“This is a situation in which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. As it happens, personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting, and we maintain our commitment, we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party, to allow a free vote. It would allow Parliament the opportunity to take the decision on this.”
Theresa May, on fox hunting
The UK’s Prime Minister made this statement last week, answering the question why she was committed to bringing back fox hunting. Mrs May’s response, as cited above, could be used as an example of political analysis, as it reflects the impact of the various forces participating in taking a political decision.
Breaking down the statement into key points, we can distinguish that:
- Fox hunting as a subject is a controversy
- Mrs May’s personal opinion leans in favour of fox hunting
- Mrs May is currently the leader of the Conservative Party
- The Conservative Party has had commitments upon this issue
- Mrs May and the Conservative Party want the Parliament to take this decision
Fox hunting, as a form of pest control, has been banned in the UK since the beginning of the previous decade, on the grounds of being an ineffective and cruel activity. All across the UK, proponents and opponents of fox hunting stand their grounds, presenting arguments that vary from animal rights and effectiveness to cultural tradition and economy.
Therefore, the Prime Minister is right to open her statement by underlining the controversial nature of this subject. She recognises that voters will be divided on this matter, either pro or against it.
Next, Mrs May inserts her personal opinion on the issue, as a civilian and a politician, saying “personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting”. The individual’s personal drive and opinions is an all-present element in human behaviour and, consequently, political behaviour as well. Entering a political party, to which Mrs May refers right after in the same statement, is theoretically teaming – up with politicians that share the same aspects.
After that, the PM connects her own beliefs with the Conservative Party’s commitments. Here resides the heart of modern politics. Either referring to commitments they had to voters or lobbyists, Mrs May quickly declares her Party’s liability in accordance with them. In general, commitments like this might be the promises that lead a Party to leadership or help them maintain their position, as they ensure the votes they need to succeed.
Finally, the Prime Minister’s response concludes in the Conservative Party’s will to take this issue to the Parliament. Allowing a free vote on this issue could supposedly reflect the whole controversial character of the issue and, as such, could be a difficult decision to make.
All in all, in just a few up – front lines, Theresa May had not only declared her stance in favour of fox hunting, but rather, draw a map on how a decision is taken in modern democratic political systems. Several bidirectional forces interfere and differences in aspects and interests ignite political fights and flammable argumentations.