Tag Archives: david brooks

Adrian Sanders writes: Social Animals and Elephants in the Room

Just about everyone in the Westminster Village will shortly be talking about the latest book that tries to explain why people vote the way they do.

Book Cover for The Social AnimalThe Social Animal, by US journalist David Brooks, has just been released in the UK and it suggests that people are driven more by gut instincts than rational thought when it comes to voting choices.

That rather obvious point has been haunting the Liberal Democrats from the moment they produced a joint programme for Government with the Conservatives on the weekend after the last General Election.

On the rational side of the challenge facing my colleagues and I a year ago were the electoral maths, the opposition from Labour politicians to contemplate compromise, the absolute imperative to produce a plan to reduce the deficit, and the need to act quickly to calm the markets.

My irrational instinct was that such a coalition arrangement was nothing short of a pact with the devil and it will end in tears, while my democratic rational side went along with a majority of the Parliamentary Party, the Federal Executive and Special Conference vote.

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