All Bets are Off on the UK Election But Fun and Games are On

nick clegg photo

Image from Policy Diffusion

Today is Election Day in the U.K. and the race is on. Betting on the election is legal here and the bookies are giving the best odds on the Conservatives winning. No one else is sure what is happening; it will be a dash to the finish, with the great undecided voters making the difference.

One of the greenest candidates and campaigns has to be that of Tony Juniper, the former head of Friends of the Earth, running for the Green Party in Cambridge. He is campaigning on a bicycle with a wheelbarrow-shaped front carriage, sturdy enough to carry his leaflets which are printed on 100% recycled paper using vegetable dyes. The electricity in his campaign office comes from a company that supplies renewable energy, and the wood for his campaign billboards comes from sustainable forests. The odds on his winning are 50/1.

scoop system photo

Image from Common of Houses

The Common of Houses was a competition challenging artists and designers to rethink the voting system through creative means. Creative minds were asked to redesign the voting system: the ballot, how voting is done, and posters.

The winner was The Scoop System: "Hundreds of Ice Cream Vans will replace polling stations and travel to all the corners of Britain searching for un-cast votes. They will play music and remind people to vote as they travel across the country. The voter must choose from a menu of ice creams that represent the party with the policies and manifesto that they wish to see in Government. The ice cream incentive is intended to increase political participation."

parliament waffle photo

Image from londonist

If the thought of elections makes you hungry, then the Parliamentary Waffle House was the place to hang out during the run up to the vote. It is an election based bar and restaurant where each item on the menu is ordered in a variation corresponding to one of the three major political parties. Orders feed directly into a live action swing 'o' meter that gauges the mood of the country as people vote with their mouths.

pizza elect photo

Image from Independent Minds

Or let them eat cake, or pizza. A food artist has made pizzas in the leaders' images. Gordon Brown is more of a chilli and hamburger sort of a guy, whilst David Cameron is represented with cheese and rocket. One pizza restaurant is holding an all-nighter with live screenings of the coverage and special pizzas. The toppings include caviar, so you can eat the debate about class and dough balls for the national deficit.

great election photo

Image from General Election Drinking Game

Others are planning to drink their way through election night. The General Election Drinking Game is a performance art piece, taking place on stage at a cinema in Newcastle. Artists representing each party will drink a shot of beer for each seat that the party they represent wins. They reckon that 67 bottles of lager will just about cover the 646 seats in Parliament to be decided. You can watch the live coverage on their website, if you are a real glutton for punishment.

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