For God’s sake, vote

The Scottish elections take place in a few weeks, giving the country the chance to choose from the usual bunch of yahoos with slightly different ideas about how best to make the country worse. No matter how cynical you are, though, you need to vote. The barbarians are at the gates.

Well, not barbarians. Christian nut-jobs.

Under the Scots voting system, minority parties stand a good chance of getting a place in the Parliament – and one such party is the Scottish Christian Party, whose platform (I hope) would offend any right-minded Christian. Their manifesto contains lots of gems, like this:

The Scottish Christian Party believes that the provision of Christian religious education should be mandatory, (with no obligation to promote ther faiths), the history curriculum should reflect Scotland’s rich Christian heritage and the science curriculum reflect the evidence of creation/design in the universe.

And this:

The Scottish Christian Party would seek to replace the standard of beyond reasonable doubt’ with the more biblical ‘evidence of two or three reliable witnesses’, reducing the tendency for the guilty to evade justice.

And this:

The Scottish Christian Party will seek that the Mechanical Copyright protection enjoyed by songwriters should be extended to featured recording artists and record producers.

You just know there’s a bitter musician in the party somewhere, don’t you?

Anyway, back to seriousness: they’re the usual anti-evolution, anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-progress lot, whose big concerns are about evil gays, sneaky sex-changers (they’re very upset that people who’ve had sex changes don’t have to tell anyone; presumably they’d prefer it if transgender people had to wear a big badge and maybe ring a bell too), parents not being allowed to beat their kids (not being able to smack the weans is a form of child abuse, says the manifesto), swings being swung on Sundays in defiance of the Lord, and all that shite.

But – thanks to our voting system, we have to take them seriously. While you or I might think “ah, voting’s a waste of time”, their supporters will definitely be “putting their cross beside The Cross”, as the leaflets put it. And I suspect that if sensible people are apathetic and don’t bother voting, there’s enough idiots in Scotland to give them a few seats.

22 thoughts on “For God’s sake, vote

  1. mupwangle says:

    And remember that there is now the Scottish BNP who are fielding a few candidates too.

    I resent being forced to protest vote. That’s not how democracy is meant to work IMHO.

  2. rutty says:

    I have a lot of Christian friends and I’m pretty sure that they’d think that parts of the manifesto are complete shite. Hey, isn’t that the guy that composed the Sinitta Hit “So Macho”? I think it is!

    “history curriculum should reflect Scotland’s rich Christian heritage”

    What about their Pagan heritage? Or Heathenism? I’m pretty sure the Scots were Godless for a few Millennia ;¬)

  3. Gary says:

    Hey, isn’t that the guy that composed the Sinitta Hit “So Macho”? I think it is!

    Hahah, I’d forgotten about that.

    I have a lot of Christian friends and I’m pretty sure that they’d think that parts of the manifesto are complete shite.

    Oh, absolutely. I’m not anti-Christian, I’m anti-idiot.

    the Scottish BNP

    Indeed. And no doubt plenty of other crackpots. I’m picking on the “let’s go back to the dark ages” lot because they’re the most visible at the moment – lots of postering around Glasgow and a leaflet through the door this morning.

    The manifesto’s hilarious, btw. It’s been put together by someone who’s never used a computer before.

    I resent being forced to protest vote.

    So do I, but unfortunately that’s the reality. Certainly in the US, the whole creation in schools thing kicked off because nobody could be bothered paying attention to school boards, so the lunatics made a concerted effort to get into them. And it worked.

  4. mupwangle says:

    Unfortunately the “crackpots” down here are pretty damn likely to get elected. It’s only the council elections at the moment which limits some of the damage they can do.

    2006 elections – Mirfield

    Conservative 2,843
    BNP 1,789
    Labour 904
    New Party 395
    Liberal Democrat 368
    Green 253

  5. Ben says:

    Just out of interest, is the manifesto online?

    I have seen a lot of the lamp-post-posters around for them.

    I love religion – as, remember, god loves everyone!*

    * (..but only if you are a catholic)

  6. mupwangle says:

    That’s just my area. They’ve got 3 councillors in Kirklees already. :-(

    Have you seen the furore about one of their members releasing a song (which was on the BNP website) about how an area of Dewsbury has been destroyed by Asians who, according to him, are all dealing drugs and forcing children into prostitution. He is the fucking dewsbury east councillor.

  7. McGazz says:

    “The Scottish Christian Party will seek that the Mechanical Copyright protection enjoyed by songwriters should be extended to featured recording artists and record producers.”

    Seems a little out of place, doesn’t it? What was the next item – “Raith Rovers for the Cup”?

  8. Squander Two says:

    Mechanical copyright has already been effectively extended to producers anyway. I forget the details, but the precedent was set a few years ago when a couple of producers who had remixed a Kylie record went to court over someone sampling their remix and won. It was a landmark case because it was the first time someone had sued over a sample of a remix rather than the original record and the sound in question wasn’t in the original, the point being that the originators of what had till then been thought of us as the copyright — Kylie and her songwriters — didn’t get involved.

    This, obviously, is of paramount importance to Scottish politics, religious freedom, science education, race relations, etc.

    > the history curriculum should reflect Scotland’s rich Christian heritage

    That’s actually fair enough. There is a modern tendency to think that, just because one doesn’t believe in God, one should be disdainful or dismissive of everything Christianity’s ever done. I’d support any move to keep that tendency out of education. Something tells me these people might want to go a bit further than that, mind.

    > the science curriculum reflect the evidence of creation/design in the universe.

    What really annoys me about this is the abject failure of scientists to explain evolution properly. Anyone with half a brain can see that there’s loads of evidence of design in the universe. The genius of Darwin was that he explained a way in which design can happen without a designer. Scientists rarely press this point, preferring to shout “Idiot!” at anyone who mentions that biology has been designed. In my opinion, this does a lot to encourage people towards Creationism.

  9. Gary says:

    > What really annoys me about this is the abject failure of scientists to explain evolution properly.

    It’s not just evolution – you see the same thing in any high profile health scare too. Is the problem that the science side doesn’t have any good rabble-rousers?

  10. Tony Kiernan says:

    I noticed that they are using the [i]You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?[/i] quote on their posters. Hopefully, that’s clarified everything.

  11. Gary says:

    A true story: I was talking to a friend the other night, and he told me that at church at the weekend (a normal, ordinary church, not a fundie one or anything like that) much of the sermon was given over to a bishop’s letter. Said letter basically read, “now, I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, but the main political parties are godless heathens. You know what God wants you to do.”

    Nice.

  12. Squander Two says:

    You know, thinking about this, I’m not sure it’s such a bad thing. This party clearly represent the views of real Scottish people, and the Pairliament should therefore reflect those views, surely. There’s no danger of them getting a majority or anything like it — in fact, they’re likely to have a similar level of influence in the Pairliament as they do in Scottish society. Sounds about right to me.

    I’m a fierce advocate of First Past The Post and reckon Proportional Representation and Single Transferable Vote are both badly flawed ideas, but then it wasn’t me who introduced the Scottish electoral system, whatever it is. Given that you have that system, it gives the same advantages and disadvantages to every party involved in it. So why not let Christian nutters have a few seats? (Besides, I’m not convinced that they couldn’t win one or two seats under FPTP in the current political climate.)

    As for their nuttiness, well, it’s the same as any other party, isn’t it? Lots of people make decisions along the lines of “Well, their attitude to trades unions is frankly insane, but I’ll still vote Labour” or “David Cameron may be an utter twat, but I still think the Tories are the best choice overall.” So what’s wrong with “It’s a shame they don’t believe in evolution, but I’d still like to see more Christianity in government”?

    The only real danger with splinter parties is that they end up wielding disproportionate power through coalitions. There’s a simple solution to that: ban coalitions. There’s a strong argument that coalitions betray the voters anyway: different voters vote for two different parties because they have different views, and then those two parties end up acting as one entity — why the hell is that allowed?

  13. Gary says:

    You know, thinking about this, I’m not sure it’s such a bad thing.

    I am. An MSP’s job is to represent their entire constituency, on the presumption that the majority of constituents voted for him or her. When apathy’s such a big factor, that presumption is blown out of the water.

    Agree with you on coalitions though.

  14. Squander Two says:

    > An MSP’s job is to represent their entire constituency

    In a FPTP system, yes. Not when they’re picked off a party list. And, once you’ve introduced the party list system to about 40% of the Pairliament, do you really expect members of the same party working together in the same governing body to behave completely differently depending on which route they took in?

    Representing constituents was effectively removed from MSPs’ remit when the Pairliament was founded.

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