Published in BFP on Friday.
BFP columnist Colin Baker is best known as BBC's Dr Who. Here he gives his view on the issues of the day.
Between my writing this and you reading it, the nation will have made its decision about how the country will be governed for the next five years, or not.
And although it may well be that many millions will have yet again declined to take part in the democratic ritual dance that some argue gives us little real choice, even that inactivity says something about how the abstainers view the whole process.
Many, like me, would love to live in a marginal constituency where we could honestly believe that agonising over the finer points of the manifestos and going to the hustings before casting a vote actually meant something. My challenge to the politicians for the next five years would be to find a way to energise the population to see the democratic process as something worth engaging in.
In a sense UKIP has introduced an element of drama into this election, as indeed have the SNP. Who would have thought a few short years ago that a leader whose party exists only in one of the four countries of the United Kingdom, and is in essence a separatist party, and who isn’t even standing in the election would share a platform with the other party leaders? It may well be that when this is published that same party leader will be providing the means for another party to form some kind of government. It is the sort of scenario that would lend itself to the kind of satire written by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels.
I chaired the hustings at Bucks New University and was therefore able to meet and talk to the candidates who attended, all of whom were men committed to their cause and articulate in sharing their views with the audience, which seemed, sadly, to be comprised of a significant number of party activists rather than genuine, uncommitted and enquiring voters. I noted that the forthrightness of the candidates was in inverse proportion to their likelihood of being elected. After all if you have every reason to think that you are the Wycombe MP elect, you have to be a little more circumspect about what you promise.
We will no doubt now be watching the unfolding of scenarios they all denied they would enact a few short days ago.
Will it be that canny Scots lady or the Lib Dems that are being wined and dined, I wonder?