Monday, 18 May 2009

Forget Expenses, Politicians Dredge The Campaigning Gutter Too

Catching up on my RSS, Thunderdragon carried an interesting piece at the weekend on Liberal Democrat election leaflets in London Boroughs.

This leaflet for the EU elections on June 4th very much suggests that the electoral system for those elections is first-past-the-post rather than the actual proportional representation party list D’Hondt method approach. They reproduced the last Westminster election result rather than the last EU election one, which would have been far less favourable to them as in 2004 they got only one seat in the London region.

What the Lib Dems Socialist Democrats have been doing is producing literature deliberately designed to mislead voters into believing that a cross for Labour or the Greens is a wasted vote on June 4th, which it would be if they were talking about a general election or council elections ... except that London Boroughs are holding neither next month. Just the Euro elections where a Labour or Green vote is anything but wasted.

It's the classic ploy of not comparing like with like. How this is not punishable by the electoral commission is beyond me. It is a fraud perpetrated on the electorate, pure and simple.

I'm grateful to TD for flagging this up though, as it helped me to put my finger on a mystery nagging unease that I had for the much-derided recent Labour Party Election Broadcast. Notice something missing?

Maybe I'm just slow on the uptake and it has been commented on before, but there is not a single mention of Europe. Isn't that what we are all voting on in just over a fortnight? Banging on about what Cameron would do if he were PM is completely irrelevant.

This is precisely why our politicians are in the gutter of public opinion. The expenses row has merely focussed anger, almost literally through a magnifying glass, onto a singular issue. The contempt has been brewing for quite some time as the onset of career politicians, motivated purely by power and not in the slightest by the concerns of their voters, have led us to a point where discussing policies relevant to the upcoming election is deemed secondary to conning the public with personal attacks or misdirection.

Although I've seen no Tory promotion yet, it's hard to be confident that it will be much better. It really is time to send a message to the big three that we have had enough of this shit. If they can't act responsibly, we'll not vote for any of them.

1 comment:

TheFatBigot said...

I hadn't seen this broadcast before and I don't have speakers fitted to my computer so I just looked to see if I could spot a telling deliberate omission. I think I did.

This was not, to my eyes, an anti-Conservative broadcast, it was aimed directly at the element of traditional Labour support that might be tempted to turn to the BNP - every person featured was white. The two young men were fat and pasty-faced, the young mother had a sour sneer on her face, the elderly couple were everyone's grandparents. Classic BNP territory.