The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

The Arrogance Of FPTP

Posted by The Futility Monster on April 19, 2010 @ 11:58

If only it was...

David Cameron is sounding the alarm bells!

David Cameron has warned a vote for Nick Clegg could leave Britain “stuck” with Labour and said only the Tories can bring “real change”.

He said people were “fed up with the status quo” but without a decisive Tory win “fudge and division” was risked.

In other words, Mr Cameron would like power all to himself, thank you very much, because that’s what everyone’s been saying he was going to get for the past few years, and it’d be awfully mean of you to spoil his plans.

I find it breathtakingly arrogant that David Cameron has the gall to imply that only his party, not the Liberal Democrats, can do something about the status quo.

But wait a minute. Haven’t Labour been warning for years that a vote for the Lib Dems is “a wasted vote”? Andrew Adonis was only calling upon all Lib Dems to unite against David Cameron’s conservatism in a show of progressive unity only a week or so ago. And all that was before the debate had even happened.

First Past the Post denies voters the freedom to choose. It forces us to make a ridiculous judgement in a two-horse race. It ensures that the main two parties always get to make up stories about the bogeymen and women waiting in the third, fourth and various other parties.

Remember 2005? There was this man called Peter Hain, apparently, and he went around the country telling everyone that we really shouldn’t vote Lib Dem because it might let the Tories in “through the back door”. I even wrote about it.

So which is it? Are we letting the Tories in, or are we voting Clegg, getting Brown? Of course, it was bullshit then, and it’s bullshit now. Yes, certain seats, where Lib Dems are a distant third, may indeed produce an unsatisfying party switch. But in the rest, if people switch in sufficient numbers, a Lib Dem vote will deliver a Lib Dem MP.

The truth is neither of these stories are credible. They are designed to scare the electorate into old habits, and perpetuate this rotten paralysis of the two-party, choice free, state.

The real story, however, is much more exciting, but not for the old two parties. The truth could turn the country on its head, and might bring in some very pleasant surprises for all of us. Even non Lib Dems. And, you know, there might not even have to be coalition governments.

Tomorrow I’ll do a little crystal ball gazing. Three posts about three possibilities that could happen if the Lib Dem vote surge continues. I don’t think you should miss them.

In the meantime, please remember to Go Yellow on May 6!


One Response to “The Arrogance Of FPTP”

  1. Neil Craig said

    Cameron’s problem is that nobody sees him as “real change” from Blairism & that “fudge” is his favoured meal for us. Part of that is inherent in a 2 party FPTP system since. The equvalent classic economic example is where, if there are 2 ice cream sellers on a beach, is the optimum profit making position for them? The answer is both side by side in the dead centre necause that way alone both are closest to 50% of customers. This is a market failure because the optimum for customers is to each be in the middle of their own half of the beach. For a healthy political system we need 3, or preferably more, parties – which would then be prepared to introduce new ideas rather than being scared stiff of saying anything new & able to discuss a range of issues rather than sticking to 1 or 2 on the alleged centre ground.

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