Here are my options:
- Vote Conservative
- Vote Labour
- Vote LibDem
- Vote Green or some other minor party
- Spoil my ballot paper
- Don't bother voting
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.