lib Dem immigration amnesty was in practice, as did John Sopel on the politics show in march. This largely became a personality issue under questioning because the ramifications of policy were not explored. For example, something which Marr put tangentially to Clegg was that while his amnesty would tackle supply for the moment, it wouldn't tackle demand. All Clegg could say was that he would have more stringent penalties on employers- which begs the question, why not just have that in the first place to dry up demand, and when demand goes, so will the illegals.

    More interaction of the public would probably lead to this 'common sense' line of questioning, since even though broadcasters and media can pull apart the failed mechanics of various policies they seem unable to voice what the 'man in the street' might say. This seems to be because of the politicans and the broadcasters are broadly speaking from the same class and inhabit the same bubble. The BBC needs to address this unstated cultural bias towards liberal ideology and free market economics- perfect example of this groupthink mindset being Evan Davies.

  • Comment number 99.

    Much manipulation and dogma out there by the unrepresentative big boys?

    Our family will be voting according to the next Chancellor?

    Conservative Chancellor - George Osborne - no way!

    Labour Chancellor - possibly Ed Balls' wife - she is a cool, bright and worthy contender, but held back by Gordon - voters see through teasing? Sorry - too little, too late for such a brilliant and competent woman?

    Liberal Democrats - Vince Cable - our family will trust to improve and expand our economy. Plus, Vince Cable will lift front line workers - nurses, health care workers, firefighters, paramedics, police, refuse collectors etc, etc., out of taxation of their first £10K of earnings.

    Does Conservative Chancellor George Osbourne have a clue, or even care about the people who work for you and me 24/7???? Conservative Party, still, live in another stratosphere?

  • Comment number 100.

    i am amazed at the the majority of comments here by people whining on and on about how it is all spin and about x-factor popularity and image etc.

    WELL GO AND READ THEIR MANIFESTOS THEN!

    Cleggs great showing on tv simply motivated me to actualy check their policies, and i only decided to vote Lib-Dem when i read their policies - I then though about the fact that the Lib-dems have consistantly posted local campaign sheets (printed on recycled paper I might add) through my door for years on end (I live in westminster), and have NOT simply done so just before an election like labour and the tories have (both of whom btw posted non-recycled paper, glossy, heavyweight campaign sheets in the last week only)

    I've never seen hide nor hair of the lab/tories until a week ago, so why the hell should i vote for them, and obviously from their glossy full-weight, full-colour begging letters they talk the green talk but definately dont walk the green walk.

    Next shadow chancellors - osborne = a Bullingdon landed-gentry baronet educated in history, who spent a few years as a party backroom stats and spin man. never had any economics experience at all - now check Vince Cable's CV - I mean come on people.

    if you do vote at least vote BECAUSE of something the party has, rather than because of fear based negative smear based politics which frankly, labour & tories are now using in large dollops as a last deperate pitch - notice how it all instantly slithered back to good old slagging/negative stuff from both the parties AND their various supporting 'rags' as soon as Clegg did well in the debates polls? It's the same old same old - If in doubt, resort to 'fear and smear'.

    What's the latest Tory fear-tactic? oh yes!: "A hung Parliament means a falling pound!" - "A hung Parliament means higher mortgages!" - Their ENTIRE strategy now is to make people terrified of a 'hung parliament' pshaw right! a coalition govt has obviously crippled germany! lol - Be scared! Vote tory out of fear!! lol, yeah right, get real for once people!

 

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