Monday, 3 May 2010

Pre-election blues

I think I might just last until the electioneering ends before I blow up in a cloud of red in anger.
It is not so much the claims and counter-claims as to why I should choose one or the other party. I understand it is a sort of beauty competition but there we would see just what we were voting for. In politics, we have to accept the broad outlines of a manifesto that lacks detail.
For example, we are told that there will be cuts in public spending but just what and where these are likely to fall is not detailed. This suggests to me that the party's policy makers either do not know or have done their homework and put figures to action. If they do not know, that is highly irresponsible behaviour. If they know - why cannot we be told; chapter and verse? A prime example is the NHS that is said to be facing cut-backs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the NHS service that I receive but there are many other Trusts with poor admin and fiscal control histories. How do I know that these will be targeted or whether the cuts will be brutal across the board reductions?
It is not as if I can question the smiling assassins who come to my door. They may well tell me what their aims are but I know full well that when/if they get into power they are the whips bitches and are told exactly what to do when a vote comes.
That is, of course, if I can trust my elected member anyway. The revelations of how their minds work when it comes to integrity and honour as shown in the expenses saga are still fresh in my mind.
What really burns me though is the way they seem to regard us as idiots. They shift and swivel almost hourly in declaring what their prime intentions are. There is just no way they would have the time to deal with all these matters. If there has to be a coalition government, the time spent posturing and bargaining has to be factored in. We are told - in broad brush terms only - what they will do but no idea of priority or timetable is given.
There is also the Curate's Egg aspect. I may like some of the manifesto and totally resist another. If I knew what sort of priority the party gave to each 'promise' I might be able to evaluate the likes against the dislikes.
In the end it all comes down to like and dislike - I like/dislike them all in about the same measure. The same applies to trust/distrust. This quandary would not be resolved by any change in the voting system. I want to vote for a party that I know will do what - exactly defined please. To give someone the keys to my safe and not know what they will do once inside is nonsense but that is what I am expected to do with my vote.
Of course, in right down to it truth, what government we have will have little effect upon me. They will decide what to do and do it. If my tax goes up - what are my alternatives? If they make an abortion of the NHS that I really depend upon - what are my remedies? I suppose my alternative will be to do nothing and stay home on election day.

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