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first_imgThis year’s local elections brought excellent results for the Liberal Democrats. With 30% of the vote, this was our strongest ever performance a nationwide election, helping take control of a further eleven councils, from both Labour and the Conservatives. Good news for the Lib Dems? Certainly! Less good news, however, is the very low proportion of people who chose to go the polling station to exercise their democratic right to cast a ballot. The consensus among the psephologists seems to be that two thirds of people who could have voted stayed at home. In some parts the country, only one in ten those entitled to vote actually did so. This should be of concern to those who care about participatory democracy – whether you’re Lib Dem, Labour, Tory or anything else. Among those least likely to have gone out and voted were – you guessed it – the young. Politicians across the spectrum have been throwing up their hands in recent years and wondering why. People of student age today are generally better educated, better informed and more well travelled than those of previous generations. While students in the 1960s were famed for their radicalism, students of today are labelled as apathetic. Some of this, of course, is crude stereotyping. There were many people in the 1960s who never protested against the Vietnam War – or indeed against anything at all. Similarly, the run up to the Iraq War showed that many of today’s young people care passionately about such issues. At the same time, it is all too easy to lump everyone together with the catch all phrase “young people” as if everyone aged 16 to 25 had homogenous thoughts and actions. This is clearly absurd. Nevertheless, it is true that those under 25 are voting less often today than ever before. Part of the problem undoubtedly lies with those of us who are elected to public office – whether that’s in the House of Commons, the local council or something else. Politics is still seen largely as the preserve of white, middle class, middle aged men. Our political institutions simply do not reflect the society in which we now live – a society which is more cosmopolitan and more ethnically and culturally diverse than at any time in our history: and for this the Liberal Democrats must take our share of the blame. Among our 53 MPs, only 5 are women and none are from an ethnic minority community. I am working hard to change this, and under no illusions that we must do better. Politicians have also been too lazy in actually reaching out to young people to bring them into the electoral process; having taken the rather easier option of writing them off as apathetic. In this regard hope that the Liberal Democrats can take more credit. Lib Dem Youth and Students are, I know, very active in trying to engage young people with politics – and not just with Lib Dem politics. Every year LDYS organise ‘Westminster Day’ when they invite thousands of Sixth Formers from across the country to meet and question politicians from all parties as well as members of media. The Liberal Democrats would also lower the voting age 16. Our political opponents have argued that 16 is too young to able to cast an informed vote. I disagree. If the State feels that 16 is appropriate age for you to join armed forces, get married and have children, then why shouldn’t you allowed to vote? If, at 16, you pay taxes then why on earth should you not have the right to elect Government that will spend those taxes? Someone once said that the public get the politicians they deserve. I’m not sure whether I’m the best person to argue the truth of this. But it is true to say that politics two-way street. We politicians must do more – much more – to try engage with voters. But the answer to having politicians the people don’t like, or a political system people find remote, should not be refuse to participate. Casting your vote is a much more powerful tool. The more you do, the more politicians will have to listen.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

first_imgBOONE, Iowa – Drivers competing in the Sept. 7-12 IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s will take home more than $6,000 in lap money and cash bonuses.The first bonus of the week will be the $250 paid on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 7 to a qualifier for that evening’s Deery Brothers Summer Series Late Model feature who is participating with Sunoco Race Fuel.Both Modified qualifying feature winners each night Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Sept. 9, 10 and 11 get $100 bonuses from Derr Farms.Gray Machine & Welding of Rock Island, Ill., pays $25 to the frontrunner for each of 30 laps of the Fast Shafts All-Star Modified Invitational Friday evening. The winner also receives an E-Z Bend tubing bender.Four race of champions events are on the Saturday, Sept. 12 card.One hundred dollars is at stake each time one of the 12 laps are scored in the Harris Auto Racing Race of Champions for Modifieds.From start to finish, the companies paying lap money to the leader are Motorsports Warehouse, Intensitee, Cookie’s Sauce & Seasoning, Walmart, Fareway, Diamond Oil, Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa, Ames Ford Lincoln, Saints Avenue Café, Baymont Inn & Suites, Dirt Modified Magazine and Derr Farms.Leading the Sunoco Race Fuels Race of Champions for Stock Cars will pay $75 for each of 10 circuits, courtesy of Todd’s Taxi, Intensitee, Cookie’s Sauce & Seasoning, Walmart, Fareway, Diamond Oil, Ames Ford Lincoln, Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa, Wheelock’s Service and Motorsports Warehouse.Friesen Chevrolet and Big Daddy Race Cars pay $50 to the leaders on each of the 10 circuits in BSB Manufacturing Northern SportMod Race of Champions and the Stephenville Starter Hobby Stock Race of Champions, respectively.A $250 bonus will be awarded to the Northern SportMod main event champion if they are participating with EQ heads. The same bonus will apply to the winner of Saturday’s Hobby Stock main event.The Joie of Seating awards $250 cash to the champions in all divisions participating with a LaJoie-built full containment seat; $100 cash bonuses will be presented to any qualifying feature winner in the same seat.Karl Chevrolet bonuses of $250, $150 and $100 go to the top three Modified, Northern SportMod and Hobby Stock finishers with crate engines.Bushore Transmissions gives $100 bonuses to the highest finishing Modified, Stock Car, Hobby Stock and Northern SportMod customers in their respective main events.A $500 WWMT cash bonus will be paid to the highest finishing driver in the Modified main event competing with a claim motor.The latest addition to the slate of Super Nationals bonuses comes from Bilstein, which gives $3,500 to the Modified champion if they win with four Bilstein XVS shocks. Another $1,500 goes to the same driver who can sweep their heat, qualifying feature and main event on that same make of shock.last_img read more

first_imgBy David Smith Jr.MEEKER, Okla. (Aug. 27) – Point leader Andy Shouse started on the pole and held off a last lap challenge by Jake Martens to win his first Sprint Series of Oklahoma IMCA EMI RaceSaver Sprint Car feature of the season Saturday at Brill Motor Speedway’s inaugural Pat Suchy Memorial.Shouse began to enter lapped traffic entering turns three and four on the final circuit as Martens dove low entering the same turns and tried to slide in front of Shouse. The current national point leader held on, however, to take his first series feature victory of the season by just one car length.Chad Koch held on for third while Blake Dacus and Joe Wood Jr. rounded out the top five.Shouse and Dacus started on the front row for the 25-lap feature with Shouse taking the lead as the green flag fell. By lap five, Shouse had opened a 10-car length advantage over Dacus and approached slower cars on lap nine. Shouse, working the bottom of the track, stretched his ad­vantage to a half stretch lead at midway.Lap 17 saw the night’s final caution flag fall and set up an eight lap dash to the checkered flag.The Sprint Series of Oklahoma will be back in action in three weeks for a doubleheader weekend. It all starts on Friday night, September 16, at Southern Oklahoma Speedway in Ardmore before heading to Longdale Speedway in Longdale, Okla., where they will join forces with the Kansas-based United Rebel Sprint Series.Feature results – 1. Andy Shouse; 2. Jake Martens; 3. Chad Koch; 4. Blake Dacus; 5. Joe Wood Jr.; 6. Shayla Waddell; 7. Cody Whitworth; 8. Lloyd Clevenger; 9. Brandon Long; 10. Sheldon Barks­dale; 11. Brandon Jennings; 12. Chris Kelly; 13. Alison Slaton; 14. James Fabian; 15. Tan­ner Conn; 16. Jerry Jumper; 17. Mike Scott; 18. Chuck Bellefeuille; 19. Justin Fisk; 20. Joseph Miller; 21. Sterling Huff.last_img read more

first_imgThe Orange County Sheriff’s Office have arrested 28-year-old Mason Trever Toney who is accused of fatally stabbing his boss, 28-year-old William Knight, at a construction site off exit 254 on the Florida Turnpike.According to the arrest affidavit Knight was a “proud and outspoken American and pro-Donald Trump.” Witnesses said Toney and Knight got into an argument that could have been about their different political views.Authorities discovered Knight’s body with a new American flag next over the side of his body.Police arrested Toney and he is being held in Orange County without bond.last_img read more

first_imgThe RCMP has now confirmed reports, that a bear was sighted, struck by a vehicle and, evenutally put down, in Northeast Fort St. John last Thursday night. Constable Jackelynn Passarell says police got their first siting report, from the area of 88th Street and 118th Avenue… [asset|aid=487|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=fb5d3093418ee12c7e61a9c4cf59d434-Passarell_2_Pub.mp3] – Advertisement – Constable Passarell was unable to confirm witness reports, the bear was a grizzly but she did confirm, one investigating officer said it appeared the bear was ill or, had been suffering from a previous injury.last_img read more

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