Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bringing out the atheist vote?

I'm currently in voting limbo. I'm not a Canadian citizen yet, so I can't vote in my country of residence. And while I am eligible to vote in the UK, I choose not to; I don't think it's fair for me to, say, vote for a party that might raise taxes (I'm a bit of a lefty) if I don't have to actually pay them.

But here's an interesting development in UK politics that might change things. The Liberal Democrats, the third-largest UK party and the most left-leaning of the big three, just appointed a new leader, Nick Clegg. I have to admit I don't know much about this bloke, but a headline on the BBC website caught my eye yesterday. Clegg has publicly stated that he does not believe in God.

I would never vote for someone just because they're an atheist, but it is definitely an attractive idea to have someone in office who will not be influenced by outdated religious ideas. (There's an interesting quote from Tony Blair in the same BBC article - he was scared of discussing his religious beliefs while in office as he thought people would think he was "a nutter". That says a lot about the differences between British and American politics I think!) I've voted for the Lib Dems before and I'll definitely keep an eye on how Nick Clegg develops as a leader. I might just be tempted to become part of the ex-pat vote next time around.


  1. OMG. I can't even imagine the reaction if an American candidate announced s/he was an atheist. Such a backwards country in so many ways.

  2. I think there's one US senator somewhere who's an atheist, but only announced the fact when he was into his final term of office. Or something like that. Canada of course seems to manage to be halfway between the US and UK, as in so many other things!


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