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Thread: The election

  1. #1
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Reading, England

    The election

    The election chapter was quite interesting. It reminded me a bit of Middlemarch when Mr Brooke stood for parliament. Looks like electioneering tactics were even more underhand than they are now. What did surprise me was the small number of voters. Roger Scratcherd won by 378 to 376. The turnout in my constituency was 56,000 last general election. It seems you had to be rich to become a member of parliament, because the campaign expenses were so high. So the system was not very democratic.

    I often wondered what happened to the Whigs. Did the just become the Liberals or was it more complicated than that? Were they ideologically any different to the Tories?

    I guess that the fact there is a railway going through Barsetshire means that the story takes place after the Great Reform Act of 1932 when elections were cleaned up a bit. If so, it does not look like the franchise was extended that much. The fact the Whigs are still getting a mention probably means the story takes place before the Corn Laws, which was round about when the Whigs disappeared. Come to think of it, I think Roger Scraterd was standing as a Radical.

    Mr Moffet, Scratcherd's rival, tells the people at Courcey Castle that he intends to vote to admit Jews to Parliament.That's interesting, because Benjamin Disraeli (a 19th century prime minister) was born Jewish, although he converted to Christianity.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  2. #2
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Somewhere in the South East of England
    The Whigs were the very grand aristocrats like the Duke of Omnium - they were the successors to the grandees who had ousted James II. They would be allied politically to the rising merchant class. The Tories were the country squires.

    The Whigs were Hanoverians. The Tories could be positively Jacobite, like Squire Western in Tom Jones, but certainly they were not greatly enthusiastic about the House of Hanover. They supported the Church of England. The Whigs were sympathetic to the dissenters.

    For the term Tory in it original context this little bit of history.

    When Royal Anne became our Queen,
    The Church of England's glory,
    Another face of things were seen
    And I became a Tory.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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