Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Thoughts from the Train: Proportional Representation is for life, not just for St Valentine's Day

The first signs of spring are beginning to appear in Creeting St Peter and, unfortunately, have received something of a frosty reception from Mother Nature. However, as the days lengthen, things are definitely beginning to stir.

And yes, that precursor of Spring, St Valentine's Day, is approaching fast, so one shouldn't be surprised if the thoughts of politicians turn to romance. This year, the Liberal Democrats appear to fulfil the role of back-up prom date, who need to be kept sweet in case they're needed.

The Conservatives came early, attempting to convince us that they are liberal conservatives, and that we, or at least our supporters, should be whisked off of our feet with the sheer intoxication of hearing someone use the word 'liberal' without immediate derision. Unfortunately, the charge sheet for crimes against liberalism was available on the internet and they were sent off with a flea in their ear. It did cause Labour to gird their loins though. After all, they really do need us.

And so, wearing a suit that had been lurking in the back of the wardrobe since 1997 (and even then looked a mite slick and was, in any case, designed for someone rather slimmer), Gordon turned up on the doorstep with a rather wilted bouquet of flowers labelled 'Alternative Vote'. He didn't really want to be there anyway, but his friends insisted. It would be easy, wouldn't it? Liberal Democrats would be so pitifully grateful for any attention that they would melt before his manly charms.

Unfortunately, the reception he got was rather frosty. Far from being grateful, the focus of his intention remembered that the guy who wore the suit first time has promised a rose garden. The fact that it turned out to be a desert with a really good mirage had been a cause of some heartbreak, and memories were still long.

Gordon was confused. "Why don't they love me, I'm offering them what they wanted. I'm not like phony Dave!", he cried. And that is the crux of his problem. Dave gets us, but his mad aunt and uncle in the attic get terribly upset if he's seen with us. Besides, his mate Eric creeps us out. Gordon doesn't get us at all. "Why don't they join us?", he asks, an anti-pluralist to his badly chewed fingertips.

I suspect that, like two suitors hoping that their pasts won't catch up with them until after the ceremony, we won't have seen the last of the Ugly Sisters. However, if they're hoping to consummate a relationship, they'll have to try harder. I think that we can count on a couple of Valentines next weekend though...

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