Monday, July 07, 2008

What will people vote for these days

A concerning article from Gary Younge in the Guardian today regarding the rise of the BNP in the UK.

I think it touches on an interesting point: Will voters in Western democracies actually vote for a big idea or principal anymore?

"Just as there is more to racism in Britain than the BNP, the BNP's rise tells us more about Britain than just racism. It is a canary in the mine - an early warning system signalling the complacency of our political culture in which our political class has been complicit. Trapped in a hopeless spiral of negativity, people will vote against anything - immigration, the Tories, Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, Scottish nationalism, Gordon Brown or Europe, to name a few. But it seems a long time since large numbers of people voted for anything."

I think the obvious testing point for this hypothesis is climate change. Will people actually vote to address climate change, or will they complacently let time slip away.

I think it's also interesting from an Australian perspective in that the same people who gave John Howard a kick at the last election are lining up to give Rudd a kick at the moment.


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