14 May 2010

Still reading the runes and still getting it wrong

I do wish the hacks would stop telling us what we did or did not vote for. Johann Hari of The Indie is only the latest:
Don't fall for the people who say the Lib Dem vote was "ambiguous": a YouGov poll just before the election found that Lib Dem voters identified as "left-wing" over "right-wing" by a ratio of 4:1. Only 9 per cent sided with the right. Lib Dem voters wanted to stop Cameron, not install him. So before you start squabbling about the extremely difficult parliamentary arithmetic, or blaming the stupidly tribal Labour negotiators for their talks with the Lib Dems breaking down, you have to concede: the British people have not got what they voted for.

I don't have to concede any such thing. The voting system under which we operate does not enable the electorate to vote for or against a coalition or a hung parliament; instead, the electorate in its 650 constituencies votes for or against a particular representative of one of the political parties. Accordingly, the British people have indeed got exactly what they voted for.

It is only the hacks (and to a lesser extent the pols) who like to intuit some wider intention on the part of the electorate. And I wish they'd stop it.

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