Friday, May 14, 2010

Politics - You never get what you want

This is not a political blog, but I couldn't resist one post because the mainstream media don't seem to have a clue what's going on.

The papers seem obsessed with the idea that "the electorate didn't get what they wanted".

Well there's a basic ontological error there. The electorate doesn't have a will, beyond the fact that a majority may have voted for a given party. But in the 2010 election, they didn't. So what did they want? It may be safe to say that Conservative voters wanted a Conservative government, but did every Conservative voter want the same policies? It seems highly unlikely, given that there are well-known splits even within the Conservative party ranks. Many are climate-change deniers. Many want to leave the EU. Many want grammar schools.
It's been said that Lib-Dem voters have been 'betrayed'. It may well be that many would have preferred a Lib-Lab coalition, but that was never really feasible with the MP numbers as they are. Would they have been happier with a minority Tory government? The fact is, it was difficult to get a cigarette paper between any two of the parties on many issues in their manifestos, so hard were they going for the centre ground, so whatever government got elected and however you voted, you would have got 80% of what you voted for.

It seems to me that the electors who should be happiest are Labour voters. There's a government that may actually be to the left of the outgoing one. The Labour Party gets time out to rebuild its leadership, agenda and support, and they get to blame two other parties for the economic, political and environmental mess we may find ourselves in five years from now. That's assuming the coalition lasts five years, which I rather doubt...

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