Tuesday 6 April 2010

The great thing about democracy

Gordon Brown and David Cameron have made their initial pitches of election 2010.

This election will be more intensely argued over than any of its predecessors, not least on the blogs.

So let's just pause for a moment as battle is joined.

The great thing about democracy is that, although harsh things are sometimes said, we are not actually trying to kill each other. Differences are ultimately resolved at the ballot box. One side wins; one side loses; and the loser lives to fight another day.

Those were the final words which Chris Mullin spoke in the House of Commons in an emotional speech which also made one of the most effective defences of the difference Labour has made in 13 years in power. (Some shorter extracts here).

Election arguments and outcomes matter.

There are important differences between governments and political parties, though we may passionately disagree on which matter most and who is right.

So passions will rightly run high over the next month.

And the election campaign will not always be fought in the democratic spirit which Chris Mullin recommends. However heated it gets, however much we disagree, let's try to remember that - sometimes - it can be.

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