Friday, April 16, 2010

Prime-time debates

I didn't see all of last night's "ground-breaking" first in British politics, but I saw enough. Personally, I didn't like the format. What I saw seemed at times to be just another rehash of the adversarial way we do things in politics and in law and even talent shows. The arguments appeared to be that a Labour government will spend money it hasn't got, a Conservative government will save money the average person cal ill afford and the Liberal Democrats are offering a choice not enough people will be brave enough to make.

My personal experience of politics has been a 13 year Labour government preceded by 18 years of Conservative government, preceded by a series of much shorter exchanges of power through the 60's and 70's. I wonder if our voting has become more selfish over those years. Perhaps it's more that the main stream parties have fought it out on near identical ground. It's like the boat race, with the Lib-dems shouting, "Move apart" as oars clash over the same water.

Maybe there's room for some radical thinking. Maybe someone might point out that the reason you save is in order to provide for yourself in retirement and not to ensure the next generation has a deposit for a house.  Maybe it's time for some radical thinking about what basic healthcare means in the face of ever advancing treatments and costs.

Perhaps there's room for real debate rather than the sometimes vacuous sniping that suggests that the biggest fear in politics today is an unfortunate sound-byte or actually appearing to answer the question.

What I am glad about is that once the dust settles after this election, there's a band of MP's that will go about the business of seeking to do the best they can to serve the people who elected them. I still believe that, even though the evidence sometimes suggests otherwise.

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