Thursday, March 03, 2005

Kites and Crows

Fortunately, if you're stuck for something to discuss, the Guardian can often come up with a choice morsel. David McKei today discusses the immense increase in choice at the ballot box:
Fifty years ago, the average number of names on a constituency ballot sheet was 2.2: artificially low because some MPs were still returned unopposed, but nevertheless reflecting a politics which essentially was Conservative v Labour. The Liberals stood in only 110 seats out of 630 in 1955. The nationalists in Wales fought 11 of 36 seats, the nationalists in Scotland just two out of 71.

Of the 76.7% of electors who seized on their chance to make a choice from these mingy ballot sheets, 49.7% backed the Conservatives, 46.4% Labour and a paltry 2.7% the Liberals, with other parties accounting for just 1.2% of the vote. Contrast that with 2001, an election in which only 59.4% voted. The number of candidates then was 3,319, with an average choice of five per constituency. That was below the figure for 1997, when a record 3,724 candidates stood (5.7 per constituency)
Yet such choice is largely illusory. Almost all of those parties start their politics from the premise of the capitalist system, of retaining production for sale on a market, rather than common ownership and democratic production for use. They are all factions of the Capitalist Party.

Yet Labour wants to frighten us with the Tory Bogey - to keep people backing them and so backing capitalism. When all along, Labour and Tories are very much "just a battle of the Kites and Crows." At the end of the day, all their polcies are about who gets the profits.

We are the only Party putting Common Ownership on the agenda - the Socialist Party.

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