Friday, April 30, 2010

Election Fever

Was Gordon Brown, in the final debate, acknowledging Cameron's victory or Con-Lib-Dem coalition, or was he simply trying to frighten and, therefore, energize his base? Probably the former, but really this is getting ridiculous. After all, the election has looked more like a reality TV show or a poor facsimile of an American style campaign. Still, for better or worse, Britain remains a parliamentary democracy. If Brown wins more seats and finishes third in the popular vote, he deserves, however unfairly it might seem, to be given the opportunity to form a government, and would be PM until another government is formed. Whether that's a minority government or a coalition with the Lib-Dems is another matter. If not, we might as well switch to the French system where there's a PM and a President, or, for that matter, the America system and do away with parliamentary democracy altogether. Though that's a decision to be made further down the line. I'm no great fan of Gordon Brown, but when you think about, he is, ironically and, of course, arguably, the best PM Britain has had for the last thirty years! Think about it, who would you prefer: warmonger Blair? clueless Major? tyrant Thatcher? proto monetarist Callahan? Well, in retrospect maybe Callahan, but then again maybe not. But we're already talking about thirty years ago. It's says something about the sad state of the UK political system. No, Labour doesn't deserve another term in office, but nor does Britain deserve to have a Cameron-led Tory government, whether on its own or in a coalition with right wing Lib-Dems privatisers like Clegg and Cable.

Then there's the media's role in bringing Brown down, which has been an on-going process ever since Brown refused to call an election (thus costing the media, who had put their people and machinery in place, millions). And what about the the role of pollster and political consultant to the Tories and Republicans, Frank Luntz in all this. As well as appearing frequently on Newsnight with his focus group, bringing forth critiques of Brown and, before that, Blair, he also advised the Consevatives to react to anything Brown said or did, just he advised US Republicans to attack the Democrats regarding financial reform (see Sam Stein, Huffingfton Post, Feb 1st, 2010) and, before that, health care reform, by simply being against whatever was proposed, turning US GOPers into NOPers.

Considering all this, unless Labour gets a last minute surge in support, my bet is on a Cameron minority government or a Lib-Con coalition, as they have in various councils. Sure, Lib-Dem rank and file would be against it, but, hey, this is a new era and just as Blair ignored party members when it came to such matters as the war in Iraq, so Clegg and Cable will ignore their members when it comes jumping in bed with the Tories. After all, what the Tories and the Lib Dems want, more than anything, is a taste of power, just as Labour did in the run up to Blair becoming PM. Of course, I might have more time for the Lib-Dems if they took a left of center position and came out against the war in Afghanistan and promised to soak the rich. But that doesn't seem to be on the agenda.

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