Wednesday 28 April 2010

A week too long

The Westminster election campaign is a week too long. Polling is not until next Thursday, but already there is nothing left to say.

We know who is standing (and who is not). We know what they stand for. We have read as many of their campaign promises as we can stomach. We know they aren't telling the truth, and know that they'll never be caught out. We know who we are going to vote for.

So what are we waiting for?

Another week of this phoney war is not going to change anyone's mind. Politicians and their supporters will simply spend another week repeating the same mantras, harassing innocent householders on their doorsteps and polluting the environment with their posters. For nothing. Because an election tomorrow will give the same result as one next week.

Even the 'big news' in Britain – the LibDem surge – is not likely to change much, so it is unlikely that Britain needs the extra week either. All that is likely is voter-fatigue brought on by yet another stage-managed panel discussion or yet another slick party election broadcast. At best, and this is unlikely, the extra week will provide enough time for someone – anyone – to slip up and say or do something newsworthy. But politics is so controlled and marketed nowadays that a true 'game-changer' is not likely to happen. In its absence the campaign is becoming boring.

As far as 'persuading' the voters is concerned, the extra week is pointless – Northern Ireland's voters knew who they would vote for several months ago – many knew years ago.

The most charitable explanation for the over-long election timetable is that the Electoral Office needs the time to print and distribute the ballot papers. If so, patience is required, but another week of this will test the patience of even the most enthusiastic.

7 comments:

Yer Man Mick McCann said...

Mostly this is true but there are in fact to use the old clicé 650ish Elections rather than the British one and the one here in Norn Iron.
While no doubt the vast majority have made up their minds and the shape of maybe 600 seats (or 14 or 16) is already known, there are a few banana skins out there to be slipped on.
Gordon Brown had one today.
Perfectly ordinary woman wakes up today completely unknown.
And tomorrow she is all over the newspapers.
A few more of those out there and a few time bombs in the press (er allegedly) and of course "Events Dear Boy Events" ....
it aint over yet.

Horseman said...

Yer Man Mick McCann,

Undoubtedly Brown's gaffe was a bit disastrous for him, but if you have long campaigns then inevitably someone somewhere sometime will do something like that. On the other hand, it'll keep Cameron and Clegg off the TV screens tonight (a relief, tbh), and there's no such thing as bad publicity!

In NI, though (this blog's concern) there is little chance of anything equally interesting happening during the next week. We really could vote tomorrow without any problem.

Ivan said...

"Events Dear Boy Events" ....
And also:
"A week is a long time in politics"
-Harold Wilson.

bangordub said...

Have to agree with Ivan and Mick,
Another "Irisgate" may be only around the corner!
You never know!

New times, New approach said...

Bangordub,

Do you not think political views here are too deeply entrenched for any amount of 'Irisgates' or dodgy land deals or immoral expense claims to make a button of difference?

As regards Britain, then another axiom, 'Never underestimate the studpidity of the general public' comes to mind. If Nick Clegg can bring about a colossal improvement in the Lib Dem's ratings simply by appearing slightly more charismatic on television than probably Britain's two least charismatic politicians, then anything is possible. Coherent political strategies are certainly not needed.
BTW I would applaud Brown for that little snippet of honesty. The woman was a bigot. He could even have improved on his answer about Britons also going to other European countries and asked her if she thought all the countries Britain invaded welcomed them either!

Anonymous said...

Nothing left to be said?
We have one week of smears,defamation and dirty tricks to go!

bangordub said...

New Times
Fair Point,
There is undoubtedly an entrenched view here.
Thats what the TUV are banking on. Sad but true.