Saturday, 17 April 2010

Never more frustrating

What makes the entrapment of the general election and all that surrounds it that much more frustrating than it used to be is that we have such an illusion of empowerment now - we think, with YouTube and Facebook and Twitter and the rest, that we're in power, that what we say matters. We convince ourselves that the old structures of power somehow don't matter. We turn the elections themselves into showbiz extravaganzas, complete with TV debates. And then we suddenly realise - with the deepest frustration in the world - that the greatest albatross that holds Britain, and especially England, back - the electoral system itself which renders the majority of votes cast pointless and wasted, and is the real reason why so many feel so alienated from the "democratic" process - is still there, still unaltered, still frustrating everything we do and say and think, still obstructing the will of the people as wholly as it did in 1951.

The first debate may well have boosted the Lib Dems' support. But it merely emphasises the inability of our electoral system to cope with the effects of such new additions - all it will do is create another 1983, another situation where the third party's popularity (which, back then, embraced virtually all Tory and Labour moderates, and now will embrace almost everyone who finds the big two as played-out and irrelevant as each other) is simply not reflected in the actual make-up of Parliament, and the Tories achieve a false victory far beyond their actual public support. We are all of us hitting an invisible wall outside the polling station. I shudder to think what will happen after 6th May. There are forces which cannot be held back much longer.

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