Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Death Blow To The Tory Party?

I always find Andrew Sullivan interesting. He's a right winger with enough good sense to reject George W. Bush, so I was always going to find time for him.

Recently though, as he covered the British election, I found myself wondering how long he had been in the States, as his reading of British Conservatives was so very far from my own.

Today, he appears to be grasping what is actually taking place here.

One feels the stomach lurch a little if one remains a British conservative. From the heady days of the 1980s and even 1990s - eighteen years of continuous Tory rule - we have now had thirteen years of Labour, three elections in which the ghost of Thatcherism was revived with ever decreasing effect, then a major rebranding and personable, decent new leader with sane, centrist policies ... the end result is 36 percent. And that barely more than a third of the vote - and no seats in Scotland - comes after one of the worst recessions in memory, and one of the least agreeable prime ministers in modern times.

Or to put it another way: 63 percent of Britons did not want a Tory government after 13 years of Labour.
And he appears to have, finally, absorbed just what is occurring here if Labour and the Lib Dems pull off a deal.
If the result of the bargaining after this election is proportional representation in one form or another, there will never be a majority Conservative government in Britain again. There won't be a Labour majority government either, but given the deep left-liberal majority in Britain, coalition politics will move Britain indelibly leftward.
It's astonishing that he can admit that the Tories have never ruled the UK other than by exploiting the split in the progressive vote and, at the same time, lament that this "deep left-liberal majority in Britain" will no longer be ruled - essentially, against their will - by the Conservatives.
Remember that Thatcher never won anything close to a majority of the popular vote - she kept winning because the left split and the electoral system allowed her to divide and rule.
He is right when he says that Thatcher was repeatedly re-elected because the progressive vote was split. But why is the end of that a bad thing?

I have never been a fan of PR because, like Sullivan, I have always thought first past the post produced stronger governments. However, there is surely nothing to applaud about a system where the majority were ignored and the Tories were able to rule for eighteen disastrous years simply because of that progressive split?

And yet, that appears to be what he is asking us to do.
Expecting a conservative revival, we may be witnessing a "progressive" game-changer.
And I love the fact that progressive is put in quotation marks.

The will of the majority prevailing is, apparently, a very bad thing.

Click here for full article.

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