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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April 2005, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
UK voters' panel: Christopher Williams

MEET THE PANEL
Christopher Williams
Name: Christopher Williams
Age: 21
Lives: Oxford
Works: Student
Current voting intention: Green Party
In 10 words or less:
"Pragmatic, realistic, caring, responsible and Green"

Climate change is the most important issue we face according to Blair, Howard and Kennedy.

Yet they have said almost nothing whatsoever about the issue during this campaign.

I wonder if they fear that if they convince us of the urgent need to take action now, they'll be persuading us to vote for the Green Party!

The issue of private companies running our public services, whether it is cleaning our hospitals or making school meals, is something that has been avoided.

Given big businesses have donated money to the largest three parties, it is no surprise they are slow to criticise the massive influence of big business in society today.

I feel many politicians have been treating us like morons!

VOTERS' PANEL

I wish the big parties would start to engage in some proper debate and stop insulting our intelligence.

It seems like they could not stoop any lower than they have right now with their negative campaigning.

There are so few differences in economic policies between the big three parties that it seems slinging insults at one another is the only way they can highlight their differences.

My generation needs to be engaged in politics.

Many young people who actually vote will probably support the smaller parties like the Greens who say what they believe rather than what they think voters wants to hear.


Your comments:

Voting Green would work, but there's one snag. They're viciously anti-Europe. Therefore I cannot vote for them.
S, Oxford

The irony is that many Green policies are very popular, often amongst people who also think the Greens are a load of nutters! Younger voters don't yet have these preconceptions - show the old cynics that voting can be a positive thing!
Peter Barber, Glasgow, Scotland

Chris - you have got it 100% right. The environment is a non-issue in this election. Who cares? They obviously don't!
David , Henley, UK

Finally someone has spotted that the red/blue and yellow parties have no fundamental differences, either of principle or of economic policy. And that is why we are being treated to this dreadful barrage of bile. Only the Green Party stands clear of this and is focussing on the only issues that matter - climate change and the end of oil. Fortunately the Church of England under the leadership of the current Archbishop has got this message too...
Janet Alty, Warwicks, UK

What does "My generation needs to be engaged in politics" mean? The only way you become engaged in politics is by learning what is actually going on in this country. Do not just watch the BBC news. Your statement has a number of inaccuracies, particularly about privatisation. It also displays a lack of knowledge of the subject.
Jack Macintyre, Bishopbriggs

Hi Christopher, with respect there are actually some Labour MPs (perhaps some Tories?) who are just as concerned as you. Mind you there are some morons as well! I would say keep your intentions for voting and I think we do need some Green Party MPs in the house. I think we also need lots and lots more young people to start getting involved in such issues and make their own minds up about voting.

I would say though look at what your local MP has done in his or her constituency because the way their views are shaped are the way they work and hopefully vote within their party and I would reiterate that only Labour MPs are selected by party members and not HQ. My MP is Labour, a QC and a long-time Greenpeace member and he is passionate about the environment as I am. Needless to say I will vote for him as he is a strong principled man.
Matt, Chatham, UK

Of course, the major parties could not be saying much about climate change because some polls have shown it to be of little interest to the public (depressingly). Also, I doubt they fear encouraging people to vote Green, since it seems fairly clear that the Green Party does not actually have the best policies for the environment (eradication of nuclear power?) but rather the Lib Dems.

Nevertheless, I absolutely agree that the negative campaigning makes me feel patronised. Listening to Mr Howard calling Tony Blair a liar in a playground-esque is not going to change my vote, and it insults our collective intelligence.
Becs, Exeter, UK

Christopher needs to put his thinking cap on... Business, large and small creates employment and generates wealth without which we would not survive. Governments create nothing; state industries only make losses, not profits. Pension funds invest in those private companies, no profits means no jobs and no pensions. Climate change is a world problem. We can do nothing alone so what is the point of stifling our industry if the rest of the world does nothing?
David De Burgh, Kingstone, UK

I agree that the politicians treat us as ignorant. I believe they would be pleased to see the population indifferent to important issues. No longer do we see students and young people on CND marches or campaigning on matters which impact on their lives. Apathy suits our leaders - they can spend their time spending our money and voting for their pay rises and guaranteed pensions - while the majority of us have less say in the running of our lives and country. It is time for the British electorate to wake up.
Dave, Swindon





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