Today, the UK woke to the results of their election of yesterday. And many were quite surprised that what was supposed to be a very close call, ended up being a political blood bath.
Though involving entirely different nations and parties, it was basically a reverse of the recent Alberta Electoral upset. The once strong and overly arrogant Alberta Conservatives, headed by Jim Prentice, had their asses handed to them by Alberta voters when the previously ideologically conservative province decided to vote the NDP into top office, and the provinces Wild Rose party into official opposition. Not only were the conservatives ousted, they were essentially kicked to the political curb.
So shocking was the blow that PC leader Jim Prentice decided to (or was forced to) step down as party leader.
Not only that, he also stepped down from his position as MLA for the riding Calgary-Foothills. A move that annoyed many on account to the expensive bi-election that will now have to occur.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation and many Alberta residents feel that Prentice should have to pay for the bi-election he caused by stepping down, and I do agree. But good luck with that. This is not the first time that a conservative candidate has relinquished their elected term of responsibility in order to chase a personal agenda.
Im my home province, our old conservative MLA Merv Tweed left his Brandon-Souris post early to work in the private sector, and the position was filled by Larry Maguire. A conservative who left his previously elected Arthur-Virden post to run in the Brandon-Souris election (I credit the articles of local journalist Deveryn Ross for enlightening the riding with this information).
Neither of the candidates had to pay for the bi-elections that their personal agendas caused. And on top of that, both received non-negotiable tax payed funded severance packages upon leaving office (again, credit to Deveryn Ross).
But despite this, both ridings still remain conservative. But that is a testament to the ideological makeup of both ridings (apperently even more blue then Alberta).
Either way, if you are one of the Albertans that thinks that Jim Prentice should have to pay for his bi-election, good luck.
I used these examples grabbed from Canadian politics due to familiarity. I am unsure of exactly how similar any of the Canadian parties mentioned here are with any of the UK parties (if at all). But it seemed a good comparison, because both cases involved very dramatic and unexpected results.
Now, how Russel Brand fits into this picture.
I was on twitter earlier today (browsing the news. My main usage for all my social media platforms) and I came across this piece from The Independent covering Russel Brand’s thoughts on the election. At first my reaction was “Who gives a fuck”, being my thoughts on Russel Brand’s apathetic attitude towards traditional politics. But I clicked it, and as expected, found myself annoyed.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, the comedian-cum-activist, who fears that there’ll be “no shortage of meanness over the next five years”, says his main regret was that he ever thought he could have any influence on the result.
That is questionable.
From what I have seen of your stance, it is “None of the above”. You sit there on youtube and tell people to not participate in the system. Alternatively, stand aside and try for something better. Which in reality (more often them not) means sitting behind social media portals and sharing memes while thinking that you are making a difference.
I used to be that guy to. I will not lie.
I admit that I don’t do a whole lot to “change the world” (other then to try and inform on a number of topics of interest), and I am very cynical. But I would rather accept the cold hard truth, then to delude myself with a comforting delusion.
In this case, that cold hard truth is that one NEEDS to participate in the current political system, at least right now. You can abandon it and do your own thing, but that does not make the system any less in control. All abandoning the system does is further erode the power of the political left, and leave the majority in the hands of the right.
One could say, as evidenced by the last 2 UK elections.
I felt like old media doesn’t have the sort of power that it used to. People don’t listen to the front pages of the Sun and the Mail. These things seem kind of ridiculous. But evidently, that is not the case. Evidently, the old media, the establishment is a powerful thing
On the contrary Russel, you may be correct. It may be that the public for the most part has rejected the traditional heavyweights in journalism to other assorted sources (such as yourself).
But if they also listen to your spiel and abandon the voting booth, then their reasoned distrust of the traditional media and the establishment makes little difference in the long run. To the establishment, the BEST thing you can do is get the liberals and the progressives out of the voting booth.
The only currency we have now is compassion, and being nice to each other. We’re going to have no shortage of meanness over the next five years… So all we’ve got left is to be compassionate towards one another and get involved in causes we care about.
I will not disagree with this statement, but I will say that such should be a good rule of thumb, no matter what the over arching political (or otherwise) situation is. Do what you can. Its all anyone can hope to do.
To everyone out there, there should be a lesson in this. Stop listening to Russel Brand’s political views.
The recent (2?) election results in the UK are a great example of what you get when you choose to not use your vote. The recent results in Alberta are a good example of what you get when you do decide to vote for change.
Of course, there are many different circumstances in both instances that may make them incompatible.
But none the less, the lesson is the same.
By not voting, you are not part of the solution. You are compounding the problem.