What seems to have been overlooked during the increasingly tawdry election circus is the simple fact that we are being asked to elect a government; not a president, not a king and not an emperor.
All this nonsense about a straight choice between Cameron and Miliband not only undermines parliamentary democracy but also re-enforces the dangerous reality TV notion that personality outweighs conviction, principle or political integrity and suggests that the merits and commitment of constituency candidates are meaningless. The future of the nation is a straight choice between a man who has two kitchens and a man who forgets to take his daughter home from the pub. Is this what democracy is about?
If only the decision was that simple. As the most recent televised debate demonstrated, with the opinion polls projecting no overall majority, we must now also judge the personalities of the also-rans as potential kingmakers. It seems astonishing that in the second decade of the 21st century, the majority of the media focussed on the statements made by 40 per cent of those brave enough to participate and the appearance of the remaining 60 per cent who bothered to turn up. Nigel`s suit was very nice and his hair style was immaculate but he was a bit sweaty. I didn`t like Ed`s tie at all and even though his suit was nicer than Nigel`s, his decision to employ that particular shade of lipstick was a disaster darling. (more…)