Democracy means what the voters want, right?

And that they should get what they want good and hard?

Voters believe that government spending should be cut to its lowest level since the 1930s, according to a new poll by ComRes and ITV News.

Around 33 per cent of the public support the Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to reduce government spending, with only 26 per cent disagreeing.

I look forward to Ritchie supporting the small state then. He is the one who keeps telling us about the importance of democracy, isn’t he?

22 thoughts on “Democracy means what the voters want, right?”

  1. The 36% are obviously victims of false consciousness and can therefore be justifiably ignored. It’s the standard leftie argument when the people’s wishes do not coincide with those who know better.

  2. Like the Hong Kong protesters? Continuing to protest for democracy when 80% of HKers wanted them to pack up and go home?

  3. > Continuing to protest for democracy when 80% of HKers wanted them to pack up and go home?

    Well, if the 80% want their opinion to count, they’re going to need some democracy first.

  4. > Those who don’t vote accept the decision of those that do

    Hmm. Much as I want to agree, I wouldn’t accept that from a strike ballot. In a strike ballot, we should assume that people who can’t be bothered voting don’t care enough to go on strike. People who don’t vote, if we can assume they’re expressing any preference, are supporting the status quo, whatever that may be. In UK politics, the status quo is certainly not small government.

  5. I would say that the phrase “minority rule” refers to something like Apartheid, where a defined minority rule by force. Loads of people who are entitled to vote and not prevented from voting but can’t be arsed is really not the same deal.

  6. BluLab seem to be after the Nobel Prize for numptyness.

    Lets assume (and it is one hell of an assumption) that Osboy’s plan is what he says it is.

    Who is he pitching it to?. The desperate faithful remaining–the Theos etc– are already onboard. The Legions of former supporters –be they UKIP supporters or just “Disgusted” of Everywhere? Who is going to believe a bunch of proven and thrice proven liars and conmen?. Who have broken every promise and brazenly at that(Great Repeal act–anybody recall that? The only thing they are trying to repeal is freedom).

    At the same time, having already handed the gift of non-existent “austerity” to ZaNu, they have now given them “Back to the 1930s” as a nice new meme to pedal.

    If people didn’t know what a bunch of liars and con-artists BluLab are, the prospect of govt cuts might bring votes out. But with this pack its not going to happen. It is another worthless pre-election promise. One more likely to bring out the ZaNu faithful.

    Maybe they want ZaNu to win and be left holding the economic disaster bag.

  7. People who don’t vote, if we can assume they’re expressing any preference, are supporting the status quo, whatever that may be. In UK politics, the status quo is certainly not small government.

    When I lived in the UK, I could vote for the Tories and the Tories would win. I could vote Labour and the Tories would win. I could vote LibDim and the Tories would win.

    Most people in the UK live in safe seats where their vote makes sod all difference. And, even if it did, the policies of the parties who can win control of Parliament are so similar that electing someone different… makes no difference.

  8. > When I lived in the UK, I could vote for the Tories and the Tories would win. I could vote Labour and the Tories would win. I could vote LibDim and the Tories would win.

    Fascinating, but when you lived in the UK is clearly not very representative of results, then, is it? The Tories haven’t won since 1997. Since 1945, they’ve been in power roughly half the time.

    > Most people in the UK live in safe seats where their vote makes sod all difference.

    I hear this a lot, but it’s obviously untrue. If votes made no difference, there would be no safe seats. What makes the seats safe is thousands of people going out and voting. I understand the objection that they always vote for the same people. But that’s not the same thing at all as saying that their votes don’t count.

    It’s also wrong to imply that the only time a vote makes a difference is at an election. The votes are predicated on the MPs doing certain things. If, for instance, Labour were to win a landslide, slash taxes, cut benefits, fight the unions, and privatise a couple of industries, a lot of their safe seats would suddenly be in danger.

  9. The entire “Back to the 1930’s” theme is such utter bollocks that it really irritates me when political commentators make the statement with a straight face.

    What do they mean? That public spending, as a proportion of our total economy, will be at its lowest since the 1930s. Sure, that’s fine – but they miss out that middle clause all the time..

    And that clause triggers the question: “So what does that mean?”, to which the answer is “Sod all”

    In terms of per capita spending by the State, it actually takes us back to a bit higher than 2003, in real terms (£8797 per head in 2013 pounds, as compared with £8547 per head in 2003 (also in 2013 pounds) and £9054 per head in 2004 (also in 2013 pounds).

    However, “We’re going back to the level of welfare state and public services of Blair’s second term” doesn’t really fit with the meme, I guess, despite being far more accurate.

  10. The Telegraph demonstrated its usual competence by linking to the wrong poll. Here‘s the right one. The question asked about the various policies was not “do you think the government should do this” but “do you think it will be good or bad for you personally”.

    Well, there are lots of things which would be good for me personally which I don’t think should be government policy. This poll tells us nothing about what 33% of 2050 Britons actually want the government to do.

  11. Thanks, Paul – I wondered why I couldn’t find the data.
    Actually the poll does tell us that a lot of people want the government to extract umpteen billions in tax from “the rich” because they want a cut in the deficit without the necessary cuts in government expenditure. All the reasonably trustworthy data shows that “the rich” are paying a lot more in tax and are significantly worse off (both absolutely and relatively) since May 2010, but nobody cares because the media (not just the usual left-wing media) has fuelled an intellectual pogrom.
    “Well, there are lots of things which would be good for me personally which I don’t think should be government policy” Such as requiring all adult males to run 10km at least once a week? I’ld ask to walk it these days (overtaking some slow runners), but if Simvastatin is the most-prescribed drug on the NHS then that’s one way to cut spending.

  12. John77

    You raise.an interesting point here: the electorate is always right, right? But what if it doesn’t know what it is talking about? After all white South Africans voted for the National Party for decades, Northern Ireland voters noted along tribal lines, the high number of safe seats in Westminster is statistically improbable assuming everyone approaches each election with an open mind.
    So, back to Tim’s point, Ritchie is a democrat. So much is he a democrat that when pushed on the idea of the tyranny of the majority he called me a fascist. Well, welcome to democracy Richard.

    Frances
    36% is often called a majority, take the 2005 general election for example. I offer no personal opinion; just an observation.

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