Thursday, November 04, 2010

The People's Contradictory Voice

The people may have spoken in the US mid-terms, but hardly with one voice, and not terribly clearly. The Tea Party may be celebrating the arrival of some of its key people in Congress, but I doubt the vote on Tuesday was a particularly significant endorsement of them. The exit polls are interesting - as they left the polling stations, 37% of voters said they wanted a stimulus to create jobs, while 37% said they wanted the budget to be reined in. They weren't necessarily different people in each group either. The Tea Party and their imprisoned leader, John Boehner, may be talking of dismantling the Obama reforms, too, but health care was not the priority issue for those questioned in the exit polls, and when they did express a view they appear to have been evenly split in favour of further expansion and taking apart.

Lessons, therefore? Not exactly new - a government presiding over unemployment, even when they are not responsible for the economic conditions which produced it, will be punished by the voters. Voters feel no loyalty to leaders if they have no jobs. And the Republicans, lacking a clear vision themselves other than the negative one of undoing Obamaism, should realise that they will have been a share-holder in the government in two years time.

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