I have been struck by the vitriol of two political campaigns over the past few weeks. The anger, hatred and hyperbole during in the American presidential race and the British EU referendum seems to me to have become much nastier this year. The ability and ease of spreading this fury on social media has fuelled the flames of intolerance. Now there’s been the murder of a British MP and the attempted murder of Donald Trump. Will it change anything?
I’m of the opinion that most people allay themselves to a political party during their formative teen years. Their allegiance will be formed by family, background, social-economic standing and other influences. Most people will remain loyal to that party for the rest of their lives. No amount of reasoned debate or statistics will sway them one iota. So, in reality, the vastly expensive political campaigns’ only hope of success is to gain the support of the small percentage of floating voters. That small number of people who lack loyalty to one or other of the main parties. Any CEO would be appalled at the cost versus return ratio of these campaigns. I can’t help but wonder if the growing vitriol is down to the frustration of trying to persuade die-hard voters to switch.
Could it be time to re-examine the party structure and the length of campaigns of modern politics? We cannot continue to allow political parties to engender such extremes. It can only result in fracturing society more than it already has.