On Majorities and Interpretations

David Cameron outside No. 10It seems that it has come to pass. David Cameron is the new Prime Minister of these isles.

I’m not ashamed to say, I’m not particularly pleased with this turn of events. I voted Liberal Democrat in order to stop this very thing happening. That said, I’m quite pleased that the LibDems have gotten somewhere and that Nick Clegg is Deputy PM. Time will tell how well this little coalition will last.

It did however get me thinking. Yes, I feel that my vote has been somewhat wasted because the very thing I voted against has come to pass. But surely, the vast majority of people who voted either Labour or LibDem were voting against Cameron, weren’t they? Labour and the Liberals have always had more in common either of them have with the Conservatives, so in many constituencies people would usually quite readily vote for either one or the other in order to keep what my dad describes as “the Tory toe rags” out. This is something Nick Clegg appears to have sadly forgotten.

Now if that’s the case, surely the sums can be looked at this way: Labour and the Liberals between them had 315 seats, the Tories 306. In my book, that’s 315 constituencies voting to not have David Cameron as PM, compared to 306 voting for him. Or, in the slightly fairer way of looking at raw voting figures, 10,706,647 people voted for the Conservatives, whilst 15,432,296 people voted against them. Surely that should be taken into account?

But of course, that is not the way of things. For a start, our voting system – unlike the Americans’ – means you vote for your local representative, and that then goes on to decide who gets the big job. The only people who voted for or against David Cameron in a real sense were the people of Witby, his constituency. In America you have separate votes, you chose your President, and your local representative, in different polls.

We also vote for, rather than against, in polls, making the simple case of more is more decide the election.

Oh well. Not much can be done now. Time will tell if this coalition will last a full term or if it will all fall apart in a matter of months. I just hope the public have the sense to protest when the Tories inevitably start trying to do things they shouldn’t.

I leave you with a simple, paraphrased quote from Douglas Adams: anyone capable of getting themselves elected as Prime Minister should on no account be allowed to do the job.


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