Scary Attitudes

I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve heard on the television since the results of the election saying things along the lines of “I think what we need is for the politicians to come together and stop arguing amongst themselves, that’s what the people want.”

Scary. Do these people understand what they’re saying? It started with the pundits -who of course DO understand- and it’s now spreading to the interviewed members of the public, this morning with a gentleman in an England t-shirt in a pub on Sky News.

This can’t-we-all-just-get-along attitude sounds all very nice and fluffy but what essentially it’s asking for is a one-party state (a proper one). Politicians from different parties aren’t supposed to get along and agree on everything, they’re supposed to tell us what they think and then we choose the ones we agree with.

I think perhaps a lot of the reason we got a hung parliament is that there isn’t enough choice: all the main players were offering pretty much the same thing, and so they all got (vagaries of the electoral system aside) pretty close shares of the vote.

I’m personally quite pleased with this result as it shows the electorate are starting to understand the limited choice they are offered. It doesn’t mean that the electorate think all the parties should have some sort of love-in, despite how the talking heads are trying to portray it. The only way it could be better IMO is if there were a few more parties with fifty-odd seats, so more of the public (myself included) get some representatives for our views in government. This may yet come- despite losing seats, the Lib-Dems still got a comparable percent of votes, and are still getting to play a major role in who forms the government. This can only be good for the prospects of smaller parties. It also keeps the ministers busy thrashing issues out and gives them less time to pump out statute after statute after statute.

Political systems in which all the politicians have been on the same side have been tried before of course, and it doesn’t generally work out very well for the other side: the governed.

As a wise man once said:

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

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