Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The forthcoming general election...

Decisions decisions...

Here are my options:

  1. Vote Conservative
  2. Vote Labour
  3. Vote LibDem
  4. Vote Green or some other minor party
  5. Spoil my ballot paper
  6. Don't bother voting
Option 1: Vote Conservative.

No. If it came to a choice between voting conservative and eating dogshit, I'd ask for a fork and a side serving of cauliflower. I haven't forgotten what they did last time they were in power, and I see that little has changed. Agressively monetarist, without even a social agenda to redeem them. No. For all the evils perpetrated by the current shower of cack, there's nothing that the Tories wouldn't have done differently.

Option 2: Vote Labour.

This is a slightly harder one. They have done some good things. But only sort of. for example, they introduced a national minimum wage, then set it too low and with exceptions for under 21's, etc. They equalised the age of consent for same sex relationships, but couldn't quite go as far as granting marriage rights to gays and lesbians. My Current MP is Angela Eagle. At the last election, she had a majority of just over 9000 votes. That's not an unassailable lead by any means. I'm not a huge Fan of Angela Eagle. In particular, she was happy to vote in favour of the Iraq invasion. But not voting for her could mean a Conservative MP in my constituency. The Labour Party themselves? Well, another centre-right monetarist party, locked into the idea that growth is the only meaningful good. Lackeys of Big Business. PFI. Privatisation of anything the Tories couldn't unscrew from the floor when they were in power. Why not give another £778,372,878,327.22p of taxpayers money to investment bankers? Vive la fucking system! As sleazy and careerist as the others. They do have a more progressive social agenda. Unless you take drugs or are an immigrant or a demonstrator of course.

Nah. Fuck 'em. After 17 years of the same old shit, given a choice between tactical voting and principled voting, there's no contest. If they stood for something different to the other guys, then there might be some point, but they don't so there isn't. Back in 1997 I hoped for something better. I didn't expect anything better, but I did hope.

Option 3: Vote Liberal Democrat.

Why? They're also a centre right party with a more progressive social agenda. On some issues, they're to the left of the other main parties, but all three of them occupy the same ideological space on the political compass. For all the big words, I doubt if they'd have done anything that differently either, plus there's absolutely no point using the Lib Dems as a means of keeping some other group out. They have no chance of winning in Wallasey.

So having ruled out a vote for the status quo, I have a choice of wasting my vote on a minor party, or voicing my disillusionment by telling them all to go hang, or I can boycott the entire process.

But if I don't bother to vote, then I have no right to criticise whatever government gets in. So my only choice lies in voting for some left wing party like Respect (remember them?) or voting for the Greens. Or in exercising my democratic right to say "none of the above"

Of those, I suspect I won't be able to make up my mind until I'm there in the polling booth with a pencil poised obve my ballot paper.


Tony said...

But if I don't bother to vote, then I have no right to criticise whatever government gets in.

I used to be very much of this opinion. These days it's seeming more and more like bullhonkey.

Surely, if you engage in the whole process you are legitimising it? If you proudly partake in our democratic process (how was it Souh Park put it? "A choice between a turd and a douchebag") then you should happily accept the result as a splendid beacon to our liberty, whether you voted that way or not. Any criticism after that would be an assault on the democratic process. If, however, you refuse to take anything to do with the whole charade...

Remember, no-one gives to stuffs about the number of spoilt ballots, but they'll talk about the turnout for weeks afterwards.

Paul said...

Vote Green = 0
Vote Red = 0
Vote for mainstream establishment party = -1

I don't see that "they" talk about low turnouts for weeks. I think it's pretty obvious that a lot of people are disillusioned by British Politics, but nothing changes despite that disillusionment.

so, Spoil = 0
Sit on my fat arse = 0

So really, I might as well make a vote based upon principle rather than apathy.

Pete said...

I didn't vote and that makes me an anti-hero in my own mind. I thank you.

I like saying the name "Clegg" though.

Paul said...

Several associations in my mind.

First of all, the sardonic and philosophical straight guy from Last of the Summer Wine, played by Peter Sallis. Secondly, Corporal Clegg, the wooden legged hero of an early Pink Floyd Song. Finally, because it sounds similar to "Clagg", it makes me think of the bits of dried cack that clings to the backsides of Old English Sheepdogs.