November 23rd, 2006

gamiila sig #2

General election 2006

I thought I knew what party would get my precious vote right up till election eve...then I logged on to the Internet for an 'independent advice', and got quite a surprise. After careful analysis of my political ideas and preferences, I did get a 47% score in favour of the party I had thought to support -- but I also 47% score in favour of another party that I hadn't considered at all. So I looked at the breakdown and found that the party-that-would-have-gotten-my-vote-if-I-hadn't-checked-and-compared-their-programme-to-that-of-other-parties-on-the-Internet and I had a fundamental difference of opinion on one issue: that of whether it would be permissable or expedient to waive some of our civil rights in the interest of greater security. 'Yes', said the party I had been considering until then; 'no' said I. And 'no' said the party I eventually voted for, too.

I looked a bit closer at all the other parties stand on this issue too, and was shocked to discover that a large majority are in agreement: they're all (and this includes the 3 largest parties in the land) quite willing to trade off our civil rights and liberties if it will help them push through ad hoc security measures to combat what they perceive as the present (islamic) terrorist threat. And I am vehemently opposed to this idea.

The party I voted for now has 2 seats in the House. They came out of nowhere and did very well for a new party, and I hope they'll achieve their primary objective of better legislation for the protection of animals -- even if I did vote for them dressed in my fur coat (but hey! it was cold outside).

There's another party that came out of nowhere and did very well for itself in the elections, but I'm far less pleased about their arrival on the political scene. Why did so many of my fellow countrymen give their vote to the right-wing xenophobic inappropriately named Freedom Party? What possessed them? What is this nationwide obsession with 'security' in recent years? I don't understand it. I live in this country, yet I've never felt under threat from terrorism despite having lived most of my life in a town where the IRA blew a hole in an embassy building once, and having had to go the long way round to get to a certain part of town because the area around the American embassy has been cordonned off for 5 or 6 years now (wish they'd bloody move to the outskirts so we could get our Voorhout back sooner rather than later).

And I'm not afraid of islamic fundamentalists. I have a firm belief that our own Western humanist culture is strong enough in itself to withstand the occasional attacks of these or any other ideological madmen, without giving up any of the liberties that define it.
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