General Election 2010 Diary Day 1: It’s On Like Donkey Kong

So, with the Queen having decided that her May diary is clear enough to allow us to decide who can rule the country, it’s time for The Most Important Election Since The Last One That Was As Or More Important (But It’s Definitely More Important Than 2001 Which Might As Well Have Been Scripted By Samuel Beckett So Little Happened Amidst All The Discussion About It) and I figured that if I can’t get myself blogging about it – after all, I ran a blog all about the last one – then I really ought to close down this blog and send it to the archives.

This election is a first for me as an active politician as well – for the ones before I was just an ordinary party member (and just an average student way back in 1992 when I voted for the first time) so I’m getting a much different perspective on how it all works behind the scenes (who knew leaflets and letters stuffed into envelopes didn’t just appear by magic?). Not that I’m going to give away all the secrets – don’t expect to see me posting detailed results of canvassing sessions, or explaining our future delivery schedule. But if you do have any general questions about election things you don’t understand, feel free to ask in the comments, and I’ll try to answer.

Anyway, I’ve been out on the campaign trail for most of the day, which for most of us doesn’t involve kissing dogs and patting babies but rather delivering leaflets and knocking on doors to talk to voters. So, I’ve not seen much of the TV coverage, but I think much of it was characterised by what I saw on BBC News this morning when I got in from my first wave of delivering. Rather than talking to politicians about what policies they were going to be offering to the electorate, they were instead talking to two journalists (and for balance, they made sure that both wings of the Labservatives were represented) about how they were going to drip-feed the election to their readers and laughing at the idea that people might want to go online to read opinions and make up their minds. I turned over and started watching an 80-year old film when I realised that live coverage of a car carrying Gordon Brown driving through London was regarded as somehow being important news and more deserving of coverage than any other election-related issue.

Anyway, for full coverage of the excitement you might have missed while doing something else, I heartily recommend Anton Vowl’s liveblog of the whole thing:

8.24am So what will happen is this. Gordon Brown will go to the Buckingham Palace, and then he’ll go through some doors, walking over some carpet, using his feet to propel himself forwards. Then he will go into a room – we’re not sure at this stage whether he will have to open the door himself or whether someone will open the door for him – and then he will talk to the Queen. She is a nice old lady who shoots things. Then he will ask her to dissolve parliament, or they may talk about general chit-chat first, and then he’ll ask. But at some point he’ll ask, and then she’ll say yes, and then IT’S GENERAL ELECTION TIME BABY! Yeah.

You should also read Justin on mutually beneficial cowardice – or see some real news that’s not easily wrapped up in a soundbite or primary-coloured graphic.

So that’s my first day of the election campaign done – 300 or so leaflets delivered and about 30 doors knocked on, some of which were even opened in response. More tomorrow…

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