British voters are unfortunately giving me something to write about once again, and if three and a half years ago I could also see a possible somewhat positive outcome, however unlikely it was, that’s definitely not the case now. Yes, this Conservative majority will push Brexit through, which is absolutely terrible in itself, likely the worst thing to happen in Europe in decades, and it will do so in a way that won’t be anywhere near the least damaging one, but the rest of their plans for Britain, the way in which they will affect the rest of Europe and the world and the message sent by this clear victory in itself add even more reasons for concern.
But don’t expect yet another analysis here. You can find plenty, from all sides, all over the Internet at the moment, whether about why the Tories won, why Labour lost or what this will mean, what’s likely to happen next, from various points of view. This post is just my reaction to what happened, frustrated but not surprised. Labour winning would have been surprising, though still frustrating, seeing as they’d have been a far lesser evil but nevertheless still an obvious evil, but as it is… It’s people we’re talking about, after all, and any explanation for what happened needs to start from one obvious fact that those on the, shall we say, right side of history continue to stubbornly ignore no matter how many times it’s proven to them: Give people a choice and you can trust that most of them, regardless of demographics or reasons given, will make the wrongest one. To quote Pratchett‘s writing, “People on the side of The People always ended up disappointed, in any case. They found that The People tended not to be grateful or appreciative or forward-thinking or obedient. The People tended to be small-minded and conservative and not very clever and were even distrustful of cleverness. And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn’t that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people.“. Or, to also add a Babylon 5 quote, “That does seem to be the rule, doesn’t it? Analyze the problem, choose whichever strategy makes least sense and then do it.”
What I will say, however, is that the British electoral system, which both major parties refused to change over the years, once again raised its ugly head, this concept of voting for seats individually and granting them to the candidate earning the most votes in a single round serving only to maintain the dominance of the old major parties while leaving the largest number of voters without representation and discouraging many from voting according to their real wishes, or in some cases even from voting at all. Even the next worst thing, adding a second round, between the first two candidates if none obtained an absolute majority in the first one, would have changed the results, also because one shouldn’t use these single-round results to estimate the outcome in that case, since then many would have been more interested in voting for candidates fighting for second rather than first place. And, obviously, without even getting to the better systems that at least the developed world should have already moved on to by now, actual proportional representation, which should be the bare minimum requirement for a representative democracy, would have changed things even more. After all, even now, in spite of the system’s effects on the votes, if we’re to consider Labour as being against Brexit as well, the anti-Brexit parties obtained the majority of the total votes, but significantly less than that in terms of actual seats, the Tories instead obtaining a clear majority of seats with only 43.6% of the votes.
But I guess this is enough for now. Don’t really care to make a particular point, and definitely not one not made before. Just frustrated, both with the result and with those who’d move things in a different direction continuing to refuse to see how the vast majority of people actually are and act accordingly, and having another major reason to be worried about the future of the world… And for Andra for that matter.