Political Promise

Ju Shardlow On… The Real Losers

In Ju Shardlow on May 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I had a bizarre dream last night. Armed only with a copy of Hamlet and frozen chips, I had 5 minutes to make a finger buffet for 100 people. I personally would have preferred to have done that this morning, rather than complaining loudly and fruitlessly about our new Prime Minister.

Our new Prime Minister. That’s a funny phrase. We’ve had three years of a leader we never actually voted for, experienced difficulties with booting him out, and then complain when a large number of people vote for another man who himself didn’t have enough votes to legitimately claim the seat. On one hand, we’ve got a group of stalwarts that see executive power as legislative power, terrified to give up premiership because they have some “rilly important” laws to pass (namely on the economy). On the other, we see a mixture of the now-majority legislative vote and the third largest l.v. These two have formed a bizarre executive – not because their policies are incompatible but because their voters are.

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If I was in a polling station on march 6th, I’d put a little cross next to my Tory, Labour or Lib Dem candidate. I don’t think such a person exists who would hover their pencil between all three, completely aimless and un-opinionated. Many of those who voted Lib Dem did so tactically in marginal seats to keep the Tories out. And if they weren’t voting tactically, they were showing a left-thinking rejection of Tory policies by voting Liberal. The majority of Lib Dem blog propaganda during the election was anti-Conservative. John Cleese’s adverts in 1997 proposed his party as the antithesis to the current corrupt politics. In urging the electorate to think sensibly that they do on the whole sympathize with liberal aims, but would vote specifically for the LDs, the message was to reject the old parties and fight against the odds for the new.

So what’s happened to Nick Clegg? Was I the only one playing a drinking game every time he insulted the “old parties” in the TV debates? It seems to boil back to this tempting situation – the partnership of a now-majority (legislative) vote and the third largest l.v. His party didn’t do as well as expected. He was immediately caught in a courting war. He deemed it in the ‘public interest’ to form an alliance with the most-voted-for party. So what he forgot was the direct democratic process. When we elect our representatives, they decide on their own how to form a government – with common aims in mind. What about the common aim of the voters? They on the whole elected left-thinking representatives to take care of their affairs. For example, if Labour, the Lib Dems and the Nationalists formed a government under Brown, it would be legitimate because a majority of elected representatives (the people you vote for) agree to that government.

I reckon that in the next election, many left-leaning liberals who defected from Lab to Lib will punish Clegg and party members. The voters will consider Clegg himself as forgetting the legislative in exchange for the executive. They will see party members as desperate and whipped. This of course begs the question – what were they supposed to do?? Well, even though I’m not Tory, I would have settled for a minority conservative government with a promised second election. Then, left-leaning ‘minorities’ could have walked away with some pride, carefully planned their next election strategy, and got on with representing their voters. Some will say the Lib Dems negotiating got us all a PR vote. Well, I think it’s more important to see a vote on a separation between the legislature and the executive powers, rather than just some bloke that the Tories like, having stood for election, got in, and suddenly becomes a leader even though our legislative system says that shouldn’t be the case.

No, I wouldn’t rather have Brown than Cameron….but you’d have to be a plonker now to say that a rejection of Brown is ipso facto a rejection of Labour and left-thinking government. Though I cant say how safe those yellow seats are looking for the Lib Dems come next voting day…

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  1. Debate drinking games… Never thought of that! The NHS would have fallen to pieces had everyone decided to play the I agree with Nick drinking game…

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