الأربعاء، مايو 12، 2010

The Other Side of the Tory-LibDem Deal

LibDem Fans Disenchanted with the Tory Deal

While I welcomed the deal as a chance to reform the UK Election System, some UK LibDem voters had a different view.

Here it goes.

Eve Ryman:
My heartfelt apologies, Wael, but as a citizen of the UK - and especially as a northerner - I can't agree. What they've done here is alienated forever those who hate the Tories, such as myself. I'll never be able to vote for them again, now. I shall instead give my vote to the only viable anti-Tory party - Labour. I think that most people in the north of England and Scotland feel the same way. I'm truly sorry to have to say it, Wael, and I genuinely wish it wasn't so: but the Liberal Democrats will rue this day for a very, very long time to come.

Wael Nawara:
I appreciate your sentiment. I just think that the chance to improve the election system is worth some compromises. But I agree that LibDems will lose some supporters because of this - but as it often happens in politics - they will also win some. Being in government is never popular, but it opens the way to actually changing legislations and policies.

Eve Ryman
It's hard to take the longer view when you're already so poor that you're struggling just to survive and a party comes to power that holds the poor in utter contempt.

There's some strength in the argument that it's worth some compromises in order to get voting reform - even for AV (which isn't true proportional representation). Ultimately I find it extremely hard to believe that this is going to happen, though. The Tory party view voting reform as utter anathema, and something that could keep them from power for generations. They are also by far the best-funded party (a fact which contributed in no small measure to their 'success' in the election), and have made sure, in their deal with the Libdems, that they are allowed to campaign against AV, when the referendum comes. The Tories have most of the British press, and Rupert Murdoch, in their pocket, and I fear they will manipulate the media to such an extent, when the referendum comes, that the public will vote decisively against, thus leaving us with no reform for another generation (at least). I guess we'll have to wait and see. I certainly hope like hell that our corrupt electoral system IS reformed. If this happens, I may be able to forgive the Libdems for their pact with the devil.

With regard to what you say about losing some supporters and gaining some - that's exactly my fear. They're going to lose their left wing supporters and gain right wing supporters - and since parties have to keep their supporters happy, this will make them move to the right as a party, in terms of policy. The Libdems have always been seen as a party of the middle classes (rather than the poor, I mean), in the UK, and I fear that what we have here is a crossroads at which they take a road that leads them even further away from the poor.

Still, for all that I'll now never vote for them again, I *am* glad that we haven't got untramelled Tory power, and that the Libdems will (probably, hopefully) act as some kind of restraining influence on the Tory party.

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