9 April 2010

Deadlock Democracy

I do like the 'Labservative' viral campaign. It is witty, intelligent and hits upon a the big problem in our democracy: the inevitability of Labour or Conservative government, and the lack of appetite for either.

The election campaign is now in full swing. The key soundbites are being wheeled out at every opportunity by the party representatives. It is becoming clear what the parties' core messages are to the electorate.

The core message from the Conservatives is "do you want 5 more years of Gordon Brown, or change with the Conservatives". The M&C Saatchi billboards are nothing but a straight attack. Basically, its 'vote for us because we're not Labour'.

The core message from Labour is "don't put the recovery at risk with the Conservatives". Today we've heard a variation on this theme from Lord Adonis, begging Lib Dem voters to vote Labour to avoid the Tories. Basically, its 'vote for us because we're not the Conservatives'.

So the electorate is quite explicitly being encouraged to vote negatively. They are being asked to sum up who they fear the most, and then vote against this. This is yet another reason that people are fed up with politics. The big two parties aren't providing a prominent positive reason to vote for them. I therefore gently encourage any passers-by not to.

But it is possible that all 45 million potential voters don't end up reading this headblurt (crazy), so presumably people will still tootle along to their polling station and vote for more of the same. What's for sure is there's no sign yet that this will be the election will see a breakthrough in support for the Lib Dems (even though we have the most popular leader, the most popular would-be chancellor, and tax policies that would see the vast majority of people hundreds of pounds better off. What more do people want?).

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