The Sadness of Democracy

Here in the UK, we are all expecting Tony Blair to announce a general Election for May 5th 2005. The main parties have been putting out their plans for what they will do if elected for the last few weeks and one Mori poll puts both Labour and the Tories neck and neck at 37%, with the Liberals at 20%. I’ve experienced this situation many times over the last 50 years and its producing a bit of a yawn for most of the population.

In January, Iraq held their first election and the turnout was 80% in some places and 60 odd percent overall. People were warned by the terrorists that if they voted they would be shot or blown up. So in the face of this intimidation, most of the population went out and voted. Now here comes the sadness. Yesterday the new Iraq parliament had to choose a new speaker for their parliament and they spent the whole time arguing and fighting over who it should be. In the end the process had to be abandoned and the press asked to leave the building. As one Iraq MP said “Is this what the people of Iraq risked their lives for?”

In Zimbabwe, they are holding their election. The intimidation that has gone on over the last few years beggars belief. Those who voted for the opposition have been denied food. Some brave souls are going to vote for the opposition this time but many have been foreced to flee the country and are not allowed to vote.

So we return to the apathetic UK who will probably struggle to achieve a 60% turnout to vote for politicians who’s main interest is in having power and making a mark on history than it is on making the right and brave decisions. In every area that I do know about I know that the politicians are making the WRONG decisions, so what decisions are they making in the areas I don’t know about. We seem to vote in people who don’t know anything about anything but have an opinion about everything. So consequently I feel really sad about politics in the UK. We have a brilliant local MP who works really hard for his local constituency, but I disagree with a passion for most of the policies of his party. I also disagree with the other party’s plans. Why are politicians so fixated with “We must give the population a choice!”. A choice of healthcare, a choice of education. I don’t want a choice, I just want a school or hospital that works.