7 May 2010

Democracy as it transpires

BIG BEN



I have really tried to keep myself up to date with the UK elections. Now they’re in the bag, although the final results not quite yet available and there is even less clarity on what exactly will the Government look like. I am sure that information comes in bit by bit, but my gosh, it’s been an interesting one. I no longer live in UK and I’ve never had a vote there, but who cares, let me write down a few thoughts nonetheless.

Who would have thought that Liberal Democrats in what seemed like their most promising attempt in absolute ages should actually lose seats? After all the hype they’ve had. To me it seems almost like voters went back on their verbal quasi-contract and Nick Clegg’s lot should get their monies back. I assume it’s relatively safe to say that it’s the electoral system that’s to blame, and I hope that for the future reference that should be looked into. You know, just so that no one needs to forcefully try to bring the democracy into UK. Well, pardon my slight exaggeration, but why is it that the loudest critics of the poor countries’ democracy always end up having questions – whether big or small – hanging over their own proceedings. People not being able to vote, running out of the vote slips and so on. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that they’d be the first ones to practice what they preach.

So Labour seems to have lost a lot of seats – nearly 100 it appears – and hopefully they’ll do some accounting on what went wrong with Blair, expense scandals and most of all Iraq. Tories, I am sure, would’ve done the exact same or worse. Only we like to assume that the ones who were not in power did not abuse the power not because they didn’t have it, but rather because they're more righteous. That’s text book opposition stuff.

Hung Governmentt? In other words multi-party Government. Coming from a country that wouldn’t have it any other way, I can’t see the harm in that. I actually feel that the single-party Governments are too absolute and no team should be given that much power – I mean they’re still just politician who are no strangers to corruption and corrupt corruptors who try to always corrupt them with corrupt gifts when the rest are looking the other way. In the current zeitgeist that’s pretty often considering how much other stuff there is to look at.

Of course, we are also often looking the right way – sure – and talking about it in Twitter and blogs; stuff like that. I did a small research paper on this recently and it was my conclusion, and it’s not just the little old me who thinks this, the online social media as a part of political process creates a stronger sense of participation than is about that participation in any real world terms and it is more important as a media event than as a political milestone. These two – politics and media – however, are not that different anymore, that I must add to this in the name of balance an honesty. Also, of course, whenever one rants about media and politics the spin masters of the background go on with their lives untouched. There are more political players and only a few we vote for.

A lovely aspects, I thought, of this election was the decline of the populist right wing hate mongering lark. I hope that’s a trend that takes over our continent that has long struggled with our internal insecurities, god complex and phobias over the ones we have tend to feel superior over. It appears that in the big league of the national politics, the other questions were more important to the floating racists and more moderate cynics or nationalists than what was offered by their umbrella organistaions.

The results, as they now look like, were not what I hoped for. Not quite what I expected either, but somehow I am feeling a bit hopeful. I am a sceptic of the political process as it transpires, I don’t find democracy flawless; only the best available system, and I feel that lobbies and spin industry needs to be brought into the foreground so we know who, and what, we are dealing with. I think we as people need to learn the lessons of accepting politicians as people instead of either liars or saints. These things are never, well, mostly never, absolute, and on a practical political level within the British electoral system, I hope that the third party – Liberal Democrats – becomes a contestant that it now has promised instead of a lost vote in a tactical selection process where one goes for the lesser of two known evils.

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