I'm very tired.

Life I'm very tired. Yesterday, as ever, I worked the election as a poll clerk. There weren't any queues at our station, though the turnout seemed unusually high so we phoned for extra ballot papers (even though ultimately we didn't need them). As ever it was a singularly frustrating experience as I watched democracy happening but without any sense of the outcome. People did comment on being first time voters or the disaffected returning to do their duty which gave me a bit of hope that something different was happening. This time.

And it was. And here we are. The best moment of the day was explaining Bigotgate and electoral arithmetic to a couple of police women who couldn't believe that there could be such a disparity between share of the vote and number of seats won. And so it proved. The worst moment was sitting at 4am, twenty three hours after I'd woken up realising that the situation I'd pessimistically predicted to some people earlier in the week had come true. A hung parliament and Nick Clegg in the horrible position of having to make a deal with the Lib Dems's mortal enemy.

It's horrible. People who didn't listen to what he'd been saying about supporting whoever had the mandate and/or believing the media version of it feel betrayed, not noticing how difficult it must have been to make that speech on the steps of party headquarters. The problem is, if he can't make a deal with the Tories and he does turn to Labour another group of voters will feel just as betrayed because we hate them too -- it's why we vote Liberal Democrat. Nick doesn't have a choice. He's been pushed into this by the British people. For the sake of the country he can't simply walk away, however entertaining that may be to watch.

The upside is that he'll also be in a position to push through some Lib Dem policies that might not otherwise ever be on the table. His four pledges which he repeated ad infinitum right up until Wednesday evening of which I think the most likely will be the pupil premium, the 10k tax break and proportional representation. If we're lucky we may also get cabinet posts. In other words, the Lib Dems will in theory be in an even more powerful position now than they would have been otherwise. So although he's not in power, and will severely piss off some of his supporters, by voting Clegg, we still got Clegg. In some form. Or other.

1 comment:

Phil said...

As predicted, even after the showbiz debates, the Libs failed miserably. They wont get any of their polices put in to effect in any coalition etc with the Tories. So don't hold your breath about any kind of electoral reform, a system that if anything proved this time around that if it had been deployed the BNP would have done rather well (see recent Euro elections). Talking about your neck of the woods, how come in Liverpool the Labour vote went up ?! What happened guys ?!?!?