Monday, 3 May 2010

The General Election

You may have noticed that we have all been invited to choose a new UK government this Thursday. At times like this I like to allow myself a bit of off-topicness and talk about who I think we should vote for. If nothing else it will let you know something about my political beliefs and perhaps put some of the views on the blog into context.

I should say that I'm not a member of any political party and don't see any real point in joining one. In terms of voting I'm purely generally tactical and one of the biggest issues closest to my heart, animal rights, doesn't really have any party doing it any justice.

Lets start with who I can't face voting for -

Labour

I simply can't justify voting for a party that is comfortable with the use of torture. I do believe that New Labour has done some useful things such as the minimum wage, gay rights and the Human Rights Act but it's ironic in view of the latter that they have also presided over some serious loss of civil liberties in the name of the war on terror. And there's that torture thing again. It would also be nice to not be at war with someone for five minutes.

Conservative

Well, I still haven't forgiven them for the Poll Tax. And they sold off the public sector to the lowest bidder (something New Labour has embraced along with the hated PFI). Lets also not forget the the Tories weren't exactly hot on civil liberties themselves despite their criticisms of Labour, anybody remember the Criminal Justice Act? And they happily sold lots of weapons to Saddam Hussein, despite knowing full well about his gassing the Kurds, and were a little too chummy with apartheid era South Africa.

Essentially they're a mix of frustrated landed gentry and swivel eyed uber capitalists and judging by some of the recent reports about Phillippa Stroud, Chris Grayling and Julian Lewis, they haven't quite got rid of the homophobia gene yet either.

UKIP

Oh come on, you're joking aren't you? Bunch of 19th hole bores with empire delusions.

BNP

Lets be frank here. If you vote BNP you're a racist. No excuses about New Labour betraying the working class please, if you vote for them you're a racist. Probably a homophobe too but I don't think it's essential. You have a responsibility to look at their policies, the types of people who join them, their record and their history and if you do that, you will see that they are a racist party and therefore voting for them makes you a racist. End of.

So lets now have a look at the parties I can just about stomach voting for -

Green Party

My own belief is that the environment is the biggest issue we face by far and for that reason alone, if I could I would vote Green. yes there's still a bit of the hippy about them occasionally but I'd be happy to put up with that and they do a good line on social justice too. I think it's a tragedy that the Green Party is such a small political force in the UK and a factor in that is no doubt our election system.

Liberal Democrats

They have a firm commitment to proportional representation and that makes them potentially worth voting for. They also have some very able people involved and have the advantage of being the only mainstream party that isn't the Conservatives or Labour. You can laugh but at the moment that's a real selling point. I think the two party system that has dominated British politics has been disastrous and needs to be stopped. I know most of this reasoning is tactical but I make no apology for that and in fact, I've done two of those 'pick your party from the policies' questionnaires and it came out Lib Dem both times. Although none of them mentioned that their science spokesman actively campaigns in favour of animal testing...

Conclusion

So, what have we learned today?

Essentially my heart says vote Green and my sensible side says vote Lib Dem. I happen to live in Nottingham North constituency and the Greens aren't standing there so that makes my decision fairly easy, I'm voting Lib Dem. However, every Lib Dem I've ever voted for in the past has either lost or defected so I'm willing to consider large cash offers from any Lib Dem officials who'd prefer it if I kept my clearly jinxed voting record at home ;).

So, my recommendation would have to be vote Green if you can and Lib Dem otherwise.

2 comments:

alanadale said...

Oddly enough (or perhaps not...) I go along with your views. However, I think there has to be some tactical voting this year in order to make sure that the Tories don't get a working majority. If they do, any future chances of reforming the voting system has gone.

A Labour/Lib Dem coalition should ensure a referendum on a move to proportional representation and then we might see more Green MP's in the next parliament.

My heart says Green but my vote is going to go wherever it needs to to try to ensure the Conservatives don't win, which means Labour or Lib Dem.

allnottinghambasearebelongtous said...

Yeah I think I started this post by saying I normally voted tactically, then ended it by saying vote with your heart.

Maybe I didn't think it through...