Saturday, 8 May 2010

Election fun times!

After a surprisingly lucid day after a heavy night, minus the hangover (for now), I thought i should best update my blog.  This is the wiser option rather than "writing essays" on my Facebook, as one of my friends put it last night.
So with the results in on friday, we have a hung parliament.  Great! Or.... not so great. What we are seeing now is political parlour games between the three main parties.  Nick has stuck to his guns, surprising for a modern day politician I know, and negotiated with the Conservatives first.  This is undoubtedly the right thing to do.  Labour are in a complete state post elections, no effective leadership (calls for Gordy's resignation even), worst losses since the 1930s, about 50 less seats than the tories.  What is the response to this? Let them form government! Gordy came out on Friday afternoon claiming he is going to take his constitutional right to try and form a government with a majority as he is the incumbent. Yeah nice one Gordy, good look finding where that is written down.  This is a problem I have been highlighting all weekend, constitutional rights in the UK are a fry cry from being quotable and sound bites like in the US. You can't claim your "Second Ammendment Right", I realise that the second amendment may have been a bad choice, but you get the idea.  The British 'Constitution', quote-unquote, is actually a cobbled together notional thing made up of customs, traditions and statutes.  Yet, many people, some of my good friends included, believe that this should be enforced, because thats the way it always has been.
The foundation for a Lib/Lab coalition is electoral reform, to move towards a more representative system.  Great, I'm all for that, but we should iron out a few contradictions.  If the UK does move to PR in some form, coalition governments will be the future.  This is not a problem.  The thing about these coalition governments is that the Party with the largest proportion of the vote gets to try and form a coalition to get a majority.  If they can't, this is based on Germany, arguably the most successful use of PR, the two largest parties form a 'Grand Coalition'. Never in a PR system have the second and third placed parties formed a coalition.  More importantly even if there was a Lib/Lab coalition, they still wouldn't have a majority!
So what's more important folks, sticking to our democratic principles of the largest party being able to form government, or stopping those nasty Tories under Lady Thatcher, oh wait she left power 20 years ago, gaining power.
Its not too popular to be a Tory at university, although reading a degree in politics does allow for some constructive discussion on party politics.  However, the number one problem people seem to have with the Conservatives is the Iron Lady.  I was born just a year before she left office, so I don't pretend to know how bad or good times were.  Regardless, I cannot see the necessity in harping back to the days when the mines closed yada yada.  Grow a pair and move on.  Life isn't or wasn't that bad now, your father may have lost his job in the mine then, you are likely driving a Ford Mondeo and becoming part of that wonderful concept known as 'middle england'.  The days of Labour being for the working man and the Tories for the Toffs are done. Life moves on, parties move on, the realisation that they now have to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters, has led to more equitable policies by all parties.
Finally, to  come back to my original point, made somewhere in this messy article.  I appreciate politics is all about opinions, and that many people, especially in the north and at university, feel very strongly about the Tories.  However, it is important not to let these opinions cloud our judgement over what is the best solution. Democracy, comes above all these opinions and you cannot argue that purely in democratic terms, the tories should form government. They have the most seats, the most votes and consequently democracy says they should make government.  I saw a facebook group where the title was "Lets have a riot if the Tories get in", many people who joined this group, who I knew, were the ones advocating for electoral reform, wanting to make a better democracy.  Hold on guys, before we talk about increasing representation, lets get the basics of democracy right first! So maybe the group should be "Lets have a riot if the Tories don't get in" or "Lets have a riot if Clegg sells out 1) His integrity, and 2) The principle of democracy he holds so tight."

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