The commentators 07-04-15
...on the general election campaign
This is fast becoming the election that economics forgot. It may not appear that way on the surface, of course. In this campaign, as in every other, the economy gets prominent lip service. All the candidates declare that they have an economic plan; they insist they will tackle the deficit in their own unique way; they promise to get the economy growing faster than any of their rivals. They may even mean it. But whatever their intentions, there are few correlations between economic results and party popularity.
- Ed Conway, The Times
As the general election scuttles closer, the campaign grows more confusing by the moment, so it’s good that last week’s seven-way leaders’ debate brought some much-needed mayhem to the situation. Not so long ago we were bemoaning the lack of choice in a two-party system. Now we’ve got option paralysis." - Charlie Brooker, The Guardian
Political obsessives misunderstand politics. A campaign cannot make people feel something they do not already feel. It just uncovers the general will, teasing out what is already there. The political class still disparages last year’s campaign against Scottish independence for its arid focus on economic risk. Yet all the research says it was well judged: undecided Scots were emotionally in favour of independence but doubted its viability. The campaign brought out those doubts.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
The UK’s first-past-the-post electoral system, it seems, is no longer able to prevent either its party system or its parliament from looking more European. So we need to realise, as they do on the continent, that sometimes those who “win” elections can still end up on the losing side.
- Tim Bale, The Guardian
Most papers had made up their minds long before MPs packed up their pencil cases for the end of term, and five weeks of hustings are unlikely to change any of their opinions. The Telegraph, Mail, Mirror and Sun seem to think their role is not to tell their readers what the politicians are saying, but to tell them what is wrong (or, occasionally, right) with what the politicians are saying.
- What happened to news on the front, comment on the OpEd?
Comment archive, 2015
Depression and killer pilot
Prince Charles's letters
Cameron's exit strategy
Lee Kwan Yew
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