4 June 2009 (Thursday) - Democracy

I always vote at elections. I have this vague feeling that if I don’t, I have no right to complain about the state of the world. The trouble is, I know that it doesn’t matter who gets in: they will do some things well, and make a right stuff of others. I could stand for election myself, but I choose not to. And that I suppose is what’s wrong with the world.

I had a choice of three candidates today for the local elections. And there was nothing to choose between them. Back when I was a lad, there was a proper choice at elections. You had self-seeking greed on the one hand, rampant lefty socialism on the other and namby-pamby indecisive dithering in between. And then they invented Margaret Thatcher. Everyone voted for her bunch because we were all too scared not to. Once she jacked it all in, the distinction between the political parties wasn’t quite so clear. The bunch that once espoused rampant lefty socialism had taken a leaf out of the greedy beggers’ book. And it worked. Tony Blair’s lot got in. And so in order to curry favour, those who’d lost out abandoned their policies of feathering one’s own nest and tried to develop a social conscience. Meanwhile just as namby-pamby indecisive dithering was getting its act together, the jingoistic nationalistic minorities came along and made serious inroads into the floating voters.

So here we are today, with Labour and Conservative parties which seem to have little to distinguish one from another, and the democrats squeezed into what little space political remains, and fighting with the crackpots for that space. There really isn’t much difference between any of the three main parties. I had three candidates next to whose names I can put my vote. Each represented one of the big three political parties. I went with the democrats for the simple reason that they seem to be the lot who will do the least harm.

Now the European election was a different matter. Normally I’d say that given the choice I’d vote for one of the crackpot minorities. But there were some serious crackpots there. The jingoistic vote was split between five different candidates, there were two distinct flavours of hippies standing, and I’ve absolutely no idea what another five were standing for. Which only left the big three parties again.

One doesn’t so much vote for the party of one’s choice – rather against those that really shouldn’t get in. It’s hardly a sound political position, is it…..

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