The first Bush election victory over Al Gore was close enough to remain the province of conspiracy theorists to this day. Obama won, but the popular margin was close. In the UK, the Conservatives won the popular vote, but had to settle for a Coalition. In France next time, it will be very, very close indeed. And although the rather-too-clever Julia Gillard thought her snap-call election was a good call, it too is heading for a photo-finish.
On particular issues, the Aussies split roughly 50:50 about the tax on mining companies. Globally, the Dead Heat on global warming continues. Throughout the EU – and especially in the UK – we are evenly divided about whether to cut deficits or stimulate economic activity. Almost exactly the same situation pertains in the US. Economists are split down the middle about whether the eurozone will survive or not. (Although currency dealers aren’t).
What does this tell us about the world today? My hypothesis is that 10% of us read, chatter and discuss, but can’t make our minds up. And the other 90% haven’t a clue – but hear roughly equal soundbites in either direction…and so choose the ones which best suit their personality and outlook.
I have long believed that the world is divided into two sorts of people – those who believe the world is divided into two sorts of people, and those who don’t. I’m in the former camp. And in 2010, the score-draw is the winner, if you follow. There is a syndrome I hereby name Indecisional Directional Paralysis (IDP), and it means we’re all hopelessly uncertain….and thus at the mercy of ‘strong’ people who come along and say that they know what to do.
Beware such people. Reagan, Thatcher, Brown, Mugabe, Hitler, Mussolini and Fabio Capello all felt they knew what to do. They were all wrong.