Some press comment during the week indicated that with all the tragic happenings in the world the UK general election was really only a small local matter. Superficially this point seems to have some substance. Deeper consideration of the point however raises the question of what are key issues in the world today and what are really only small local matters.
Democracy on the superficial level is bound to be local. Why should anyone in the UK be particularly concerned for example about which way the electorate votes in Iceland? On the deeper level however the indications are that where human beings are in huge difficulty through earthquake tsunami famine or war it is the countries with deeply embedded democratic electoral systems which seem to move fastest to provide financial and other relief. Of course democracies being run by human beings make errors sometimes serious ones such as arguably the decision to use force to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Even there though, there was argument both ways at the outset. Christian friends of mine from Baghdad were initially and indeed for some while afterwards, of the view that the Western invasion of their country to oust the dictator there, was the correct course.
The very recent disaster in Nepal and its aftermath tends to highlight the support coming from democracies though sadly there can never be enough relief for fellow human beings caught up in such tragedies.
However where is the support for the Nepalese from the rich dictatorships of the world? Perhaps countries like some of the oil rich and financially very wealthy, states of the Middle East are providing large amounts of cash in support of those afflicted which western media is simply not reporting - I wonder though?
Reverting to the UK elections which are part of the democratic process - the way the politicians are championing their parties' wares is becoming increasingly interesting. The outcome too will be fascinating and whichever way it goes is likely to result in much negotiating and jostling for position by the various political parties. Will Labour link up with the Scottish nationalists or the Conservatives with the Ulster Unionists. Will the Liberal Democrats hold the key to power and will the UKIPers prove to be a nine day wonder similar to the SDP of a few years ago?
My own preference if there is no overall winner, would be for the two main parties Conservative and Labour to consider a coalition as in WWII.
International society today is being hit by Al Quaedi-type criminal and war mongerers rather than by a world war but the need for free and liberal minded states to work together to reduce the harm to fellow men women and children caused by such hideous groups, is almost as great as was the case in the 1940s when the hideous group in question was Nazi.
Meanwhile today the large numbers of human beings fleeing those despots and others wrecking death destruction and havoc in North Africa, need to be catered for in the European and other democratic countries. A common government by the two largest UK political parties assuming neither party has enough MPs to form a new government alone, would in my humble opinion best serve the needs of the people both at home and abroad in these troubled times.
Currently both main UK parties seem to be trying to attract voters by following the wills of their main supporters many of whom are worried about immigration. A government involving a one off coalition between left and right could at this time, be better not only for us in the the UK but also for the world at large. On the other hand a government formed by pandering to the whims of regional nationalists would not be good for the UK let alone for mankind generally. A united left/right government could take difficult decisions about say the huge numbers of refugees without having to give special attention to the ideal number of immigrants. Such a government psychologically too could carry more clout in international negotiating than a single party government might.
Likewise such issues as global warming are potentially so new and so serious, that democracies need to consider completely new ways of endeavouring to tackle them. An emergency Left/Right coalition would be bound to have new thoughts on such vital matters.
I will probably vote for my existing local MP who has served his constituency reasonably well over the past 5 years but who knows?