Friday, May 14, 2010

Johann Hari: This is not what the people voted for.

When nutcases like Adam Boulton express their bias and insist that David Cameron won this election, Johann Hari has a very good point to counter their claims:

David Cameron went into this election with every conceivable advantage – a half-mad Labour leader randomly insulting his core vote; a comically biased media; a massive financial advantage over his rivals, flowing from a tax haven in Belize; 13 years out of power; a major recession – and yet he got only 36 per cent of the electorate to endorse his vision. To be fair, let's assume the 3 per cent who voted Ukip also broadly prefer it, and call it 39 per cent. Against this, 55 per cent of us voted for parties of the (relative) centre-left – the same proportion who say they want a country that is less unequal and less unfair. In any other European country, where they have democratic voting systems, it wouldn't even have been close. This would have been a centre-left landslide, with Cameron humiliated.
Of course this is the very reason that people like Andrew Sullivan argue against the PR system; because, by Sullivan's own admission, if we had PR the Tories would very rarely win elections in this country.

The Tories only ever win elections in this country because both the progressive parties split their own vote.

Which is why Clegg choosing to side with the Tories after the election baffled me so much.
Don't fall for the people who say the Lib Dem vote was "ambiguous": a YouGov poll just before the election found that Lib Dem voters identified as "left-wing" over "right-wing" by a ratio of 4:1. Only 9 per cent sided with the right. Lib Dem voters wanted to stop Cameron, not install him. So before you start squabbling about the extremely difficult parliamentary arithmetic, or blaming the stupidly tribal Labour negotiators for their talks with the Lib Dems breaking down, you have to concede: the British people have not got what they voted for.
Many people voted Lib Dem to keep the Tories out of power. And yet, they now watch Clegg get into bed with the very party they wanted to stop from reaching Number Ten.

There are many thing which can be said about this, but you can't say that the people of Britain got what they wanted.

Clegg took his party, and all the votes cast for it, and aligned it to the very thing that the majority of the people who voted for him were vehemently opposed to.

The right wing press are, inevitably, applauding him. But the people who voted for him know what he did. I doubt they will ever vote for him again.

Click here for Hari's column.

No comments: