Saturday, May 08, 2010

More on the UK Parliamentary Elections

My inital reaction from an edited version of my email to younger brother (who is married to a lady from Scotland) yesterday was:

Worst possible result - weak government now with politicians' temptations to do deals to secure power rather than to secure the nation's best intersts. Proportional representation will be part of the Lib/Lab deal and that will be geared against the Tories.

As usual the Scottish tail wags the British dog with their unfairly smaller (people-wise) mainly Lab oriented consituencies giving the Lab party an unfair advantage and Scots a disproportionate amount of the available budget - no wonder they can afford free University places in Scotland.

The only good thing that I can see is that before the election the Bank of England said
whoever won it would be the loser in the long term so hopefully that will affect both lib and lab.

I am pleased that the Tories won Richmond Park; Wallington is still Liberal and Labour which won Wimbledon under Tony Blair now trounced by Tories and beaten into 3rd place by Libs.

Not a good result overall imho - Cameron desereved better.

However that email reflected instant disappointment following a cliff hanger type election and result. Now after some reflection I am not so negative and indeed wonder if the electorate as a whole has been wiser than partisan individuals like myself.

If there is a coalition of some sorts then the huge tax increases and cuts in public spending to come may be more acceptable to those having to bear the brunt of them than would be the case if they are imposed by toff Tories or union obsequious Labour governments. As in WWII the country does well when united - the Common Good has more chance of seeing the light of day.

Also so far at least the three leaders have maintained stances of respect and dignity in the face of what is for each of them an unsatisfactory outcome and perhaps most of all none of the more extreme partisan policies of the main political parties are now likely to see the light of day.

After so much drama and real excitement in the democratic process maybe the time has come for some firm but quiet almost dull government.

The complaints about lack of time to vote at polling stations is in some ways positive. Usually the turnout is so small in the UK that polling stations resembled empty railway waiting rooms for most of voting day. The problems reported on this election night (it was mainly in the night through voters leaving it late to go out to vote even though the polling stations opened as early in the morning as 7 am) were really a symptom of the success of the elecion campaigns rather than a failure of the system - should the authorities really be blamed for basing the voting facilities on the usual turnout? However if any results turn on a couple of 100 voters in areas where the doors closed before everyone had voted then their polls should be re-run.

Regarding the outcome so far, the jury is still out, as the political haggling is far from over yet. Alas we have no lady political leaders but the adage: "It's not over until the fat lady sings" still applies.

1 comment:

  1. Those in the UK extolling the advantages of PR voting systems applicable on the continent may find the following news snippet from the BBC website earlier today to be of interest:

    "German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party and its coalition allies have been defeated in regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, exit polls suggest.

    If confirmed, this could see Mrs Merkel's national coalition lose its majority in the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat

    The next few weeks in politics may be as interesting in Germany as in the UK and
    their experiences with PR may teach us a thing or two, not excluding the advantages of what we have already.


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