As the General Election of 2010 nears its final week, the campaigns being put forward to the public have moved from the original scope of party policy, through evangelical hero worship of leadership figures, questions of deals and coalitions and now into its final phase of fear campaigning.
Everywhere you see it, on posters, on blogs, on twitter, in press releases, on TV and in the print media. It is the politics of fear.
If you dont vote for me something bad will happen.
If you dont vote for me you will lose this or that service.
If you dont vote for me you will have to pay more for this or that.
If you dont vote for me Fred will get in instead.
After 13 years of a Labour government who have used the politics of fear to the greatest level this country has ever seen to induce the public to grudgingly accept a loss of civil liberties, ID Cards, databases for everything, being watched, monitored, listened to and recorded, being told what to eat, what to drink, forced into not doing so many things that most of us consider normal such as smoking, taking photographs, playing with our children, volunteering for youth organisations or even expecting a level of service from our civil servants, do political parties really expect to endear themselves to anyone by using the politics of fear?
If these parties dont up their game and start listening to the public concerns, the smaller parties will get the votes these major parties consider theirs by right.
If they dont start to address the hard questions that are put to them by the public instead of merely batting it off and blaming others lack of policy then quite frankly they all deserve to lose.
After 13 years of living under a regime of political fear campaigning the public are sick of it. They want to know what you can do, not what the other parties cannot do.
But then the public are not stupid either. They know that you can do very little, because your policies are all made in Brussels, and that for the all the arguments, the expended air time and the tittle tattle, this election is all about how you are going to implement the decisions already made.
That is why the smaller parties are picking up votes and supporters, and that is why you have entered this realm of fearmongering. The public are not stupid, they know and understand what you are doing and why, and treating them with this kind of contempt will only serve to give them the resolve of not voting as you expect them to.
May 7th will be an interesting day.