Scottish politics

October 19, 2010

With the SNP’s aspirational announcements on freezing council tax, the election pistol is fired. However I find myself looking forward to this election less than any of its predecessors.

Not out of fear for who might win. I won’t decide which way I’ll vote until nearer the time (although you can assume it will either be labour or snp for first vote). Tuning into first ministers questions these days you can scarcely tell the difference with the house of commons. Our first minister, bellowing out his rhetoric, looks like an MP in a kilt. But our entire voting system is geared towards collaboration. Once these sessions showed modern politicians at work, and stood in stark contrast to the panto in Westminister.

This next election looks set to be a personality contest, with cross party politics out the window. Ask your average SNP activist to rank their sister parties and it’ll probably be SNP, Green……Tory, Lib/Lab. Some of the vitriol directed at Iain Gray is truly depressing. Have we lost the ability to say ‘Ah. We disagree. Here’s why. Reason. Logic.’
There’s an implicit assumption that the electorate can be cowed by mud slinging and fear, which Labour was guilty of in the last election. So the SNP think, we have to play that game too and be better at it.

Why do we have to hate politicians or parties? Why can’t we just disagree and get on with our lives. The public are guilty of it too, regarding politicians as more corrupt than the average citizen, when in fact they’re probably the same. Lambasting politicians for being rich and well educated….well, if a rich well educated person is standing up for the poor simply because they are poor and a poor person is insulting someone simply because they are rich, who is right?

We should ignore personalities in this election, have an actual policy discussion. What are the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power, how do we approach tax in the future, what do we do about transport infrastructure and ensuring Scotland is connected to high speed rail, how do we fund universities, what can we do to promote social cohesion.

 

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