liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
So, the election is tomorrow. I am still not one hundred percent decided, and anyway I do actually have a bit of a thing about ballot secrecy even though it's not very fashionable in the internet age. Many thanks to everyone who commented helpfully on my what's so bad about the Tories? post. I really enjoyed some intense political discussion that managed to stay friendly and intelligent and did not degenerate into name-calling.

Anyway, here's where I am: Reasons to vote Lib Dem
  • I agree with many of their policies nationally.
  • It would be good to break (or at least protest against) the regular pendulum swing between the two major parties, both of whom are entrenched and arrogant and not particularly inspiring.
  • The absolute number of LD votes is going to be a major political issue after this election, even if that number doesn't translate to seats.
  • The LibDem PPC answered my email with sensible statement about the threat of the BNP and about the party's priorities for coalition (they are working with non-racist independents locally).
Reasons against Lib Dem
  • I am still very much afraid that voting for a minority party will help the BNP defeat Labour here, especially since Labour have suffered a nasty split due to incompetent meddling by the central party.
  • Although they may well do well nationally I can't see Stoke going Lib Dem, realistically.
  • I really really dislike their economic policy.
  • I am also a bit unsure about their opposition to civil servants and the public sector.

Reasons to vote Conservative
  • I still think they present the best challenge to Labour on issues that are important to me around civil liberties, the justice system and personal privacy.
  • I really really don't want another Labour term of complacent perpetual majority.
  • I really like the Conservative PPC; she's young, Asian, female and has a progressive background (she defected from the Lib Dems, actually), and I agree with her on almost every issue, eg anti-war and pro gay rights.
  • Talking of which, she answered my email sensibly and personally with good ideas about what the work programme I am nervous about will actually involve (admittedly she lost marks for SPAG).

Reasons against Conservative
  • There are too many racist and homophobic people in the party.
  • I am much more pro-Europe than the Conservative party.
  • I am very concerned about their policies and attitudes on disabilities.
  • I think there are valid concerns about how good they will actually be on environmental issues, though their manifesto looks sensible.
  • It's vastly unlikely that the Conservatives will actually win in an urban West Midlands seat.

Reasons to vote Labour
  • May be the only way to stop the evil BNP from winning, at least in the local council if not in the parliamentary election.

Reasons against Labour
  • I disagree with practically all their policies.
  • I think they have done a terrible job of running the country for the past thirteen years.
  • I am still absolutely incandescently furious about the illegal and devastating Iraq war. Even though that isn't on most people's political radar any more, people are still dying.
  • I am also angry about university tuition fees and attacks on personal liberty and privacy and constitutional protections against a power grab by the PM.
  • The party is rotten with the lowest level of personal, financial corruption.
  • I don't want to vote for some party apparatchik with no local connections, because Labour have gambled my personal safety and that of other ethnic minority residents of Stoke by parachuting an outsider into a supposedly safe seat where there is a major BNP challenge.

I can't vote independent cos lots of the independents here are BNP or similar racists in disguise and I'm not confident enough that I can pick out he good independents from the evil ones. I am leaning towards Lib Dem, but I am going to spend one more night sleeping on it and see how I feel in the morning. Feel free to argue with me if you think it would help to sway me; I genuinely am undecided, so it could be a good use of your time.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-05 08:14 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
I pretty much stand by what I said before; the Tories are maybe OKish so long as Cameron is both de jure and de facto in charge; the moment he goes (or loses influence) I'd not put money on the party not swinging back to give the Tebbit/Howard/Duncan Smith/Hannan types their turn at power.

The BNP vote is split too, and I haven't seen a polling-based prediction or bookmaker that puts them in with a good chance. I realise it's easy for me to say this from a seat where they're not even standing, but I think you should vote for the candidate that you think would actually be best rather than the second-worst.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-05 08:22 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
(I refer to parliamentary elections; I don't know what the BNP's chances are locally or what the other candidates are like. I still think that having some evil bastard standing in an area shouldn't be a guarantee that the incumbent has a job for life though.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-05 09:30 pm (UTC)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
From: [personal profile] forestofglory
What does PPC stand for?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-05 10:12 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (beer)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-06 10:56 pm (UTC)
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
From: [personal profile] forestofglory

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-05 11:27 pm (UTC)
syllopsium: Carwash, from Willo the Wisp (Default)
From: [personal profile] syllopsium
It's not wise to live in fear.

Vote for who you believe is the best option. Perhaps sometimes you end up voting for a lesser evil, but there's a difference between voting for the least worst option, and voting simply to keep something worse out.

As you said, in this election the absolute number of votes may well be a factor.

I think you can't possibly vote Labour, although I do disagree on the Iraq war - I believe this would have been inevitable even if the Tories were in power at the time, and they're not exactly shy on defence.

That leaves you with two possibilities, if you're discounting all the independents. Whether you choose Tory or Lib Dem is your decision. In both cases the absolute number of votes may be significant, and in both cases their likelihood of winning may be low. Still, if no-one votes for them, they'll never gain the encouragement to mount a larger local campaign.

Vote for who you trust, and who best represents the interests most important to you.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-05 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rho
If I were in your situation, I think the question that I'd be asking myself was whether I trusted the Conservative PPC to go against the party whip on issues such as war and gay rights.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-06 12:05 am (UTC)
askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
From: [personal profile] askygoneonfire
My friend just wrote a blog entitled '16 reasons not to vote conservative'; I think it says all the key things. Personally I'm voting lib dem because I refuse to be made to vote based on fear, I'm an idealist like that. Here in Brighton it's most likely Labour and the Greens will get in again, my vote will not change that but I don't believe for a minute it will be wasted. My parents live in rural east midlands, a tory stronghold but my mum diligently votes lib dem everytime. It's about beliefs, not tactics as far as I'm concerned.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-06 01:14 pm (UTC)
shreena: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shreena
Normally, I would not say to vote tactically rather than for who you actually believe in and want to represent you but, in Stoke, I really think that the moral choice is whoever has the best chance to beat the BNP.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-06 02:41 pm (UTC)
nanaya: Sarah Haskins as Rosie The Riveter, from Mother Jones (Default)
From: [personal profile] nanaya
I wanted to vote Green, but I ended up voting Lib Dem (who I've voted for in the past as well) because I'm prioritising electoral reform. If reform doesn't happen (likely), it may at least set the groundwork

I really don't believe the Tories will do anything to improve civil liberties; they could have opposed Labour vocally on them any number of times, but for the most part, they've been right behind curbing people's freedoms, and behaved that way while in power as well. I wouldn't be going back 13 years and more for this, if we didn't have their behaviour while in opposition to look at.

I don't think the BNP will get in on the strength of a Lb Dem swing, but even if they did, any such MP would almost certainly be shunned and able to engage with the political process only in the most minimal way. That is what famously happened with Derek Beackon's stint on Tower Hamlets council, after all, and Barnbrook's stint in Barking has been a political shambles. Maybe I'm being too optimistic on that score, but I think the more far-reaching dangers lie elsewhere.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-05-07 06:23 pm (UTC)
aphenine: Teresa and Claire (Default)
From: [personal profile] aphenine
I know it's after the election, but I'm confused as to why you're annoyed at only Labour because of the Iraq war. I thought that the Conservatives voted together with Labour on this matter?


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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