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Strike while the poll's hot

I like democracy. It certainly lives up to its billing as the least bad system. I actually quite like voting, too, even if my favourite bits, the sausage sizzle and putting numbers 70-72 next to the right wing racists and 67-69 next to the Greens, don't happen here. What I don't like, however, is overt political cynicism from the elected leaders. In this case, the potentially cynical action is Gordon Brown threatening to dissolve parliament and have elections, just because the polls are good and the economy is still a couple of months off crashing.

The possible argument, that he wants the legitimacy of being elected in his own right, raises two questions: Why didn't he call an election as soon as Blair stepped down, and does this mean everything he has done so far has lacked legitimacy. If he calls an election now, it is just taking advantage of a surprise lead in the polls. Does this mean that a 5 year cycle gets whittled down to a 2 year electoral cycle if the polls are good?

In pre-protest (i.e. I'll warn of the protest before it is needed), I will do something which actually makes me feel a little queasy just thinking about it. If Brown calls an early election, I'm voting Tory. The only thing which will change this intention is if Cameron makes a racist statement, at which point I will vote ABL (anyone but Labour).

So, to conclude, I beg of you Gordon Brown, please, please, please don't make me vote conservative.


Comment from Guido

Gordon Brown should have a look at the 1984 elections (just a year after Hawke got elected in 1983) when Hawke almost lost.

I respond

Apparently, Gordon Brown should look at the current polls, which have the tories as close as level. Thing is that after their conference, Labour was always going to get a poll boost, which was always going to be negated after the tory party. I'm still hoping I won't have to carry out my threat though.

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