Gloria De Piero MP asks an interesting question in this piece:
"When I say the word 'politician', what do you think?" the first golfer, named Peter, replied: "Liars"."Selfish," added David."Privileged and arrogant," said Paul. "Devious," said Barry. "Insincere," said Steve. Daphne, the only woman in the group, was not much kinder. "Self-seeking," she said
Through observing this important work that Gloria is doing, I thought that it does have relevance to some of the findings from this series of posts. Though the scope could get wider here, it occurred to me that through these words, we seem to a problem with a breakdown in a relationship. It sounds almost as if these voters split up with a partner they really didn't like very much!
So this started me thinking about the relationship between a politician and a voter. All human interaction forms relationships in my view, the differentiating factor being the length or depth of the relationship.
How should we appropriately define a relationship in this context? Wikipedia tries here. It's not completely the same as a relationship with a significant other, of course but a number of the same concepts can be applied
Commitment: This is an interesting one - the voter is clearly able to change party - that's the point of democracy. However, the politician is encouraged to commit to promises, pledges, manifestos and other written contracts. Very interesting - somewhat one-sided you might say!
you can only judge on actions. That takes time. In this sense the voters actually have an advantage - the politicians try to judge on intention - polls, however the public judge on action - which is pretty wise. Of course as politicians we can judge on action, in hindsight, after the votes are counted. But then, it's a bit too late to reference their values or, indeed change their actions.
Labour's lost voters, and why they are wrong. It's actually more respectful in a relationship to be honest, tell the other how you feel (respectfully!) and what you are prepared to do/not do, and then you are both well situated to talk further and perhaps come to a compromise - otherwise you might have to go your separate ways. But, by chasing every vote, rather than drawing our boundaries and saying, in effect "No, I am not prepared to do what you want - and here's why" we may be setting ourselves up for a dysfunctional relationship with the voters - one without boundariesHopi Sen has also written a very sensible blog post on