How can I be a well-informed UK voter?
May 20, 2014 4:32 AM   Subscribe

I'm a new UK citizen, and I'd like to stay informed so that I can vote wisely (not just this week but in all elections to come.) Unfortunately, a lot of political coverage seems to focus on "Will talking about this policy help the party win?" while I'm more interested in "Will implementing this policy be good for the country?" So, what podcasts, Twitter feeds, or other resources tend to offer thoughtful, in-depth analysis of different party's positions on various issues? (I'm a big fan of the BBC's "Analysis" podcast, to give an idea of what I'm looking for.")

Oh, and, obviously, I know I'm not going to get in-depth analysis out of a Tweet. When I say "Twitter feed," I mean something like the Economist's feed, with lots of links to articles.
posted by yankeefog to Law & Government (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This will depend on your own political beliefs and opinions. There is no political commentary free of ideology, and especially not in this shitty country.
posted by Ted Maul at 7:24 AM on May 20, 2014

Best answer: THAT SAID, if you want to get informed on what exactly specific politicians and parties actually vote for, this is a fine resource:
posted by Ted Maul at 7:25 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you have online access to the Financial Times, try John McDermott's Off Message blog (though he is on holidays at the moment). Seconding that there isn't an ideology-free source, but McDermott's mindset seems to be reasonably un-right-wing. I see you already know about the Economist. You could try the New Statesman if you want a further-left view. (Sorry for being rather old-media. I don't do podcasts very well.)
posted by Logophiliac at 7:50 AM on May 20, 2014

Best answer: "Will implementing this policy be good for the country?"

This is pretty much what politics is, once you get past the narcissism and personal power grabs, so try the websites of what are effectively the house magazines of the left & right: The Spectator and New Statesman?
posted by pharm at 8:13 AM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

This sort of thing isn't nearly as difficult as people make it out to be. If you lean to the left, vote blindly for whoever your Labour candidate is. If you lean to the right, the Tory. Done.

(It will get more complex if you move to Scotland or Wales)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:23 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, all. Very helpful.

I promise not to threadsit, but just to clarify, I don't mind ideology. I just want to know the reasoning behind it.

IE, I'm totally fine with "Our party believes in in cutting taxes below their current rate. Here are the fact-based reasons we think this policy will be effective. Here are the potential drawbacks to our policy, and here's how we intend to mitigate them."

I just don't want "Our party believes in cutting taxes because, unlike our opponents, we believe in the value of hard work." Or, for that matter, "The Tories said they want to cut taxes. Let's spend 15 minutes talking about how that will affect their standing in the polls, and only thirty seconds talking about the actual economic impact."
posted by yankeefog at 8:25 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Since you're voting for the EU elections too, this site let's you see how MEPs voted and which party is closer to your opinions. You can sort by party, MEP or European party.

Also, since the European parties will nominate the President of the Commission for the first time, it's probably worth looking at the five candidates (and I'm sure there are debate transcripts out there).
posted by ersatz at 8:47 AM on May 20, 2014

Best answer: This site is a good way to find which party you are most closely aligned with. I've been having a lot of friends who have done the quiz and discovered they don't actually have all that much belief in parties they may have voted for for years.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:45 PM on May 20, 2014

Best answer: I listen to Any Questions every week. It's only 45 minutes long and it covers all the major issues of the week - so it's not detailed. But it will keep up you date with the basics of what's going on in Westminster.

I also like the Guardian's Politics Weekly (for a leftist take) and The Telegram (for a right-wing perspective).

Okay, but what about more in depth discussion?

Well I rather like Prospect, but honestly I think that there is a dearth of high quality political periodicals that cover UK politics. The Economist is excellent (if you can tolerate the smug tone) but it's not about UK politics specifically.

My strategy is to read books when I want to learn about a topic in more detail...
posted by HoraceH at 9:22 AM on May 21, 2014

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