Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The "liberal" candidate

"The recent death of Sir Charles Baskerville, whose name has been mentioned as the probable Liberal candidate for Mid-Devon at the next election, has cast a gloom over the country."

-- The Devon County Chronicle,  May 14th of the year of
The Hound of the Baskervilles

We don't speak much of the political assassination that takes place in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Apparently, according to the media, Sir Charles Baskerville had raised hopes among the citizens of Dartmoor as the man who was going to Parliament to change things for them. A Conservative Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, had been in office since 1885. 

Of course, don't relate to such terms as "liberal" and "conservative" by modern standards when dealing with all this. The thing that Salisbury was most charged with early on? Being "in favor of state socialism." But let's hear what Lord Salisbury had to say about that:

"Do not imagine that by merely affixing to it the reproach of Socialism you can seriously affect the progress of any great legislative movement, or destroy those high arguments which are derived from the noblest principles of philanthropy and religion."

Doesn't sound like a modern Conservative at all, does he?

Politics is a very tricky business. You actually have to pay attention to things. You actually have to be like Sherlock Holmes and both use your brain and actually get out there and take action. Somebody has got to make these decisions in the voting booth, and if you're willing to let others do it, you're going to get what you deserve in the end, whether you're observant enough to realize it or not. 

The residents of Dartmoor were politically aware enough to have hopes from Sir Charles Baskerville, and his death before the chance to be elected was probably more on their minds and discussed in the pubs than a silly spooky ghost dog story. They sound like voters to me.

Did Sherlock Holmes vote in elections? His brother was in the government, I suspect he had to just to appease Mycroft, if for no other reason. John Watson definitely was a voter, embodying the best ideals of a solid British citizen. So even if you're not feeling like Sherlock Holmes when considering elections, you can at least feel like John Watson and get out and do the most basic of services for your country. You won't even get a war wound from it.

And unlike the residents of Dartmoor, nobody on your ballot this year probably got assassinated by demonic hound.

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