October 27, 2008

First Passed the Machete

Thanks to the First Past the Post voting system in many ways our system of choosing the government is not unlike that of a failed state where warlordism has taken over.

There are a number of powerful established bands, and every so often one will mount a daring raid into enemy territory to capture certain strategic assets. This shifts the balance of power allowing them a period where they are dominant when they get to distribute largess amongst their followers and allies. The difference is that for us the territory is ideological and we use words rather than machetes. Plus less cannibalism, unless you are in Cornwall.

It is certainly true that Cameron does not offer anything radical, that he does not even try to present that arguments about how the Welfare State has corrupted this country and the EU has made our democracy a shame. It would be completely accurate that he presents himself as some kind of Blue Labour of the soggy centre. Of course he does, and that is why he is going to win.

Cameron does not care about True Believers like DK. They are lost to him anyway howling at the moon for ideological purity. He does not care about libertarian pragmatists like Jakart or myself either, he owns us already for the simple reason that he offers the least worst option. The people that he is after are those floating voters in the soggy centre that decide elections. It is they who are the important strategic territory that wins elections and so Cameron has mounted his raid beyond traditional tory territory in order to capture as many of them as possible.

It might be good if the Libertarian Party could win power (though I'm not sold on their Income Tax policy), but they can't. Which is why I hope that the Conservatives win (preferably with the Lib-Dems displacing Labour as the opposition party). I would prefer that a party that at least has some respect for the ancient liberties of this country be in power rather than one that has spent its period of power systematically trashing them. In this way I am a pragmatist, which is why Cameron does not care about me either.


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