Disenfranchised


Over the weekend, I found myself embroiled in a couple of political discussions with friends. The Guardian has come out for the Lib Dems and the Independent is promoting ‘tactical voting’ namely ‘anything to keep the Conservatives out’.

I have to admit some sympathy to this line. I find David Cameron a bit creepy – I know there isn’t much analysis in that statement but also am old enough to be terrified of the damage that was done by the last Conservative administration.

I do though, live in one of the safest Labour seats in the country. I checked on Ladbrokes and, seriously, the odds of Labour winning are… 1/100. Seriously. That’s safe.  There is not  much tactical voting to be done here. I was never going to vote Conservative anyway, but then again, nor were barely any of my co-habitants in this constituency either. Indeed, the Tories have put up a ‘youthful’ candidate who knows damned well he hasn’t the slightly chance to get ‘experience’. No doubt, he’ll be rewarded with a marginal seat at the very least in a decade or so..

One of my discussions was with a friend who is a strong Labour man. He was trying to convince me, as I said I was going to vote Lib Dem.

I explained my predicament of living in an absolutely rock solid Labour seat with no hope of any movement even with the highest of swings.

‘You might as well vote Labour then’, he replied.

But I see it differently. I  feel aggrieved that my vote counts for so little. My experience of the election has not been taking place at a local level. I have had no ‘knocks on the door’ even though I had a few lines prepared for the sitting MP at the very least.

I’ve had a few leaflets through the door, but noone has been on my local high street canvassing for votes. The local MP has been engaged in ‘more marginal’ seats as there was ‘no point’ canvassing among his own electorate as it is a given that there will be no political changes in this part of London.

More than anything, that convinces me of a need to change. Fear of hung parliaments is an engendered fear by the establishment.

I would heartily vote tactically but there are  no tactics to be played here. It’s just not as much fun during an election when you know your vote is not going to make a blind bit of difference – except perhaps, when the ‘popular vote’ graphics are displayed to show how disproportionate some of the systems can be.

And so, after a long weekend, we move into the last week of the election. I feel a need for change,

I just don’t want Cameron at the head of it.

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5 thoughts on “Disenfranchised

  1. I am in a similar position, except in a Tory stronghold. The Greens are my favourite party, and I will be voting for them, but if I lived in a constituency where Lib Dem had a chance then I would vote tactically and go for them. But as it is I know the seat will go to the Tory, so I may as well stick to my beliefs and vote Green.

  2. You don’t live in the safest Labour seat in the country – I do, in Coatbridge and Chryston, Tom Clarke’s seat. And I’m not voting Labour, so no need for you to do so, cb!

    This is not the election that there is going to be change. It’ll be the one in five years from now, because the Lib Dems will almost certainly insist on PR as part of any deal with a party. When that happens, everything will change and it will give Westminster the shake up that it needs.

  3. Yeah, I hope so. I’m not so anti-Labour.. but I am very disappointed by some of the steps the last govt has taken and honestly, I think large majorities are always dangerous..

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  5. I think the electoral system has been out of sync with society for some time. Society has fragmented yet we’re given a choice of two, three at most when it comes to governments.

    The biggest problem to reform has been that governments like big majorities and First-past-the-post tends to give incoming administrations just that. Labour flirted with PR in their opposition days, going as far as to commission Raymond Plant to look into various systems, yet all this was discarded when they achieved a big majority. The logic was clearly, why give away power now we’ve got it.

    I think the only thing we can hope for out of this election is the prospect of electoral reform.

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