Politica - Grin with cat attached
|Politica||May. 4th, 2005 11:38 am|
Almost voting day, and somewhat unusually I'm rather wishing we a little longer ahead of us - the tories are imploding messily, putting the lie to Labour's desperate and pathetic claims that voting Lib-Dem would let in the Tories. As Charles Kennedy said last night, "If the Lib Dems had held power for four years with a three-figure majority [...], and that was the best reason I could come out with, wouldn't you feel rather disappointed?". Given another week we could really push the point home - and we're at the point where a few more percent in the polls could mean a *lot* more seats.|
The rally last night was impressive - Charles Kennedy was in good form, disposing once and for all of any illusion of "laid-back liberals", angry at Labour's attempts to weaken and subvert democracy, and considering the Tories (seconded in this by one of their previous PPCs) as "unfit to govern" - predicting, in fact, that the Tory party would face meltdown within the week.
The tone was somewhat odd in some respects - concepts of "freedom, fairness and trust" and honesty, basic aspects of democracy that should be common to any party - are genuinely campaign issues. Ignore the media tripe about Lib Dems just being the "Iraq Protest Party" - the speakers were very clear that there's far more going on than that. Of course Iraq was covered - it, and more importantly the issues of government trust and accountability, and of by-passing democracy that it raises, are major issues. But, as ever, the whole gamut - environment, health, education, tax, poverty - were tackled, with a clear undertone of the requirement for electoral reform. The fact that Blair can raise the Tories as a bogeyman - "vote for me or the wrong lizard will get in" - shows at once just how corrupt (as I believe Charles called it) the electoral system has become, and just how happy Labour are to pervert democracy to their own ends. The Tories, frankly, are not an issue.
Mind you, while Charles was more than determined, he wasn't nearly as animated as Brian Sedgemore, who was furious about how his party of 23 years had "gone astray". People were, I'm sure, somewhat worried about his blood pressure, but he tore into Tony's betrayals of democracy, trust, and Labour ideals. For the BBC article linked above to bypass his speech with the note that he "addressed activists" is omissive journalism at the very least.
Amanda Harland, however, made very little impact and can be more safely omitted, although what she said can be safely summed up as "I'm getting out of this racist mess and into a real political party".
Sarah Teather, still considered as something of a party wunderkind by some, also spoke very well and with passion - at least once she'd got past the stand-up comedy.
Much was also made of just how much Lib Dems have acheived in Scotland - where more representative voting has given them real power.
All thoroughly encouraging stuff - and proof that the Lib Dems deserve far greater representation, which I'm convinced would happen with more public interest in politics (through better journalism) and electoral reform.
Whatever the actual numbers, Lib Dems will be the real opposition in the next parliament. The only question remains how loud a voice the country manages to give them tomorrow.