Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Preparing for the Nader Defence

I spotted this in yesterday's Independent letters page, from a Mr David Penn of Kendal in Cumbria:

I hope Gillian Duffy will reconsider her decision not to vote on Thursday. First, she might heap coals of fire on Gordon Brown's head. Second, she'd show she was aware that it's those who don't vote who will be most to blame for whatever ensues.

It's to be expected I suppose, but claiming that "those who don't vote who will be most to blame for whatever ensues" amounts to what is known as the Nader Defence.

Just as Democrats blamed Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for Al Gore's defeat in the US presidential elections in 2000 (despite Gore's loss in his home state of Tennessee and the quarter of a million Democrats who voted for Bush in Florida), Labour will almost certainly try and blame anyone but themselves when they lose tomorrow.

Place the blame on the terrible decisions Labour has made over the last 13 years? Why not instead blame the abstainers and the former voters who refuse to provide consent to any of the Westminster political parties?

It's so much easier than a period self-reflection, especially for Labour, a party that has killed off any serious internal debate.

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