Right now, is left wrong and right right?

Matthew Taylor on the left:

The nature of power is shifting yet social democratic organisations continue too often to exemplify a model of hierarchical bureaucracy, tending to see power as a zero-sum quantity won or lost internally in factional battles and externally in elections.

But power is dynamic, fluid and positive sum (the same team of people can be powerless or powerful depending on how they work together). It can be generated – in whatever circumstances – through creativity, collaboration, integrity and generosity. The phrase  ‘in’ or ‘out of power’ may refer to control of the Government but it also speaks to a more fundamental problem with how the leadership cadre of social democratic parties think about change.

David Brooks on the right:

The most surprising event of this political era is what hasn’t happened. The world has not turned left. Given the financial crisis, widening inequality, the unpopularity of the right’s stances on social issues and immigration, you would have thought that progressive parties would be cruising from win to win.

But, instead, right-leaning parties are doing well [because]… they have loudly (and sometimes offensively) championed national identity[,] they have been basically sensible on fiscal policy… [and their] leaders did not overread their mandate.


e-Petitions: some headline figures

Just because I’m occasionally a miserable so-and-so, I thought I’d look to see what sorts of signature numbers e-Petitions attract. I should note straight up that I think e-Petitions are a superficial, trite and virtually pointless means by which people engage in the political process.

Overall, there are 14,382 completed e-petitions so far – all of which are listed here. This doesn’t include currently open e-petitions (of which there are 5,949) or rejected petitions (of which there are 17,525).

Of those 14,382 e-petitions which have been completed:

  • 16 have received more than 100,000 signatures (i.e. 0.1% of petitions completed so far)
  • 50 have received more than 10,000 signatures (0.3% of petitions completed)
  • 75 have received more than 5,000 signatures (0.5%). Or, put another way, 14,307 have received less than 5,000 signatures (95.5% of all completed petitions)
  • 239 have received more than 1,000 signatures (1.7%). Or 14,143 have received less than 1,000 signatures (98.3% of all completed petitions)
  • 368 have received more than 500 signatures (2.6%). Or 14,014 have received less than 500 signatures (97.4%).