The Great Debate UK

UK political parties take mixed approach to social media

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RachelGibson- Rachel Gibson is a professor at the Institute for Social Change in the University of Manchester. The opinions expressed are her own. -

The three main parties have clearly moved into full battle mode since the UK election campaign starting gun was fired on April 6th. And while the pounding of pavements and pressing of doorbells will no doubt be crucial in producing the swings needed in key marginal constituencies, the online technology driving these targeting efforts seems to have advanced a step or two since the last election.

Taking a leaf out of the Barack Obama presidential campaign management handbook, the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats have all set up ‘hub’ sites on the web to recruit volunteers and spread their messages virally.

Labour’s effort – membersnet – and the more self-referential myconservatives and Lib Dem Act are all variants of the MyBarackObama.com or ‘MyBO’ website as it was more affectionately known, launched in early 2007 by the then U.S. Democratic presidential candidate.

Leaders’ debate could play out in favour of Libdems

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MarkHillary- Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is the author of several books, including ‘Who Moved my Job?’ and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’. He is participating in the Reuters Election 2010 politics live blog during the leaders’ debates and on election night. The opinions expressed are his own. -

It’s time for the second leaders’ debate on Thursday evening. This one will focus on international affairs, so it’s likely Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be on the defensive when talking about Afghanistan, Iraq, and the continued need for cold-war era nuclear weapons, such as Trident.

Christopher Harvie on “the last days of Gordon Brown”

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As Britain gears up for a general election with polls pointing toward a hung parliament, pundits are not only speculating on how the political landscape of the future might look, but they are also taking stock of the past.

In his new book “Broonland, the last days of Gordon Brown“, Christopher Harvie, a former colleague of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and an SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for mid-Scotland and Fife in Brown’s Kirkaldy base, takes a turn at surveying the lay of the land.

Old traditions die hard in UK election campaigning

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number10A study of constituency-level campaign techniques undertaken by Brunel University ahead of a general election expected in early May shows that direct mail is by far the most common method of contact used by politicians to reach potential voters.

Of the 27 percent of the electorate contacted by one of the three main political parties in February, about 90 percent received some form of communication through the post via direct mail, the study shows. Some 92 percent said they had been reached through mailings from the Liberal Democrats, 89 percent from the Conservative Party and 81 percent from the Labour Party.

Tariq Ali on how unions fare under Labour rule

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Amid a stand-off between British Airways and the Unite union, the Labour Party’s main financial supporter, Prime Minister Gordon Brown called a planned strike by BA cabin crew workers “unjustified and deplorable” last week and said both sides should return to talks.

Rail signal workers in the RMT union are also threatening to strike, but haven’t announced a date.

Electoral future shrouded in mystery

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justin_fisher-Justin Fisher is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Magna Carta Institute at Brunel University. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Barring a huge surprise, it seems most likely that the general election will be held on 6th May 2010 — the same day as the local elections.

Send your questions to Alistair Darling

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darlingDo you have a question you would like to ask Chancellor Alistair Darling? Now is your chance.

At 1:30pm British time on Wednesday, October 21, Reuters is hosting an exclusive Web 2.0 interview with Darling and we want you to send us your questions to put to the top man from the Treasury.

Is the general election all over bar the shouting?

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justin_fisher-Justin Fisher is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Magna Carta Institute at Brunel University. The opinions expressed are his own.-

With the election now just under seven months away, the starting guns for the campaign were fired at the party conferences. This general election looks like the most eagerly awaited since 1997, and could lead for some significant changes for each of the three largest parties.

Labour set plans for post-crisis society

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Stephen Timms-Member of Parliament Stephen Timms is the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. The opinions expressed are his own.-

I’m heading to Brighton to join colleagues from across Government, the Parliamentary Labour Party and grass roots Party members from across the country.

from UK News:

Financial regulation plan: white paper or white flag?

Chancellor Alistair Darling set out new plans to strengthen regulation of financial markets on Wednesday. The white paper proposes enforcing higher levels of capital for banks and increasing liquidity to prevent a re-run of the credit crunch.

Darling wants banking pay packages to be policed and for a new Council for Financial Stability to bring together the work of the Bank of England, Financial Services Authority and the Treasury.

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