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Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: 50 Things You Need to Know About British Elections (2014)

de Philip Cowley

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HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED… … what emotions really influence where your cross goes on the ballot paper? … whether people are claiming to vote when they haven't? … which party's supporters are the kinkiest in bed? In the run-up to the most hotly contested and unpredictable election in a generation, this exhilarating read injects some life back into the world of British electoral politics. Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box sheds light on some of our more unusual voting trends, ranging from why people lie about voting to how being attractive can get you elected. Each of the fifty accessible and concise chapters, written by leading political experts, seeks to examine the broader issues surrounding voting and elections in Britain. It is not just about sexual secrets and skewed surveys: it illustrates the importance of women and ethnic minorities; explains why parties knock on your door (and why they don't); and shows how partisanship colours your views of everything, even pets. This fascinating volume covers everything you need to know (and the things you never thought you needed to know) about the bedroom habits, political untruths and voting nuances behind the upcoming election. ‘This book is such an utterly brilliant idea it is ridiculous that no one has thought of it before … I cannot recommend it highly enough.' John Rentoul.… (mais)
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Always be suspicious if someone offers the 50 things that you need to know: isn't it lucky that there were not an inconvenient 49, or 51? This book proves the point admirably; it has some details which are both interesting and informative about the British electoral system but it also has some sections of the bl**ding obvious dressed up as research. Whilst I am being picky, I found the 50 chapters, each averaging three and a half sides, too disjointed and a worrying tendency to find everything OK, really: e.g. yes, the press does have a right wing bias, but only because that's what their readers want.

Having got that off my chest, what did I like about the book (I gave it four stars, after all..)? It does provide statistic backed information as to the ways in which the electorate perceives the issues and personalities within our 'democratic' system. Although the short chapter size limits the detail, each section has copious source reference allowing the reader to pursue areas of interest. This book is a stimulating jumping off point for an examination of politics in the 21st century. Don't expect all the answers, but it does help to inform one's questioning. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Sep 6, 2015 |
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HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED… … what emotions really influence where your cross goes on the ballot paper? … whether people are claiming to vote when they haven't? … which party's supporters are the kinkiest in bed? In the run-up to the most hotly contested and unpredictable election in a generation, this exhilarating read injects some life back into the world of British electoral politics. Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box sheds light on some of our more unusual voting trends, ranging from why people lie about voting to how being attractive can get you elected. Each of the fifty accessible and concise chapters, written by leading political experts, seeks to examine the broader issues surrounding voting and elections in Britain. It is not just about sexual secrets and skewed surveys: it illustrates the importance of women and ethnic minorities; explains why parties knock on your door (and why they don't); and shows how partisanship colours your views of everything, even pets. This fascinating volume covers everything you need to know (and the things you never thought you needed to know) about the bedroom habits, political untruths and voting nuances behind the upcoming election. ‘This book is such an utterly brilliant idea it is ridiculous that no one has thought of it before … I cannot recommend it highly enough.' John Rentoul.

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