Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al
2017-04-20 09:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you! My natural inclination is to vote Lib Dem, for lots and lots of reasons, so in some sense you're talking me into the position I already hold, rather than convincing me to change my mind.
I really like Huppert personally – we were friendly acquaintances growing up, and before he was a politician at all he helped me get a leg-up into my own research career. As an MP, I admired his pro-science, pro-privacy stance, and he was generally very helpful as an actual constituency MP. However he has a pretty poor track record on disability issues, which are key for me.
If the Labour incumbent stands again, which I'm assuming he will, well, he's not
lobby fodder; he is seriously pro-Europe and has broken the party whip to try to minimize the damage of Brexit. That's really quite a big plus for me as a voter, to the extent that I'm willing to overlook some of the other issues where I disagree with Zeichner.
On the level of, who do I want to be my MP, I prefer Huppert. But I think there might be political mileage in voting for a passionately pro-Europe Labour candidate, because I can't imagine a realistic scenario where Labour aren't either the governing or the opposition party. Therefore in some sense, a pro-Europe voice within Labour may give a better shot at overturning or at least mitigating Brexit, than a Lib Dem MP who will support Europe but as part of a much much smaller party.
Regarding coalitions, I do absolutely believe that the membership of the Lib Dems are committed to making serious demands of any coalition partner and may even be willing to walk away from a coalition if they don't get their concessions. But as a party the Lib Dems will fold in order to be closer to power; this is not just based on 2010 but because in the early 2000s I voted Lib Dem in Scotland and was disappointed when they went into coalition with Scottish Labour and just backed whatever Labour wanted. My expectations of another Lib-Con coalition are low because I don't trust the Tories to keep any promises, rather than because I don't trust the Lib Dems to
to promote liberal values and policies. And May's near-fascist, anti human rights Tories are IMO much more dangerous than Cameron's party were in 2010.
My impression agrees with yours, that Labour will just vote with the government, even when they're supposed to be in opposition. If that assumption holds true, a Lib Dem vote is much more sensible for me. But many many of my friends believe that Labour are automatically better on welfare issues than the Conservatives, rather than identical. And it's such a high priority for me to break the current Conservative stranglehold on power, that voting for a party with a chance of getting half the seats is a major consideration. Yes, I know, FPTP sucks, but that's the system I'm voting in right now. This is why I'm trying to test my assumption about the direction a putative Labour government would take, because if they would actually improve things, that's worth voting for even if in general I vastly prefer your party.
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