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Wednesday, 6 June, 2001, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
What about my concerns?
A BBC News Online ICM poll indicates that 60% of voters feel that issues that are important to them have not been dealt with during this campaign.
Of those polled 41% thought that Europe and health were the most neglected subjects. 40% cited education and 38% transport. Asylum and immigration (35%), crime (35%), the environment (33%) and taxation (31%) were also mentioned
Issues that dominated elections of the past and brought down governments are simply not on politicians' agendas. There has been little debate about nuclear weapons, electoral reform or the future of the monarchy.
Which issue that is important to you has been ignored? Why have the parties concentrated on such a limited range of policies? Have you been turned off by the sidelining of your concerns?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Although the Human Rights act was a badly-needed piece of legislation it goes far short of ensuring that everyone must be equal before the law and entitled to equal protection against discrimination on any grounds. The UK discrimination law is a tangled web and incomplete. We desperately need a Single Equality Act to ensure fairness for all. A Single Equality Act would prevent all forms of discrimination, including some grounds not currently covered, eg age, sexual orientation or religion - and strengthen the existing laws.
Ollie, Hertford, UK
Why do they persist in ripping off the people over the price of petrol and diesel, it should be around £2 a gallon.
For the first time ever I do not know who to vote for in this General Election. The Conservatives are telling us they will keep the pound but is that the way we should be going? Labour will keep fuel prises rising (and their tax increases twice each time) the health service is in crisis and the transport system is a mess.The Lib Dems are almost saying they are 'also rans' as they will make an effective opposition - so how can we have faith in them at all? I want to cast my vote, as I have always done but in which direction?
I want to know what is being done to reduce mindless crime, vandalism, graffiti and the fact that towns and cities are no go areas to families on Friday and Saturday nights. Will Mr Hague's plan to stamp on the asylum seekers reduce this problem? I think not. Get off the bandwagon and treat voters like credible thinking members of society.
D. Seiger, Northants, UK
Environmental issues and sustainable development affect every aspect of government. From transport to economic policy to sustainable health care. The election has hardly touched on these issues, and where it has they have been trivialised and reduced to an exercise in political point scoring. When are we going to get a mature political debate that is aimed at achieving solutions? Our current tit-for-tat politics is just so boring.
The most important issue missing from the election is constitutional reform. After having cut the size of the membership of the House of Lords and filled it with his own men, Tony Blair has now deftly left it off the agenda. A short-term proposal seems here to stay for a while yet. What next, Prime Minister - another poll tax?
There is always talk and promises of referenda. I would like to see one with the title "Do you trust any of the three main parties to govern the United Kingdom?"
It would have been nice to have a proper debate on the economics of joining the euro. Instead we got blind nationalism and Euro-phobia from the Tories.
Andy, Sheffield, UK
There are so many strands to the environment debate that needed to be out in the open during this election: globalisation, public transport, waste disposal, town planning, etc. I have heard very little in the mainstream media (not even in BBC Online!) about the issues that matter to me, the issues that will decide whether we have a planet to live on in a century's time. Wake up, people, and stop whingeing about petrol prices! You don't have a divine right to drive but I do have a right to breathe.
I want to know when the government is going to recognise the unfair north-south divide. I'm a secondary school teacher in Surrey (where I was born). I'm 32 and still live in a shared house, simply because I don't earn enough to rent my own flat or buy somewhere. No wonder there's a shortage of key workers in the region.
There is still no real debate about the decriminalisation of cannabis. Holland decriminalised 27 years ago and now has the lowest incidence of drug abuse in all of Europe. Our Tory and Labour politicians are incapable of showing any common sense regarding this issue. In my view, they are not worthy of our electoral support and that is why apathy currently rules. I would very much like to see a 'none of the above' option on the ballot papers so that we can register our dismay and disgust at the inadequacy of the people who want to seize the power to tax and control us all.
Joe, London UK
It's no good saying that you are going to improve the NHS by spending more or adding more doctors. On their own, these things won't guarantee an improved NHS. What we need to know is how the parties would manage the NHS to ensure that a given quantity of resources will actually deliver improvements. This argument applies to all areas of concern. We wrongly assume that the government will automatically make the best use of our money.
As far as I'm concerned, the main election issue for me is tuition fees, and whether they will be scrapped, or at least considerably reduced. If this does not happen under a Labour government, I am very tempted to vote another way.
None of the parties are talking about reducing government and letting people get on with their own lives. Instead they are all talking about spending more and more of our money on their hare-brained schemes. I want less government all round, not more!
Pete Morgan-Lucas, Wiltshire, UK
Every homeowner in the UK needs to wake up to a stealth tax on home ownership that New Labour plan to introduce during 2003. It was piloted in Bristol and will be made compulsory if Labour win the General Election.
More sinister is the publication of 'Price Paid' that the Government reintroduced during April 2000 that means a stealth tax based upon homeowner profits from house sales.
The EU intends to impose a legal system across all of the member states that will abolish the right to trial by jury, the presumption of innocence, Habeus Corpus, and the Double Jeopardy rule.
None of the major parties have even mentioned this, let alone protested against it.
This plan is contrary to the rights of the British people under Magna Carta. Why are the politicians silent on this violation of our rights?
There seems to have been very little of substance debated in this election. I would have liked Labour to answer why English people are not being offered a referendum for their own parliament. Why is the piece meal break up of England a policy included in their manifesto? If they win, they will claim to have a mandate to act yet it has not been discussed or debated.
Haven't heard anyone talk about reducing the number of homeless on our streets. This is a visual legacy of the Thatcher years.
Whatever happened to the promised referendum on PR? With modern technology making election predictions ever more accurate, it is now obvious that some votes are worth more than others. If Britain is a democracy then all votes must be worth the same. George Bush stole the White House with a similar 'first past the post' system here in the USA.
Robin Prior, San Diego, USA
Panorama revealed that government spending figures included triple accounting and massaging of statistics.
To date Labour have not tried to explain why these things occur, neither have any other party attempted to pick up on these accusations. Are all parties tarred with the same brush?
What about the role of the 7.5 million carers outside the health service? And those who have severe problems in everyday life and seem to be ignored by all political parties despite their supposed depth of concern for the health service? It doesn't all happen in the hospitals.
Not a single mention by anybody of those working in the social services part of the public sector. Not a word on their working conditions and pay and the amazing dedication and commitment of these workers to their clients, the children and families that have no voice and are struggling to survive against overwhelming odds.
Marianne Halliday, Norwich, UK
Is no politician prepared to say what they will do about the proposed Strategic Defence Initiative (Star Wars) by the Americans, and Britain's role as an early warning station?
Has a ban on fox hunting been shelved once and for all? In 1997 Labour had a policy on many animal welfare issues that they never implemented and this time they are not even pretending to care.
Rather than bringing up the issue of foxhunting again, why not come clean about the appalling abortion industry operating in this country? In our 'civilised' 21st century society, it is time this barbaric crime against humanity was stopped.
Will somebody talk about the ever-increasing divide between richest and poorest, both within Britain and on a world scale? Will anybody take up the complex issue of environmental change? If we are the world's fourth largest economy, we should set our sights a little broader than tax pennies here and there. I know that our government is only accountable for their 5 years in office, but I think a little idealism goes a long way.
Jenny, Cambridge, UK
Very little, if any, mention is made of the issue of waste disposal and the plans by the current government to build 165 more waste incinerators across the country. This, despite mounting evidence that they produce toxic fumes and ash, thereby causing a major health hazard. The Conservatives have a Blue-Green paper which proposes a moratorium on new incinerators; the Lib-Dems want it to stop until proven safe; but not Labour, who see it as inevitable. Even William Hague has commented that we might have to accept some. So where is the discussion? To poison the populace or not to poison? Why isn't this on the agenda?
Means testing is my 'big issue'. We all pay the same taxes so we should all get the same benefits.
I am concerned that the issue of international justice does not appear to be in any of the list of issues considered relevant to this election. I have been a part of the Jubilee 2000 campaign and have followed developments closely. As a result of Jubilee 2000 and the response from the last two governments, the UK now leads the world on issues relevant to the debt crisis. Do not forget the millions who signed the Jubilee 2000 petition in the UK and the hundreds of thousands who actively campaigned for it. This is a very important and popular issue. I am particularly interested in who will actively work for fair international trade rules? Who will double our international aid to the internationally agreed 0.7% GDP, and when? And how is third world debt to be relieved?
I would like to see the end of this nonsense about 'traditional family values'. There are millions of unmarried couples in the UK (both gay and straight) who deserve the same civil rights as a married couple. It should not matter if the assumed attitude of society is against such relationships. If you contribute to the running of the country, you deserve the same rights as anyone else. It's about time that all the parties realise that it's not only married, middle class parents who contribute to this country.
Jamie, Stevenage, England
Not a dicky-bird about GM crop trials and GM creeping into our food by stealth. Who will protect my right to have natural food?
What about workplace parking tax and road tolls? How long after the 7th before we see them Tony?
Well, after a year in which what was left of the railway system effectively fell to pieces, transport (and its environmental implications) seems to have hardly been discussed. Perhaps because the Tories organised the disastrous privatisation of the railway, and Labour has failed to fix it, both the major parties are hoping nobody will mention it.
Dave Riley, Cambridge, UK
What about the role of the 7.5million carers outside the health service who have severe problems in everyday life and seem to be ignored by all political parties.
Back in 1985, as a student at Leicester Polytechnic, someone stood for the Student Union Presidency with the promise that he would give us all an extra life on the 'Centipede' arcade game, and introduce more pool tables in the bar. If only our current politicians could make such bold and outrageous promises they may get my vote just as he did.
The result is an election campaign where rather than express an opinion on a subject and risk alienating more voters than they can satisfy, the main protagonists seem happy to simply snipe at each other rather than suggest anything different.
I would like to hear more about the environment. This is an issue which I hold to be important and yet little has been said about it. I think the agenda for discussion is set by the two main parties in collaboration with the media to too great an extent, the voters should have a louder voice. Labour and the Conservatives don't seem to have mentioned the environment at all and the Greens have to hide their policies on other issues to avoid losing credibility.
David Follows, Doncaster, UK
I have to agree with Dominic (London). I personally want to know where all the proposed money is going, who are the consultants on each project, how much will be spent and where it will be spent, how will the next government improve the infrastructure of Britain. We as a population let them get away with murder (or at least the odd minor scandal). It appears there is no long term plan for the future of our great country, only a short term view to get elected.
What I want to know is more detailed information. I want to know the detailed pros and cons of joining the euro, I want to know EXACTLY how Tony Blair will improve public services. I think it's the details that are missing.
What about our Armed Forces? We're meant to be one of the key members of NATO, but we've been decreasing the armed forces budget every year. A planned naval salute for the Queen's golden jubilee next year had to be cancelled because only four ships were available! We need a capable armed force capable of responding to any threat.
Alex Banks, UK,
I notice there has not been a single word about the disabled.
I want to see much more done for the rural areas, not against them as Labour have done over the last few years.
I want to hear the politicians talk a lot more about employment in rural communities, and how they are going to increase the opportunities in these areas.
Trade unions are no longer discussed because the Tories can't really use them as a political weapon against Labour. Since the fall of the communist block nuclear weapons are on the back burner for everyone except the paranoid US, India and Pakistan. The monarchy aren't media cads or darlings at the moment so the tabloid readers don't care about them. The payment deficit is well off of the cards because it is too complex for the average tabloid reader to comprehend.
Gary Dillon, Harlow, England
The current 'debates' have conveniently drawn attention away from Jack Straw's Big Brother proposals to transform the UK into a fully-fledged Police State. We're not being told the truth about Europe either.
Whatever happened to civil rights issues? The Freedom of Information Act has been neutered. The progressive erosion of our civil liberties is frightening. The right to silence has been abolished. Jury trial could soon end. There are proposals that psychiatrists should be allowed to have people locked up indefinitely even though they've committed no crime. It scares me that people in this country take democracy, the essential benevolence of government, and the rule of law for granted.
Malcolm McMahon, York, UK
I bet the first thing the candidates do everyday is see what is on the broadcast news and in the papers. What the electorate wants to discuss is largely irrelevant to them.
I want electoral reform. I want to know that in future the person I elect can't defect to another party without a by-election. I support a candidate for their views and party membership and find the present system very distasteful. It is wholly unfair.
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