Tomorrow we have the local elections to look forward to. And boy, are they exciting! Actually, the only remotely exciting aspect is the implications for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership. Otherwise, do anyone actually care? In London, two indistinguishable candidates are vying for voter affection.
|Zac Glodsmith||Sadiq Khan|
|Housing||50k new homes/ year||50k new homes/ year|
|Environment||Protect green spaces||Protect open spaces|
|Business||Work for the best possible deal for business||Determined to be the most pro-business mayor of London yet|
|Transport||Increase capacity and guarantee freedom pass||Freeze fares and guarantee freedom pass|
Still, it’s a heated campaign. The candidates are desperate for the seat, less desperate to make any difference for the electorate. And the electorate? Voter turnout is traditionally low, with a 31.3% average in 2010. That’s half of the turnout in the last general election. But a 3rd still go, and the question is why. Indeed, why vote in any election? With indistinguishable differences between the parties, any rational voter would deem it completely irrelevant to bother (even disregarding the fact that democracy is only an illusion of voter power). Voters seem incapable of questioning the system, assuming that a change of leadership is all that is required to rectify the current situation. They seem to not contemplate that the last change of leadership led to no discernible change, except in headlines – the left wing media now demonising the Tory government for the same problems they would have absolved a Labour government of responsibility for, and vice versa. It is like assuming that a change of captain will suffice, after the Titanic has hit the iceberg.
Anyway, the BBC is broadcasting through the night on Thursday. A few insomniacs may join them. The rest of us really shouldn’t bother.