Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Well, we had an election. And we crawled out from under the mountain. No lon ger is Scotland the property of the Labour party, a convenient source of votes for which no consideration is needed. By a narrow margin, Scotland went Nationalist.

But such a weird experience. The ballot papers were complicated, and people made mistakes, leading to a large number of “spoiled” papers, and then were counted by “scanners” which seem to have had many of the memorable high-tech qualities and reliability of well-used office photocopiers (especially the paper jams when you looked at them the wrong way). The normal and ancient voting practice here, which involves going into a wooden booth where you find a ballot paper and a blunt pencil tied to a nail by a piece of string, and making an X on the said paper, which will then go into a ballot box and be counted by hand had been discarded. Unfortunately it had always worked. This didn`t. Counting ground to a halt. I expected to wake to a result and found chaos. Not till the evening did we discover that the Nationalists had carried it by one seat.

Lots of new experiences. An amazing sense of freedom and uncharted prospects due to the result. Embarrassment due to the completely unprecedented chaos of the election process, which seemed to belong in a banana republic, or Florida (one commentator memorably described it as a Category 5 Bouroch).....embarrassment particularly because of the very large number of voters who simply got the 3 ballots wrong and put x where there should have been a number or vice versa. It`s not a good thought that so many among us didn`t cope. (Although there have been plenty of free spirits to say smugly that those who made mistakes didn`t deserve the vote anyway....and while we`re at it, what about removing the franchise from the gays, the moslems, the women....?)

The new regime isn`t out of the woods. It`s proving difficult to establish a coalition, and minority government will be a risky business. The independence referendum is no nearer. All a bit of an adventure....

Well, we Scots are quite good at those.
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