Election Day

In a matter of hours the polls will open for the 2010 General Election.  The image below is a  representation of the kind of hype we can expect until the early hours of Friday morning – and depending on the number of seats won by the parties, possibly beyond that.  Will it be a hung parliament?  What will be the uniform swing?  Will the marginal seats provide a bigger swing confounding the opinion polls?

But wiser heads will not succumb to the contrived excitement and media chatter.  The reason?  Politics in this country isn’t what it used to be.  Regardless of the outcome of the election, very little of substance will change.  The UK will still be ruled by the EU from Brussels, with around 75% of laws and regulations originating there.  European case law will still have primacy over our own, resulting in a continuation of the steady flow of incomprehensible and perverse judgements.

In the Westminster Parliament, the government – be it a majority one, a minority one or a fractious coalition – will tinker around with minutiae.  The clues were there in the Leaders’ Debates, as several commentators observed how Brown, Cameron and Clegg seemed keen to argue over very specific technical matters.  That is because it is all Westminster can do.  The substance of government of the British Isles is dealt with in Brussels.

The issues that matter most to voters were not up for discussion because the main parties have agreed among themselves that our wishes on a number of vital topics do not suit the agendas of the political parties.  The concept of representative politics has been replaced by the rise of the self serving political class.

But despite all this, the media will go through the motions because this is a made-for-media event.  This is their moment to have fun, play with their election toys, build up tension and engage in seemingly never ending speculation and intrigue.  The serious business of putting right the damage inflicted on this country is barely an afterthought.

And when the pantomime is all over the media will maintain its dumbed down focus on celebrity and personality.  We will hear barely anything about the nuts and bolts of Parliamentary business, what leglislation is being imposed on us and where it comes from.  The focus will be on spats and squabbles and grandstanding.

In many ways it will be like a materialist Christmas.  All that build up, all that focus, all that effort and then it’s over in the blink of an eye and you’re left wondering, was that it?  That is why a large number of people will decide not to bother voting.  They will not engage.  They are sick to the back teeth of politicians who put personal prospects before principle, who talk at us and refuse to listen to us or do our bidding.

One can only hope that in years to come this country manages to revert back to real democracy, something meaningful that gives people alternatives and a reason to engage in the political process.  But for all the cant about change delivered by Cameron and Clegg, that day is not here.  It’s a long way off.

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1 Response to “Election Day”

  1. 1 jameshigham 06/05/2010 at 12:08 pm

    Hopefully, Nigel Farage’s crash will push some more voters over the line to reject the Big Three but overall, nothing much will alter before the second general election or revamp of the Westminster system.

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