“The people have spoken. However no-one knows what they said.” So said Lord Ashdown former leader of the Liberal Democrat Party in the UK after the result of yesterday’s General Election produced a hung parliament ie one in which no political party has an absolute majority of the seats. It’s 36 years since this last happened in the UK. It’s quite common in many countries including New Zealand. Interestingly just as the UK (where, for example, the Liberal Democrats have about 26% of the votes and only about 9% of the seats in the House of Commons) is talking about a revised electoral system, New Zealand (which has a mixed member proportional representation system) is talking about moving towards a first-past-the-post system which it had for many years and which the UK has. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the politicians to reach an accommodation and for a government to be formed.
As a former Returning Officer I found the election fascinating more for the system than for the politics. Until I retired I had been involved in organising elections since the early 1960s and I cannot recall there ever having been a situation in the UK where people were, en masse, turned away from the ballot because there were just too many people wanting to vote at the close of the poll. That situation occurred in many constituencies this time. In fact in Liverpool, the city where I started my career, the unforgivable happened and some polling stations ran out of ballot papers. I imagine that the Electoral Commission will now be looking very seriously at how we vote in the UK. The irony is that although it is an apparently antiquated system it is as near foolproof as one can get and I hope the temptation to bring about wholesale change to remedy a one-off happening will not occur.
Whilst all these interesting things were going on I busied myself with the mundane task of mending the outside light. The weather was beautifully clear and sunny but the single figure ambient temperature made even colder by the bitter wind did take the gloss off having to work outside.
Gaz and I had coffee in An Lanntair this afternoon. The new restaurant manager, Paul, has transformed the coffee shop side of things. Ever since the arts centre opened the coffee has been varied and, in my experience, almost always dreadful. Pat said that the coffee was now excellent. And so it is. Gaz felt that at 3.30 in the afternoon they could at least have offered cake with the coffee. Speaking to Paul it transpired that they are now selling so much home-made cake they are taking on another person to help the chef. The reason they had no cake was simply that it had all been eaten. So that’s been a real revelation to which to return.
Back at the house I thought about the pond (I typed ‘pondered’ but then realised what it sounded like) and the algae. I have removed so much that I find it hard to believe just how much is still in there. the bottom is like an algae soup. I have tried barley straw but it doesn’t seem to be having any effect. Ah well, I’ll just keep trawling.
When I drove home this evening I realised that the daffodils and narcissi that a neighbour plants along the road into their property were not quite over and I thought you might appreciate a spring picture from the Hebrides.
Gaz is out for the evening catching up with some of his old friends. I have been re-instating Henry who has been discharged from the computer hospital having had a sound card transplant. He has made a full recovery and is now back in his rightful place in the Study waiting to have a good day’s work tomorrow.
As I took a photograph of the sun setting late this evening
I realised that there was another job for tomorrow (those pigeons have a lot to answer for)
And now, as Zebedee would have said, for bed. Night night.