No public support means opposition

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From: Ken Curran, snr

Hopefield Avenue, Sheffield S12

THE nature of our democracy places its first responsibility upon the politician. It is the primary task of the politician to seek enough suppport from the electorate to claim their policies or proposals represent the true will of the people.

The setting up of the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition government falls short of those first principles. The present government have no democratic mandate from the people for any of their policies, nor are they seeking one. Both of the political parties in the coalition fought the last election on quite different policies from the ones they now pursue. This questions their democratic legitimacy. This clearly demonstrates the difficulties for Nick Clegg and his Lib-Dem MPs. Not only does he not have public support for his stance over the issue of student fee increases, just under half of his parliamentary party fail to support his policy.

The Lib-Dems got into Government through what is little more than a technical manoeuvre. Nick Clegg would argue his position is legitimate because of past precedents. That does not make his actions democratic, or give him electoral legitimacy. Only the electorate can give him the legitimacy he needs and he would not be prepared to do so because of the consequences of his recent actions.

He has complained over the treatment he has received from people. They are, in effect, sending him a message that he has deceived them. He is pursuing policies which he knows full well many supporters of his party find distasteful. Clegg demonstrates arrogance and deceit which the public can recognise.

Cameron and Clegg shall learn from experience that if you don’t have public support for your policies, you shall have public opposition. If Nick is afraid to test the ballot box to seek democratic support for his policies, then his complaints over his harassment shall have a hollow ring. When you lower your political standards, it reflects upon the behaviour of others.