But anyway, due to recent events my political foundation has been shaken. I've always been a believer in the "two party system", if I'm allowed to call it that. The Government and the Opposition. Any other party is ancillary, unnecessary, because they'll never gain enough of a foothold in Parliament to create real change. Obviously, that's a very simplified version of the truth, but it holds up enough to be true-- in my eyes, at least. The Liberal Democrats were always the indecisive's choice, and nothing else. Not Left? Not Right? Vote Lib Dem. But with the way the world has been moving now, Labour-- who I always believed to be the Left-Wing party-- have moved away from their populist stand point and are now veering toward the Middle-Right. That's not good at all, because that makes the Government and the Opposition on the same page, for the most part. Sure, there are other distinguishing features-- the Conservatives and their privatisation and Labour (are they still New Labour at this point?) are all about the public services (aren't they?) but really, they're pretty Right Wing.
Lord Bell, former adviser to Thatcher (I refuse to call her 'Baroness', she raped this country and it's ideologies, and I refuse to personalise her in any way, therefore no first name for you) said the Conservatives were "stupid" for agreeing to the televised debates that pitched Gordon Brown, David (I was so tempted to call him 'Dave' then, and that scares me. 'Man of the people'?) Cameron and Nick Clegg against each other. It was "stupid" to have given Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, the same status as Brown and Cameron. That made me stop and think. Apparently, Cameron's sole campaign strategy was to simply destabilise Brown in the face of the people. He travels to working class establishment to working class establishment-- bakeries, breweries, food stockists, delivery services-- talking about "change". He's working from the Obama Paradigm of Change in the most heinous way possible. He's not playing politics (this is the root of my hate of politics, but I'll get to that later), and that's why I will never respect him.
The Liberal Democrats deserve an opportunity to be more than the "indecisives'" choice. I believed-- and I think that thousands, millions even, do too-- that they would never gain enough votes to truly affect change, so what was the point in voting for them in the first place? That opinion has changed. I'm done with Labour. They've had their time and they've not evolved with it, so the thick, monotonous leadership of Gordon Brown has to end (and even then, it shouldn't have even started-- remember how he's an unelected leader? Ouch) before it gets worse. I don't think he was doing a terrible job, and if it came down to it in a "two party" showdown, Labour all the way, but the real situation with politics is that there are dozens of parties vying for attention (some less deserving than others, sure) and I can't keep stumbling around screaming "Labour versus Conservatives!!" in the fanatical ring-announcer style of Michael Buffer, ignorant to the other parties.
Nick Clegg apparently delivered in the televised debates that took place recently. He offered a third choice that was always there but never really acknowledged. The Liberal Democrats suddenly became a force to be reckoned with-- isn't it grand? It shook the country to the core, it grabbed them by their shoulders and demanded their attention, because we're so bored with politics, we need that kind of face-slap. Our society is too concerned with buzz words (RECESSION! PAEDOPHILES! CREDIT CRUNCH! #-GATE! XYLOPHONE! (...Yeah, that last one was to see if you were still paying attention)) and slogans the newspapers can plaster on their front pages. The Brown/Cameron war was becoming old hat, and so it needed so much needed fuel to keep the media-pistons moving. Clegg became that fuel.
What I've been able to glean from headlines and out-of-date media coverage, is that Cameron was positioning himself as the Young to Brown's Old. New blood. New leadership. No one was paying Clegg any attention until recently. In fact, Cameron's latest election broadcast was an attack on Labour, because that's what he's good at. That all changed due to Clegg's ability to actually be charismatic (something all the other major leaders have stumbled at, recently) and get people talking. Witnessing this horrific turn of events, Cameron took a step back, breathed a bit, and then decided that the best way for the public to make a difference right now is to ignore the Liberal Democrats (paraphrasing, as ever).
"People are desperate for change and they're looking for anything different or new," he said. "The only way we're going to get that change is through a clear, decisive result at this election."
He's scared. David Cameron is running scared because the Liberal Democrats are picking up steam, and if the election goes like people are predicting, Parliament is going to be Hung, and that basically means that Labour and the Liberal Democrats will be a Left-Centre tour de force and the Conservatives would be rendered sterile and ineffectual for a good long time. David Cameron won't be able to muster up an argument for a long time if the Conservatives lose this election. It would be a thrill to witness. Can you see what Cameron's doing? He's trying to reinforce the notion that I've held all my life. That this is a two-party deal, and no one else comes into it. And as soon as Cameron starts spouting rhetoric like that, I know that I'm wrong. Because I can't agree with that man, I simply can't, and it took a serious slap in the face by Nick Clegg to realise that. The Conservatives are running scared, and like I said... it's a thrill to witness. But that doesn't change the fact that Cameron is also reinforcing the method of which this election has been run so far. He's turning it into a playground of insults and hearsay. And now I'm going to tell you why I don't follow politics like I should:
I hate slagging matches.
I hate them on television, I hate them in papers, and I hate them in politics. Getting elected should be about offering a better way of life to the voters. Having vaguely followed the run up to the election this time around I'm horrified by the methods that both major parties (though I'm sure the Lib Dems have done it too, I've just not seen it) have undertaken to get attention. Slanderous billboards springing up in cities undermining Brown's leadership, or Cameron's lack of common sense. Insulting each other in printed word. What's the point? It's that kind of thing that makes me think that neither of these parties have anything to offer the world, and that they'd rather get elected on a "Na-na, we're better than you" platform. A "my penis is much bigger than yours" mind-set. What's the point of that, I ask you? Offer change. Politic's favourite buzzword, and like I said before, the main component of the Obama Paradigm.
Tony Blair told the Labour Party when he stepped down that the only way to continue on in power would be if they were "the change". Gordon Brown seems to be stuck in a very staid situation wherein he has to act as fireman to all the political fires that seem to spring up. Obama had The Recession and so did Brown. For Obama, it became a wildfire just as he stepped into the role of President. Poor guy. I blame Bush for the shape of America's economy, even though I know it was the whole bank-loan-loaning situation, because I'm an irrational Left Wing-er, but it was the previous administration's problem, and they left it for the present to deal with. Passing the buck on a hilariously terrifying level. Gordon Brown had it bad, and I believed until last week that he was the best man for the job because he knows what he's doing and he's doing his best. Cameron's taking pot-shots, and I hate his face with an irrational fury second to few. Since I was able to vote I voted Labour. Since those hypothetical debates wherein you were asked who you'd vote for, who you would support, it was always Labour. I don't know why. They were the best for the job at hand. The Conservatives were the political bogey-men. The Recession was not Gordon Brown's fault. He dealt with it as best he could. And now he's suffering for that, and I don't think he should have.
All in all, I've had my political foundation shaken to the core. No longer do I think a vote for the Liberal Democrats to be a waste of time. Before I thought if you didn't know much about either party, you could vote the Lib Dems with ease. I was wrong. It was stupid, ignorant position to have, and I think that the only option we have now is to phase the Conservatives out so I don't have to hear anything about David Cameron or Thatcher, and exist within a Labour/Liberal Democrats coalition-- because I don't think Nick Clegg, no matter how effective or charismatic he is, has the political stopping power to overthrow the current government, but I do think he's got it in him to overtake the Conservatives-- the Liberal Democrats' viewpoints and agenda tempered by an old guard sensibility... I don't know. I can't predict the results. But I can hope, can't I?