Hi, I’m Scott, I’m 27, and I’ve never voted; but all that will change. Tomorrow (or today, depending on when I’ve managed to get this post up) marks arguably the most unpredictable General Election in the UK. There have been lots of interesting points in the election build up: the first time the main party leaders have taken part in a live televised debate (ala US Presidential Election debates); the media seems to have been less influential than previous with the advocation of social networking; this election doesn’t appear to be simply a two horse race between Labour and the Conservatives, with the Liberal Democrats firmly in the race; there’s a real possibility of a hung election (the first since 1974); it’s the first election I’ve actually cared about.
I think it’s safe to say that there is a pretty high probability that Gordon Brown won’t be in office come Friday morning, which means one of two outcomes (three really but one is one that I cannot see happening): The Conservatives have one the overall majority and David Cameron will have become the UK Prime Minister; None of the parties won an overall majority and we go to a hung parliament. The third option which I’ve dismissed is, despite 3 very good debates by party leader Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats take office.
Now, one of the big things that Cameron has been talking about (seemingly at every single opportunity) is that this country needs a change, Labour have been in power for 13 years, we need a change, change, change, change. Quite honestly, it’s become a bit monotonous.
Cameron wants a change for the country (there’s that word again), as he thinks this is what’s best for the country. But it seems that he wants a change for the country on his terms. And his main term is that the change has to involve him coming to power (By the way, as I’m typing this, Newsnight is on BBC2 and Cameron just said change six times in about 30 seconds). It was very interesting how much Cameron was using this word before the first TV debate, and then after Nick Clegg’s huge success after that debate, how little it was used, speaks volumes (“We need a change, a younger person as Prime Minster, just not Clegg” not an actual quote by the way). So it seems that a change which would be good for the country is only good if Cameron says it is, which means a hung debate is something he does not want and so has been vilifying it throughout the campaign. So a change not necessarily a good thing then, Mr Cameron?
So why would this be? A hung parliament would be a big change for UK politics and arguably a good thing. The ability to maybe overhaul the current parliamentary system is no bad thing. This is how I see a change working, personally. But I can understand why Cameron et al wouldn’t want this. Why would they? The system currently works, for them; for the politicians. Maybe this is a cynical view, I don’t know, but it’s certainly how it looks. Someone said to me (note: he was a tory supporter) that if it does go to a hung parliament, then it just won’t work and we will have another election within 12 months “guaranteed.” And that was his main point for not having a hung parliament, “it won’t work, so why try.” Well I think with the situation that UK politics finds itself in that surely it’s got to be worth a try. Call me naiive if you want, but it has to be worth a try.
Speaking for myself I just don’t like the idea of one party having control of the country when they might have only got the third highest number of votes, or to put it more easily, I don’t want a situation where over half the country doesn’t want a particular party running the country and yet there they are, running the country.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Cameron isn’t the only one doing this, but quite frankly, he’s the only one I can be bothered to write about.
Whilst writing this, I was listening to Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changing