If you like placing the the odd bet on your favorite sports team perhaps you might enjoy looking at the sport that is so often overlooked; Politics
In a better world one could never consider politics a sport. It would be too important to our daily lives, the decisions that could effect our children and our children’s children, the future of our nations, of our planet. Perhaps it is then fortunate that we actually live in a world where politics has become a parody of itself where public disillusionment with politicians and their business is at an all time high and being hugely cynical is not the awkward position of the idealistic alone that it once was.
- Election Looms In UK
Conservatives in power but unpopular
Labour led by uncharismatic intellectual
Lib Dems less likely to win than an alien invasion
Too many scandals, too many disappointments, too few gaining too much from too many, it has all built up into a mood of disenchantment amongst the electorate that a dead wizard couldn’t match. The rich retain power, the poor are prevented from effectively wielding any, palmed off with a scant choice every five years, between candidates so alike it doesn’t matter who wins. They’re not even making much effort these days to keep up the pretense of democracy.
The US is in a partisan holding pattern two years out from the next Presidential election that resembles the nervous impatience of people gathered for an orgy that hasn’t started yet, everyone wondering who is going to be shafted by polls, primaries and the press. Congress is a static tableau of inaction and stagnancy and the great democracy looks set to run two people against each other from families that have had the job before. 300 million Americans and it’s a Bush and Clinton again? Yeah, real democratic.
Treating politics as a sport is a natural reaction to the abuse of power we are powerless to effect, the deliberately non-linear nature of the narrative banishing all hope of countering their stranglehold, we can thus only sit back and watch the show as the various factions within the ruling classes fight amongst themselves. Pick a side follow their progress, and back them in the numerous books that sites like Bet365 run on every aspect of political life because you’ve nothing to lose.
A General Election
US politics currently offers some decent long shots, the minefield ahead of candidates (that ranges from what they wear where to what they say when) means that no one is entirely sure of what will happen, but if you want something a little more immediate, and with a greater range of possible outcomes, one has to look to the other side of the Atlantic and the staid, somewhat bizarre, world of British politics that is squaring up to the most unpredictable election in centuries on May 7th.
British politics dresses itself in a fair degree more pomp and circumstances than is entirely necessary these days, the modern nature of political life disguised behind anachronistic titles and modes of address, but these throw-backs to eras now long gone also provide for a level of theater that gives a wonderful insight for the political gambler, which in of itself expanded by the almost rabid political coverage of the UK’s spectrum wide selection of newspapers and media outlets.
Once a week, for instance, the Prime Minister has to stand up in parliament and spend half an hour answering questions both from members of his own party as well as those from the opposing parties. PMQs (as it’s called) is a straight verbal battle and performances can radically change the odds being offered on party leaders, party potential, and possible election results. Bet365 provides a good over view of the various opportunity for betting not just on the election victors but who’ll lead the parties when the dust settles.
However whilst PMQs and the day to day rough and tumble of politics can provide a certain level of soap-opera-esque interest, the kick off the general election campaign has given a finite framework to the system. Come May 7th the nation will decide, the problem is, that unlike previous elections no one is entirely sure how this will turn out and the pollsters are gambling news of the results won’t make them look as foolish as the Scottish Referendum did.
A New Party At The Party
There are multiple parties in the British parliament and UK gambling laws permit you to wager on any of them, but in essence it has been only one of two parties that entered government after an election. The Conservatives (aka Tories) who are fairly right wing, and The Labour Party who are vaguely left wing. In the mid eighties a third party arrived in the shape of what became The Liberal Democrats and indeed they entered a coalition with the Conservatives last election to form a majority over Labour.
The coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats was a shocking occurrence that turned out well for the former and badly for the latter, the public support for the Liberal Democrats now collapsing to the point where an alien invasion is more likely than a Lib Dem government. However as the Lib Dem vote has disintegrated there has been the rise of the anti-immigration party UKIP (UK Independence Party).
Despite being disaster prone, they’ve made more gaffes than Biden ever could, and feeling distinctly racist and xenophobic their popularity continues to increase and the established Westminster parties now fear losing support to this johnny-come-lately. Worse still the polls can no longer be trusted to predict what will happen (they didn’t in Scotland) so we have a situation in which just about anything could happen, and that’s good news for us gamblers.
A quick look at sites like Bet365 that offer political internet betting in the UK shows us that the Conservatives (who are in power) and Labour both enter the five month sprint to government at 10/11 with UKIP way back at 50/1 and the Lib Dems trailing even them on 500/1. Those odds will almost certainly shift in the coming months and the opportunities for a canny wager on who’ll take the reins on May 8th will only get more and more interesting.