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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April 2005, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
UK voters' panel: David Mayer

David Mayer
Name: David Mayer
Age: 45
Lives: Emsworth, Hampshire
Works: Financial services
Current voting intention: Undecided
In 10 words or less:
"Husband and father of six, fearful of our economic future."

For many years I voted Liberal or later Liberal Democrat, but now I would describe myself as undecided and have voted for different parties in the last three local and national elections.

For this election there are a number of issues of particular relevance to me.

Education: I have six children ranging from university age to seven years old.

They range in ability and ambition and the youngest attends a special school.

I am passionately interested in the debate over university fees and the future of special schools.

Health: As all parties claim the moral high ground on health I am more interested in NHS funding and accessibility, especially as my parents are in need of more care in later life.

Pensions: I work in financial services and am all too well aware of the gap between pension aspirations and the likely real pension for many people in retirement.

Added to this is the growing uncertainty of past pension promises being paid out in hard cash. I am interested in the way the various parties are looking to resolve this crisis, and what it is likely to mean in real terms.

Finally, I am concerned at the lack of real influence so many potential voters have in a first-past-the-post system and the inevitable disengagement from the electoral process.

Your comments:

David, you still sound like a Liberal Democrat voter to me.
Christopher Wheatley, London

To Matthew, please tell me what is so great about: 1 million manufacturing jobs lost, pensions totally undermined, costly wars, wastage, crime, and public sector inefficiency on a massive scale. I agree with you, wake up Britain!
Chris Parker, Bucks

I'm going to spoil my vote. I feel none of the parties are right for me. Please Vote. Spoiling your vote counts.
Rob, West London, UK

To O Houston - here's a question. Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, South Africa, Finland, Holland and Portugal all have a form of proportional representation. Which of these has "unstable coalition governments"? Answer - none of them. PR works.
Alan, London

I was interested in the views of David Mayer, however I tend to disagree with his opinion on proportional representation. Countries that use proportional representation are much more likely to have unstable coalition governments. This leads to less joined up policy due to the bartering that is required between coalition parties and often leads to a collapse of government before the full term is complete. The first past the post system does have failings, however, I believe that, on balance, it is the best system for Britain.
O Houston, Aberdeen

David is right to be apprehensive about the economic future - the Conservatives de-coupled earnings in inflationary terms from the state pension provision and Gordon Brown has finished the job of ruining private pension provision by removing an annual 5bn annual dividend tax credits from pension funds. Brown has also hugely increased state pension liabilities by increasing public sector jobs by one million adding to a total liability of 790 billions to be largely picked up by the rest of us through council tax and general taxation. If Labour gets back in they will no doubt compel pension contributions which will further kill off general discretionary savings. Both major parties are happy to expand state spending and consequently taxation while the Lib Dems are openly promoting increased taxation. Question - do governments spend prudently on our behalf or just profligately? Does nanny know best or you? It is a given that high taxation economies are demonstrably less successful than low taxation economies. Watch our economy slide in future presided over by no doubt well intentioned Labour politicians that have never so much as run a whelk stand commercially.
Alan Tayler, Wivelsfield

I think there are many more like you today than ever before. I find no party meeting my expectations and will probably vote for the lesser of the evils.
Phil, Herts UK

I remain an undecided voter, who probably won't vote at all.
Mick, Inverness Scotland

I think everybody has forgotten just what is was like with a Tory Government. Labour should remind people of the running down of the public sector, an economy geared up for speculative stock market runs and lowering of the standard of living. Come on Britain. Wake up before it is too late!
Matthew Rush, Bournemouth

Disenchantment is no excuse not to vote. The right to vote is one of the fundamental tenants of democracy and over the years many have battled to gain and protect that right. If you don't wish to vote in favour of one of the parties go along and spoil your ballot paper!
Tim, London

All of Mr. Mayer's concerns are genuine issues in Britain today. To me, it would seem the Conservative Party is the best for you. They are the only party committed to stopping the closure of special needs schools. They also want to scrap tuition fees, give choice of ANY hospital for your parents to be treated at, increase pensions and their stability by rewarding saving and restoring the link with earnings.
Rob S, Langford, Beds

Everything you ask for is supported by the liberals. Why not return to your previous voting habits?
Chris G, Cambridge UK

I think these comments voice the disillusionment with politics felt by the majority. We need a change in system to give people a reason to vote. I would support a PR system but it would need careful design to avoid the pitfalls that its opponent rightly point out.
Alex, London UK

The Greens are a viable option, if everybody voted for their preferred candidate rather than be over concerned about who everyone else is voting for, then our political system would be vastly improved. There is no such thing as a wasted vote!
Heider Nasralla, Manchester, UK



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