Let's start with one heretical thought: competition is disastrous in our education system and should be abandoned as a guiding principle. Instead what we need is cooperation - an informal co-operative of pupils, teachers, parents, communities working together to help achieve the best possible outcome for each pupil.
Many people do not vote because of a sense of hopelessness. Would my vote make a difference? Would it have an impact on government? Here's a real-life example for those cynics, skeptics and pessimists ... In Southcoates East, UKIP's victory was decided by only 9 votes. With the benefit of hindsight, would you have voted if that preordained the defeat of such party?
Yes it is a matter of psephological note that UKIP are the first party since 1910 other than the major parties to have topped a national poll. However, I think we need to get a number of factors into perspective. One in 10 of electors voted UKIP. Of those who did vote UKIP, I suspect that a large proportion were in reality voting for: "None of the above".
Whilst online voting will benefit everyone of all ages to vote, we recognise that there are various causes of low voter turnout, particularly amongst young people. As such, the organisation will also be researching and highlighting these causes and help ensure that the voice of young people is heard amongst the decision-makers in Westminster.
It began months ahead of the election, with a steady stream of articles that appeared to rely heavily on quoting Nigel Farage and seemed to be in favour of supporting Ukip. This isn't that surprising, as the media thrives on sensationalism - it means easy news reporting and guaranteed readership. #Ukip was trending on Twitter every day, and the Party appeared to be going from strength to strength, or so many journalists were arguing.
The Holy date of 25 May, the day of presidential elections in Ukraine, the country's territory is becoming smaller and smaller. Indeed, the elections will not take place in Crimea, rightful territory of Ukraine which was proclaimed by Putin and his gangs of separatists as part of Russian territory. Even after a failed referendum, it seems like the eastern part of Ukraine is not going to participate in the vote as well, as half of the polling stations are already occupied by separatists in the Donbass region. The country is in the middle of a war with an exterior enemy but Ukrainians say that the elections have to happen anyways!
The success of Ukip is a direct and inescapable consequence of the abject failure of the mainstream parties to connect with deeply disillusioned voters. It doesn't need Dave and Ed to light up a fag and be photographed from now on only with a pint of beer in their hands - perish the thought - it just needs them to start talking a language that vaguely resembles the language the rest of us speak. They've got just under 12 months to get it right. Meanwhile, the rest of us will start taking a closer look at some of Mr Farage's unpleasant new bed-fellows in the European parliament.
It's only an opinion poll, a lot's going to depend on the results in individual regions, it's still all to play for - all of those old electoral sayings hold true, but nonetheless Green Party workers are going into the final sprint of the European election campaign with a spring in their step, following a YouGov poll for the Sunthat put our vote on 12%, enough to win six MEP seats in England, plus one in Scotland.
The Internet now reaches into nearly every aspect of our lives. Vast numbers of us routinely bank, shop and socialise online and the public services we all rely on are equally dependent on computers and the Internet. It's also true that the widespread use of social media has provided new ways for citizens to engage with the political process in the countries in which they live.