Saturday, April 25, 2015

Disillusionment be damned

With less than a fortnight to go until polling day, are you finding yourself disillusioned, jaded, depressed and even unsure whether to bother voting? I prescribe this New Statesman article by Armando Iannucci.

It explains why you'd be justified in feeling that way in the face of what he calls "Rump Politics", characterised by petty inter-party squabbling, negative campaigning, cynically appealing only to those most likely to vote and dwelling on the past rather than offering firm visions of the future.

However, Iannucci also offers a timely summary of why it isn't all doom and gloom - as much to convince himself as his readers. For starters, the electorate is refusing to allow the politicians to dictate the agenda, asking difficult questions on social media and piling on pressure via campaigning websites, and is also showing a healthy disdain for classic negative campaigning tactics. Further evidence that the mainstream political parties are losing their grip on voters is the fact that formerly "fringe" parties that they routinely belittled have edged their way into the public consciousness and now look like serious, genuine alternatives to the Westminster status quo. Iannucci doesn't include UKIP among these parties, arguing they've hit their glass ceiling - another cause for optimism.

(Thanks to Pete for the link.)

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