Tomorrow there is a General Election in the UK. In my area will have the chance to vote for both my member of Parliament and local council. I shall be voting in both of these, but shall be voting differently.
It’s worth stating some background to my voting choices. Firstly be born in 1975 meant that as I soon as I could understand anything about government my first Prime Minster became Margaret Thatcher. So the reality that a another political party could really form a government didn’t become real until 1997 – a few years later.
Also it’s worth noting that I am an ardent ‘fan’ of the series ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ therefore I suspect a certain cynicism is present in my views.
So to my voting choices. I was hoping that I would get to meet a Conservative Candidate and be able to assure them that I was “voting for a change” (the Conservative motto this election). Voter apathy is often highlighted, especially amongst the young. This is to me the most concerning feature politics. My Grandmother would always say that people had died for my right to vote. She would be horrified that people would consider no voting; although I suspect that she would be most horrified that the political parties had yet the voters get to the point where they saw no reason to.
This is one of the central reasons I have always, and will do this time vote for the Member of Parliament who is a member of the Liberal Democrats. They are not one of the two parties that have held government for many, many years. Therefore in order to get change of any sort we need a different government and therefore voting LibDem I believe is the best way of achieving that.
A Warning to the Liberal Democrats – you are a political party the same as Conservative or Labour, therefore I would expect you to have the same motivations. Should after several years of government you have not produced the change in thinking and belief then many people will be disappointed.
Note the phrasing in the paragraph above “vote for the Member of Parliament who is a member of the Liberal Democrats”. Any candidate who asks if they I would vote for them; would get the reply “sorry no I can’t”. What the current system requires me to do the is vote for a party. In a general election it is interests of the country as a whole I am interested in. Those interests are therefore served by the government, and that under the current electoral system is governed by what party I vote for.
This leads on to why I’m not going to vote Lib Dem in the local election. In this I am voting for a person to represent and look after local issues at a local level. Here, I feel that party politics has less to offer me. It is true that the same system works for electing the local council as for a government; but I feel that choosing the correct person is more important to represent local issues.
Therefore locally I always vote independent; the local independent candidates have done very well over many years. I see no reason to alter this.
These are my thoughts today; there are some holes in the thinking possibly. I would willing entering into any discussion of policies and principles of the system.