Over the past month or so I have been thoroughly enjoying watching all seven series of The West Wing. Not only is the acting brilliant, the storyline's well thought up, but it also succeeds (in my eyes) in making politics interesting. The only problem is that I now know more about the Democratic and Republican party (or at least their fictional equivalents) than I know about the Big Three (well, arguably two!) parties in the UK. Sure, I find the politics in this country interesting, and enjoy debating with people about the few issues that I know anything about (such as the Euro), but I have to say, for someone doing a Masters degree with not only politics in the title, but run by the Politics department of Newcastle University, my knowledge, or lack of it, is almost embarrassing.
Part of the problem, I feel, is that although I may like a particular party's stance on one issue, I dislike their stance on another. It's like choosing the better of two evils. I'm going to make a real effort over the coming year (without detracting from my studies, obviously!) to look at what each party stands for and some of their key policies. Hopefully this will stand me in good stead for the looming general election.