What makes a real vote?

The sort of people whose intemperance, silliness, and general badness helped me to leave the Labour Party, which was painful for me, have been in general going on about democracy and its defence in recent days.

The intemperate and increasingly demented likes of Luke Akehurst and the (personally unelected) Mary Honeyball MEP have posited that liberties must be lost, eternal war fought with Islamic nutcases, and the fundamental duties of the state sold off whilst we are all on our knees to a deeply flawed environmental proto-religion.

They have also asserted their secular kudos to represent the oikos, so to speak, from the basis of their 'election' and this apparently gives them the right to justify the collapse of international law, late abortion, the exclusion of Catholics from office, 42 days detention without charge, and any one of their other positions.

So, let's have another look at a perennial theme of this blog; how many voters, as a percentage of the whole who had a vote, actually gave western leaders their mandate?

Here is a list.

Nicolas Sarkozy got 53% of the votes of 83.7% of people who voted. So his mandate is based on the votes of 44.36% of his electorate.

George Bush, first time around, got 47.87% of 60% of the citizen population, which is 28.72% of the citizen population. In his second election, Mr Bush received 50.7% of 56.7% of the voting age population. That translates to 28.75%

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's Labour Party in the 2005 general election got 35.3% of 61.3%; a share equivalent to 21.64% of the electorate.

In Canada, Stephen Harper's Conservatives got 36.27% of a 64% turnout. That translates to 23.21% of the electorate.

In New Zealand, Helen Clark's Labour Party got 41.1% of 81%, which is 33.29% of the electorate.

In Australia, Kevin Rudd secured 43.38% of a nominal 100%, since voting there is compulsory.

So, let's just rank this sample of big western countries, and I know the list is not complete:

Sarkozy : 44.36% of the people
Rudd : 43.38% of the people
Clark : 33.29% of the people
Bush 04 : 28.75% of the people
Harper : 23.21% of the people
Blair/Brown 21.64% of the people

It's not rocket science. None of the usual suspects in the 'dynamic' 'modernizing' world of privatising, globalising intolerant secularism got anywhere near half the votes of their people, and nearly eighty percent of the British did not vote for their government when they could have done. Yet all are comfortably in power.

What now is the difference between an election and an opinion poll in these places?

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