Election Promises – Who to Believe 

Can you believe their promises?

In only a few weeks time, in fact in only 27 days the British public will be called upon once again to exercise their hard fought democrat rights and vote for a Government who will decide their future for at least the next five years.

It isn’t a long time and in spite of what the parties were saying about being prepared they are even now still picking their candidates whilst at the same time trying to pull together a manifesto of promises to put and to sell to the electorate.

Not a very good start, 

Surely if you call an election without having your candidates or a manifesto in place then you aren’t an organisation that appears to be very well organised.

And if you are the opposition, having had two years to select your candidates and formulate your alternative policies you too don’t seem well prepared.

Yet on June 8th people will be expected to vote for someone even in the absence of what it is you are voting for and agreeing to.

It seems that people in the UK have learned nothing from the European Referendum where millions turned out to vote without having any idea what it was they were voting for.

However this election will be different – 

Or will it?

The manifestos when they are published will contain promises – politicians now call them pledges – that will decided the outcome of the election, or at least that is what they believe from within their safe and secure political bubble.

In the past, and by that I mean the not to distant past when the choice was realistically between Conservatives in the blue corner and Labour in the red corner it was relatively true.

Nowadays of course life is different and people do change alliances and political tribal loyalties which at least keeps it interesting.

Opinion polls are no longer taken as a true reflection of what people think and in reality are more likely to be ignored by those who intend to vote or at best treated and for very good reason as nothing more than an irritating noise.

The problem however at this election is that of remembering promises made during the EU referendum that have only not been delivered but that were made with absolutely no idea how or intention of delivering them.

It is still recent enough for people to be highly cynical and very angry at those who made the promises.

Or at least you would think so, but and this is a very big but –

Those that vote when it comes to elections are as unreliable as the politicians who make election promises.

It seems you would assume that when people vote they quite naturally look to find someone who shares the same values, opinions and attitudes as themselves and then vote accordingly.

But what happens when you don’t know what the candidates really stand for?

Do you vote along predetermined party lines, do you vote for someone who has a track record irrespective of what that record is, do you vote for someone with experience or do you just do what far to many people do – Stay at Home?

We know from the MP expenses scandal that those who had been caught red-handed were still re-elected by people who presumably thought it was acceptable behaviour.

In any other walk of life they would have been dismissed from their place of work and despised by their colleagues and those who helped them get the job.

Why is it any different for politicians when they are caught intentionally lying to us or making false promises?

Do we really believe that those who have been caught out seriously want to improve things for the rest of us? – are we really that optimistic? – or is there some kind of in-built psychological illness that at election time prevents us from learning from experience?

Is there any other group of people that we would not only willingly allow and accept deceiving us over and over again but would in fact forgive time and time again?

I very much doubt it.

But on June 8th – and this is pretty much the safest prediction anyone can ever make – up and down the country candidates who the people know are dishonest and deceitful will be elected to become Members of Parliament.

Shortly afterwards all of the optimism that it will be different this time will fade to be replaced by disappointment that it hasn’t.

The reality for all of us of course is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

There is no Darwinian natural selection law that says we must elect these people and give them a second, third and fourth chance to disappoint and deceive us again.

It is our choice and we can change it if we really want to.

We know there are going to be manifestos and promises and that some of the promises will vary little if at all between the political parties.

The is who do you trust to deliver the promises they make.

Do you accept what is increasingly becoming an established mantra that “they are all the same” and stick with those you know cannot be relied upon to be telling the truth or do you say “enough” and place your optimism in another untarnished candidate?

I admit to sharing the same illness as millions up and down the country, a political virus that has diminished my trust in the establishment and especially the political establishment.

And yet I’m approaching this General Election – which incidentally will be the twelfth I’ve been able to vote in – with a sense of optimism because where I live in Devon we have a local candidate who recognises her role will be is give the electorate a voice in Westminster.

It is a role that the current incumbent has forgotten choosing instead to prefer being the Westminster in Newton Abbot.

Will Marie Chadwick whose the Liberal Democrat Candidate in Newton Abbot win?
I hope so and will be out supporting her.

I also hope that throughout the UK people will turn out to vote and will look carefully at the candidates and vote for those who offer an honest approach to the role at the expense of those who have proven to be anything but.