|Cleisthenes - not to be confused with his uncle the tyrant Cleisthenes of Sicyon|
The Athenians loved their new found power and went on to win the battle of Salamis using the novel tactic of ramming the Persians' boats. Both boats would sink, but only the Persian sailors would drown because (unlike the Greeks) they couldn't swim.
For the next two-and-a-half thousand years or so democracy kept bubbling up in Europe and being squashed again. The most important step was when it occurred to a few enlightened individuals that possession of ovaries shouldn't necessarily debar people from the right to choose who represents them in government. This idea was hugely unpopular - especially with people whose reproductive equipment pointed downwards most of the time. However, after a long struggle, women over the age of 21 won the right to vote in 1928 - that's not that long ago. I own books that are older than universal suffrage!
I'm a big fan of democracy. Even though I seem consistently to back the losing side. Regular readers will remember:
- I backed Scottish Independence in 2014
- I railed against Conservative Corporatism in 2015
- I hadn't made up my mind about the EU in February 2016, but I voted 'Remain' in June
- I didn't get a say in the american election, but I was convinced that there was no way that Donald Trump would become POTUS
- Oh... and here's my prediction that there wouldn't be a snap election
Bearing in mind this record, I wouldn't be surprised if liberal-minded people everywhere are probably hoping that I come out in favour of Marine Le Pen and Theresa May.
My firstborn is due the same week as the UK election. Two thoughts occur:
- Let's use this opportunity to make our small island a fairer place.
- I wonder if Charlie likes the name Cleisthenes...