predictions and parties (not the fun kind)

Oh my god, the UK general election is TODAY! Oh, I have to make sure to watch it. It will be so gripping and compelling; I almost can’t breathe, that’s how excited I am!

No, that’s not the truth.

See, it’s not as if I don’t care at all about politics. I mean, that’s a lot of what we focus on in this English class, not to mention I have Politics and Human Rights as well. If I thought politics was the single most boring thing in the world, I don’t know how I would have survived having it for 9-10 hours every single week. So. I do care. To some degree.

I have paid some attention, of course. I know the biggest British parties, I know the more controversial British parties and I know what has been predicted. Most of the predictions are pretty similar; the Conservatives are thought to have a slight decrease in their number of seats. From 302 (their current number) to around 270-280. Labour is thought to have an increase from 256 to around 260-270, thereby making the competition neck-in-neck. The most controversial of the lot, UKIP, is thought to either decrease from two seats to one, or maybe increase to three (for such a tiny party, they surely do irritate a lot of people).

Well. UKIP is actually one of the bigger parties when it comes to percentage of supporters; it’s the system that relegates them to the second largest party in a lot of places. The one guaranteed seat for UKIP is thought to be Douglas Carswell’s, according to the London School of Economics.

It is also thought that the two largest parties will experience a lack of votes from one third of the voters; they will vote for parties smaller than the big two. The most interesting part is; David Cameron could possibly lose his position as Prime Minister. If so he’ll have to give the crown to Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Labour Party. Cameron has been the British Prime Minister since 2010 and I feel he’ll probably want to hold on to the title. I think he could manage it. We can only wait and see.

SOURCES

Dette er den viktigste grafen for å forstå det britiske valget

Election 2015: The Guardian Poll Projection

Election Forecast

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a missing girl and the war against terror

Joyce Carol Oates, author of novels such as Black Water, What I Lived For and Blonde, all nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, released Carthage in 2014. The novel tells of a missing girl and the community’s search for her. The possibility of a murder is awoken when the car of an Iraq War veteran with close ties to the family is discovered to have her hair and blood in it. A wounded corporal, a complex family pattern and the atrocities of war are explored in Carthage.

I’ll be honest – I haven’t read much of it, though the book has been in my possession for weeks now. From what I have read, however, I have encountered the Mayfield family whose youngest daughter is missing and been introduced to the young veteran Brett Kincaid in glimpses. The book is set in 2005, just a few years following the American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, a time when young men were passionate and determined to participate in the war against terror. Of course, not everything is as easy as it seems. While many went home with scars on their bodies, the scars in their minds were deeper. We’ve all heard of soldiers coming home traumatized, many with PTSD. There are also high chances for military veterans to commit suicide after coming home; studies have shown that veteran suicides are twice as high as civilian suicides. I do find this topic interesting and I hope Carthage explores it in an interesting yet respectful way.

SOURCES

Veteran Suicides Twice as High as Civilian Rates