April 17, 2010

I have been a politics nut, since I was a kid. Not as an interest in itself, but because it is important to my life. To my country. It is how we govern ourselves-how could I not be?

The responsibility living in a democracy brings  is to play your part. Make your voice heard. Use your vote.

The policies of these parties have an effect on my life- I don’t doubt that. But watching this election makes me doubt whether we, the voters have any role to play at all.

Each party shouting about how ‘fair’ they are going to be.

Fair? In an election where we are facing public service cuts beyond imagination? Because of a complete lack of the regulation that  Labour imposed on its citizens, on banks? Deregulation which the Tories were screaming as loudly for, and it would have been political suicide to oppose?

Labour shouting fair, while forcing through a bill which restricts rights of millions, to suit corporate interests?

All the main parties pretending we are cutting public services because of waste? Blaming the public sector, and british people, for a mess that was caused by companies who continue to pay themselves millions in bonuses?

Labour have the gall to do this, while hoping their vocal support of Surestart, will convince us all that they are our party. They have the interests of the British people at heart.

The Conservatives riding a platform of anti-big government, to solve a problem which was caused by government not being big enough? Adopting the platform of a Christian Right who want abortion as an election issue, and those pesky gay people to stop whinging? Women’s health for votes? How much contempt do you have to show voters, to campaign on a platform designed by George W Bush himself, as a solution to the problems caused by precisely those ideas?

Apparently a return to the Victorian era, with public services replaced by a mismatch of voluntary services, and private companies profiting from our misery, is what we need? Those universal services-like education, were just encouraging us to be layabouts. Cast out those busybodies who think that professional training gives them some kind of expertise… And by the way- lets sell off the bank debts, so that the banks don’t have to repay them- and some of you lucky people may profit. Are there any poor people we can blame?

I know, lets get people talking about the single mothers of Broken Britain!

Fair? When both parties telling me that a vote for anyone but them, is wasted? How can a hung parliament be worse than one dominated by a party who hold the British people in contempt?

Pardon my ignorance, but this is about the least fair election I can remember.

That’s ok- we have televised leadership debates now.

If they are on  television, that is democracy in action right? We have more say if we can press a button, and ITV measure our ‘votes’? Are we more involved, or more distracted?

If the media will help us get our voice heard,why is coverage of this, the most important election in living memory, dominated by the platitudes issues by our main parties?

Why is the news agenda dictated by whatever absurdities politicos want to utter- with noone pointing out to politicians that parsletongue, and murmurings of making things fair, are absurd in this situation? Why are an educated media, who know fine well why we are in this mess- not asking about bank reform, unethical foreign policy?

I have never been so close to refusing to vote. I am beginning to think that actually, me voting adds credence to this charade.

We have bigger problems than the economy.



  1. Bravo

    I’ve just been thinking about writing about the big lie of the wasted vote, when Labour and Conservative have stitched it up between them over decades now. When we have political parties who are not even afraid to make their contempt of the electorate known and suffer no consequences when they do. When we have the two only runners both so far up their own authoritarian back sides despite nods to liberalism on the one hand and to libertarianism on the other.

    Oh bugger, you have me ranting again

    Adam, politically disenfranchised liberal left. Rarr….

  2. please vote. even if you protest with it, or deface it. Vote for an outsider, the green party could use the help.

    I totally agree, voting seems like a vote in support of this bent democracy, but you don’t have to look far afield to see that our system is secure enough that we don’t have to bribe the coppers not to lock us up, or bribe the doctors to treat us.

    Party politics is never about change, it’s about working within the status quo and doing as little damage as possible, and getting elected. Not to participate in this system is sadly unhelpful to your cause. Announce your disgust by refusing to vote for the main parties, those dicks.

  3. My thoughts exactly.

    I have to vote though. Have to, have to, have to. Sometimes slightly less worse is better than the alternative, by definition. Even if it is depressingly negative to think this is my only involvement in what we define as democracy. It has so much potential but is so stifled by the media coverage, and fundamentally by the election system we currently adopt.

    A defaced vote does count. If that is your choice it is just as important as any other. No vote at all is oblivion.

  4. I’m in much the same position as you and I’ve been blogging about the very same issue, and having some strong debates with others. See here – http://www.cheerfulsummer.com

  5. I think the political apathy in this country speaks volumes. So many people do not vote that the ‘winner’ of this election could never claim to have the support of the people. What they have is a huge vote of no confidence in politicians in general. It is a truly sorry state of affairs.

  6. ot to participate in this system is sadly unhelpful to your cause. Announce your disgust by refusing to vote for the main parties, those dicks.

  7. I couldn’t disagree more. It sounds to me like you’re not going to play any more because you’re not going to win. Which doesn’t sound like what I’ve read in your blog previously!

    The thing with a democracy is that sometimes you have to accept that other people simply don’t agree with you. I’ve had to for the past ten years – I’m not saying anyone is right or wrong – just that we have a different point of view – isn’t that how it should be?!

  8. I’ve had this post open pretty much since you made it, trying to find a way to answer that’s polite, addresses your main points, and doesn’t come across as partisan shilling.

    So I’m just going to write what I think. Spent the afternoon canvassing with Hilary in Clifton; lots of people saying they’ll likely vote for us, either for the first time or have always done so. Lots more former Labour voters, really not wanting the Tories back in, but ffed up with everything.

    I, personally, have always disliked the ‘fair’ rhetoric. The parties use it because it seems to play well in voter surveys and similar (damned focus groups), but, having met Clegg, he genuinely believes in ‘fairness’ as a core value; I doubt you’d ever get him to stop saying it.

    The economy is in a mess, and Clegg’s policy of breaking the banks up, heavily regulating retail banks and telling investment banks that they’ll never, ever get bailed out again, makes sense to me. He’s also completely on board on stuff like the Digital Economy stuff (video here taken September last year when he gave a “bloggers interview” at conference, the girl with the dalek top is my fiancée Jennie).

    I’ve always hated the “wasted vote” rhetoric, but I’ve always disliked the voting system that makes it true (for a given value of ‘wasted’). Fortunately, on today’s YouGov poll, Calder Valley goes nicely yellow, which is nice. Weird, but nice.

    News agenda is, normally, dominated by a) what journalists understand and b) what they think will sell papers. Journalists, palpably, don’t understand the way Britain is actually governed, and the succesful ones mostly don’t know what it’s like to be utterly skint, let alone single and worried about lots of stuff.

    They want simple soundbites, it makes their jobs easier. They’ve got a really difficult job this election; three, different, sets of policies to report on? No simple us/them rhetoric? I don’t feel sorry for them.

    Please, vote. Or at least go to the polling station and write why on the ballot paper; it’ll get read by reps of the candidates then, and sometimes they pay attention.

    Or, y’know, vote for Hilary (and Nader, I like him). It might actually make a real difference this time, which is nice.

  9. […] Inane rantings of a woman with a child, half a career, half a brain, and a lot of flaws! « Election Right! April 20, 2010 Am over my tantrum(and lets face, it was a tantrum). Of course am going […]

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