Midterm Blues

The economic downturn in the United States of America has sent the political spectrum swinging wildly. In government they have a left leaning President who has delivered on healthcare reform; something a large portion of the country thinks of as radical “socialism”.

Yet whilst the executive turns to big-state solutions, a libertarian wind is blowing to upset the political elite. This is no organised movement, however, and there are numerous eddies pulling this way and that, confusing any hope of a concise swing in the popular mind.

California has a huge budget deficit, and it is in this state that the libertarian movement has its strongest play. Today, whilst voting in the midterm elections, the citizens of California will vote on weather or not to legalise cannabis. It is estimated this will lead to savings/earnings of three billion dollars per year. It is of no surprise then, that this is the primary motivation for the sudden courage politicians have shown in supporting a “yes” vote.

If California legalises pot, then many other states could soon follow, the temptation of the massive savings, drops in crime, tax raised and health improvements could prove irresistible, especially with California pulling out into the lead above their neighbours. In turn, the rest of the world would be free to pursue their own legalisation agenda, something nations have been afraid to do previously, encase they were penalised by the USA.

If this is the small, yet hopeful breeze of libertarianism, the rise of the Tea (Taxed-Enough-Already) Party is the confused hurricane. They claim to be fighting for a smaller state against a government out of control and intent on meddling in peoples lives. Whilst that is an honourable endeavour, the conservative right has once again been manipulated by religion into sullying their own message with extremely un-libertarian goals of imposing their faith on others.

The political figure-head of the Tea Party is Sarah Palin, a woman widely mocked, yet who holds a talisman-like status amongst her followers. Tonight’s election results could see a great shift, not just from the democrats, but from traditional republicans into the hands of this new and dangerous force for ignorance.

Five Days That Wasted A Lot Of Broadcast Time

Did anyone see “Five Days That Changed Britain” on BBC1 last night? If not you can catch it on iplayer. This documentary, produced by BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson, gave us a comprehensive account of the peculiar events that led to our coalition government. Whilst there was nothing new for those of us who followed those events live, like a junkie watching a hot spoon, it was nice to see clips and interviews all gathered together. Made me feel quite nostalgic for what seems like a million years ago already.

What became clear was that the current arrangement was only possible in this exact electoral result. Any shift in another direction would have led to a different result. Its a lot like the unlikely chance of our own existence due to the lucky placement of our planet in the solar system. Perhaps Christians will seize upon this, “it is not conceivable that Conservatives and Liberal Democrats could form a government without some sort of divine intervention; it is simply too remote a possibility.” Convincing stuff. If someone actually said that without a sarcastic tone I might be swayed.

My main highlight was Cameron talking so positively about the situation as if he’d never aired a political broadcast claiming a hung parliament would end life as we know it. Hilarious.

Also Ed Balls has now successfully made it to “most loathsome MP” thanks to his sneering and generally slimy demeanor last night. He’s been working at it for some time, but finally got there, kicking Liam Fox out of poll-position. Well done Ed. Here’s hoping you win the leadership race.

So click on the link and give it a watch. Unless you’ve got a life, in which case there’s probably a whole host of things more productive for you to do.

James Hooker has pointed out that we’ve got midterm elections in the states to look forward to. I’ve long since stopped rooting for the Democrats. Not sure why, perhaps because they’re bloody useless. I think they must have an inferiority complex because they can never live up to “The West Wing”. A solution could be to elect Martin Sheen and be done with it.