Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear a politician say “I don’t know the answer, I think we need time, expertise and consensus to reach a conclusion.” But it never happens. This is maybe part of the reason we live in such a turbulent world. In the UK right now everyone knows we have a welfare problem – it is enormous in every way cultural, economic, and social. Years of Governments swing from left to right then right to left have generated a society which is itself polarizing between those who have and those who have not.
When the right is in power they support the haves (aspiration and merit), when the socialists are in power they support the have-nots (the less fortunate,). The labour party elections for the new leader show Jeremy Corbyn taking labour back to its roots. One for All and All for One. The support from grass roots is not altogether surprising since the right wing conservatives are driving a wedge into the center ground by their well intentioned but poorly executed welfare reform.
The balancing of the meritocratic ideal of the aspiring parts of the community and the support of those who are in some way or another less advantaged is incredibly hard to grasp both on an economic and ethical basis. Clearly everyone would agree that society can only afford so much. The difficulty is in agreeing how much?
The center ground to date has been fought over by the three main political parties, labour, Tories and the Lib-Dems. The Lib-Dems could claim the real ownership of the center ground but it is precisely because of this polarization that they have been rejected by the divided community.
Democracy it seems is failing in the sense, that in UK anyway, the first passed the post system is succeeding only in leaving the center ground less and less supported. Many claim we are in the dangerous age of anti-politics so that only the idealist extremes dominate thinking.