Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The London mayoral elections are on May 1, 2008. As a resident of London, I am entitled to vote. And I will be voting, given that this will be the first chance ever in my life that I have the opportunity to vote on something that will make a difference. Perhaps it's because I have never had the choice to do so in Singapore that I am taking this particularly seriously to the extent that I have gone to Vote Match, scrutinised the positions taken by the various candidates on a number of issues, and decided on a candidate to vote for. Moreover, I have had serious debates with fellow overseas Singaporeans resident in London over why I have made the choice I have.

The two candidates who have by far and away the biggest lead over the rest of the pack are Ken Livingstone, the current Mayor of London, and Boris Johnson, a Tory candidate whose previous positions include editing The Spectactor. It is a sad day indeed when Boris, a confirmed idiot, not just in my eyes, but in the eyes of many, is tied with the incumbent, who has had the benefit of doing the job in question for five years. It just goes to show how thoroughly Ken has messed up over the past few years. True, he has had some successes - the congestion charge being one of them, the way he responded to the July 2005 bombings, uniting a defiant London is another - but the very fact that he's tied - or according to some polls, behind Boris - just illustrates just how much his character defects and failure to keep his campaign promises have damaged his claim to the position.

How on earth could someone who has claimed that he would run London with the help of a panel of advisers but refuses to name that panel until May 2, 2008 (i.e. after he is elected) as it would be "smack of hubris" for him to do so have so many people supporting him? Don't they feel as insulted as I am at the sheer arrogance that Boris is displaying by refusing to let London make an informed decision as to the quality and suitability of his advisers? Boris clearly isn't qualified to lead London on his own. That much can be seen, given his history of general buffonery. Why then should we trust his judgement when it comes to selecting the panel that will be helping to govern London?

That being said, the candidate I plan to vote lacks political experience as well. Still, I'm willing to take a chance on him. The only candidate among those standing with actual experience just hasn't cut the mustard and - to me - doesn't deserve a second term on the basis of his performance. While the candidate I am backing will not win, I feel it is the best avenue I have of expressing my dissatisfaction with the two leading candidates.

I never really thought I would have such a strong opinion on anything this serious given that I'm not the confrontational sort, so this really is a new experience for me.

Related Links
The Observer - Ken has to show the joke will be on London if it elects Boris
The Daily Telegraph's coverage of the Mayor of London elections
The Times - It's Horrid Ken vs. Chaotic Boris
The Independent - The Men Who Would Be Mayor: Power and the People


Anonymous said...

you can vote not because you're a resident of london (not all residents get to vote) but cos you're a commonwealth citizen who lives in london.

and i believe your criticism of ken is unjustified

Little Miss Random said...

Hi Anonymous,

All residents of London who are British, Commonwealth or EU citizens are eligible to vote... and quite frankly, that covers everybody I know, which is probably why I forgot that part.

As for the second part of your comment, it would be good if you could substantiate your opinion. How is my criticism unjustified?