Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Democracy is not dead

I feel a bit like David Dimbleby presiding over a general election. "Here I am at the BBC and my swing-o-meter has almost landslided off the scale!" Is the sort of thing he might say if he were covering the least hotly contest poll that the Barry Newsdesk website has ever seen.

It was way back in the early days of Newsdesk - March 3rd - that I introduced the reader poll. I introduced it during a slow news day as a tool for UGC-based news items. Inpsired by the Walkers challenge to find the nation's favourite new flavour of crisp, I asked the blogosphere what its favourite type of crisp was. I supplied a wide range of crisp types and one crisp type stood head and hideous shoulders above the rest. Monster Munch romped home.

Recently, though, the results of the longest running poll ever conducted on Barry Newsdesk came in - coinciding with the recent European elections (where, as I predicted based upon the professionalism of their flyers, the Conservatives did quite well).

The latest Newsdesk poll was a far more hard hitting afair, I decided to ask the world what it thought the best form of political system was.

Before I get onto announcing the winner though, here are a few thoughts on the recent European elections. A lot of people were annoyed by the fact that UKIP came in second and the BNP won two seats in the European Parliament. But maybe they shouldn't be too annoyed, maybe they need to look at the political system we have in place in this country. Giving everyone a vote is clearly madness if you're going to rely on democracy!

But a whopping 74 per cent of Newsdesk voters were in favour of democracy as the best form of rule. Those people have no real right to be pissed off with the outcome of the European elections. We live in a democratic society and unfortunately, since this country is populated by a good number of total fuckwits, you've sometimes got to put up with disagreeable twats getting voted in.

In fact.....it seems you've always got to put up with disagreeable twats getting voted in. I guess it shouldn't really come as much of a surprise that democracy was voted in on Newsdesk's PoliticoPoll. Voter apathy was blamed for the fact that the BNP and UKIP did well. (As the proportional representation system enables extremists a greater share of the voice.) I suppose the people least likely to be apathetic towards voting are going to be the people who believe democracy is the best form of rule, hence democracy romped it home.

Maybe next time I run a poll on political reform, I'll use the proportional representation system of counting votes.

Anarchy got one vote. Which, when you consider what anarchy stands for, is a surprisingly high turn out. It wasn't a high enough turn out to push anarchy out of last place though. But there's a small part of me that suspects the anarchists are pretty chuffed with that position.

The three totalitarian options I put forward, communism, fascism and monarchy, came joint second. And also joint second last, with two votes a piece. Which is pretty fair, as they seem to cancel each other out.

I've got to go now readers, I've got that second job interview tomorrow.

Fingers crossed.

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