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Does it matter in our blasé, postmodern democracy whether political leaders keep their promises? The past few weeks have seen a bonfire of pledges—most dramatically the Tories abandoning universal child benefit and the Liberal Democrat leadership bowing to tuition fees. I think, on balance, both decisions are right; but what if they further damage that already frayed line of accountability between voters and voted-for? Tearing up major pledges to voters within weeks of making them in an election campaign is surely far more serious than a few bloated expenses claims. Moreover, these about-turns came on the threshold of the most…

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