A party that questions the question question
Friday 18 October 1996
9 Dear Independent reader, do you feel cheated when you vote in an election and find that you can tick only one thing?
9 Do you think it doesn't somehow feel very democratic?
9 Wouldn't it be nice to have lots of boxes to tick?
9 And lots?
9 And lots and lots and lots of boxes?
9 Thus giving you the illusion of lots and lots of choices?
9 And lots and lots of control over what happens in this country?
9 It would, wouldn't it?
9 (Be nice, that is?)
9 Well, did you know that there is now a party which will give you a chance to answer lots of questions at the next election?
9 Did you know that this party is called the Multi-Choice Party?
9 Did you know that this party is quite different from the Referendum Party?
9 Would you like to know why this party is quite different from the Referendum Party?
9 Shall we tell you why the Multi-Choice Party is quite different from the Referendum Party?
9 Would you be surprised to learn that the Referendum Party is only going to ask you ONE question and ONE only?
9 Whereas we are going to ask you lots and lots?
9 And lots?
9 Would you like to know what the ONE question asked by the Referendum Party is going to be?
9 Would you?
9 Would you be surprised to learn that the only question that the Referendum Party has any intention of asking you is this: "Why don't we all tell Brussels to go and take a running jump?"?
9 It may be a satisfying question to ask, but is it really a grown-up way to conduct politics?
9 Wouldn't it be better to conduct politics in a series of searching questions?
9 Such as those posited by the Multi-Choice Party?
9 (Did you notice the unusual use of the word "posited" just then?)
9 (Don't you somehow feel safer with people who use long words and assume you know them already and that you are being treated as adults?)
9 Would you be surprised to learn that, if elected, the Multi-Choice Party will involve you the voter in every governmental decision?
9 Every day?
9 By asking you lots of questions every day?
9 Such as: "Shall we abolish hand guns?"?
9 Such as: "Shall we deport that atrocious Michael Howard?"?
9 Such as: "Do you think that John Major should lean on the dispatch box in that infuriating way when addressing Parliament, as if he were one of those dreadful pub bores in badly cut shirts who lay down the law on everything and drive customers to the next local?"?
9 To put it another way, isn't it a bit of a cheat to let us vote once every five years and then call it a democracy?
9 Whereas it is actually only an elected oligarchy, if you can dignify it with that name?
9 Have you noticed that people sometimes complain that people vote in local elections along national lines?
9 Has it ever occurred to these people that if the public were given more chance to vote on national things, they might vote locally in local elections?
9 And that what people are crying out for is the chance to give their opinion on the great matters of the day?
9 Wouldn't it be great to have a party which asked YOU the public your opinion on everything - and then stuck to it - instead of either assuming they know your opinion, or, in the case of the present government, not giving a damn? Would you be pleased to know that such a party exists?
9 And that it is called the Multi-Choice Party?
9 And that we will be fielding candidates in every constituency in the next election?
9 What's that you say?
9 Where do we get our money from?
9 That's a good question, isn't it?
9 Would you like to have that answered the next time we take over this space?
9 See you again then, then?
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