Friday, May 08, 2015

Election Reflections

It is 7.00pm US time. Midnight in the UK. I am deliberately not gathering any UK news of the election there. I am going to go home. Have a meal. Watch the second Bourne movie. And check the UK news at midnight my time.

I am an old political hack. Idealistic to the core. Pragmatic from experience. I love the wins. I've got used to the losses. But I want to share a few thoughts before the results become known (at least to me!).

Great Britain has been through a remarkable experience in the past five years. It matters not whether you support all of the actions of the immediate past LibCon Coalition government. The point is, there was coalition.

Two venerable parties learned how to co-exist. To compromise. Without losing their faith. I want to see more of that in British politics.

Another important thought. I love the fact that there has been a fracturing of the three party system. There are a gazillion different ideas and a million different ways of solving problems. No one, two or three party system can have all the answers.

That said, with this fracturing will come disappointment. Not everyone is going to like the outcome. But I want to shout out to my fellow old hacks. It is incumbent on us to help those for whom the feeling of loss is new. It is up to us to keep them engaged.

I have fought eight different elections. I won only one. I know about loss. I also know the inestimable joy and pride in bearing witness, in speaking for others, in being a part.

Whether you lose or win tomorrow morning, every single person who voted, who stood as a candidate, who delivered a leaflet, made a speech or gave a lift to a voter, every single one of you made democracy stronger in Great Britain. Be proud. I thank you.

And remember. Elections are only the beginning. Folks are elected to lead the discussion, not impose some transient mandate. Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and continue the good fight. With every last breath in your body. Until the next election ...