Chopped Liver – Sympathy For The Devil

Ok, let’s play Devil’s Advocate for a while.

It’s less than 48 hours till polling closes on the Gen Election – and the prediction polls are still all over the place. I suppose, if anything, the Tories have it to lose now. As I said before, Brown is unelectable, Clugg is em… well, unelectable too. Although Social Media and round the clock TV scrutiny are having more of an influence than ever before – so there is slightly more chance of people being swayed by image and trends than ever before.

But the Devil’s Advocate I want to explore is the one they call the “Hung” Parliament. Now I was quite in favour of this until I heard that it wasn’t the MP’s themselves they were hanging – but some sort of political outcome which nobody really understands – but they think might happen nonetheless.

In truth, if you ask the ordinary person in the street what each party stands for – based on, say, their manifestos (these are very large volumes of papers required to be produced by each party, that no-one actually reads), they probably wont have a clue. I do not intend to be patronising here – I include myself among the masses).

But what if we really did get a hung parliament? What would it mean?

Let’s just suppose the 3 main parties were split 30% each down the middle. Let’s suppose they had to get on and govern the country in this manner. And let’s suppose we had a key issue to be debated in parliament – let’s say it was an issue on immigration, or the economy, or education, or health, or education – whatever. Now, with the current system of voting, we vote for a party that represents our ideology – scratch that – we either vote for the party we’ve always voted for, or we vote for the “image” of the party leader.

So, in truth, once we have elected our chosen government, they are free to pass laws on whatever they want, as they have the democratic majority and therefore our mandate to do so.

But in our 3-way split scenario, no party would have that mandate – instead one of the parties would present new legislation that would have to be supported by at least one of the other parties – therefore it would logically have to be a popular piece of legislation – otherwise it would be thrown out.

Have I stumbled upon something here? Is this the way forward for governments passing sensible, popular legislation supported by the electoral majority? Is this the opportunity for the populace to elect governments based upon, not tradition, not image and not whims – but sensible policies?

Maybe. Maybe not. What will probably happen is the Tories will win a landslide, Labour will do very poorly and not enough people will vote for the 3rd party.

The Devil rests his case.

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