Election Propaganda: the Final Day

So it’s nearly all over. This time tomorrow, the polling stations will be open and the nation will be casting its votes. But who to vote for? That’s been a difficult decision this time round. I can’t tell you who to vote for – nobody can. That has to be your decision alone.

However, if you’ve read any of my previous Election Propaganda posts, you’ll be aware that I have made a few suggestions as to who not to vote for. Don’t vote New Labour unless you want another five years of more of the same, don’t vote for any of the far right candidates for all the obvious reasons, and please, please, please, for the love of all that is good and right and true, DON’T VOTE TORY!

Who does that leave you with then?

Everyone’s talking about the Liberal Democrats as the main third choice. Personally, I’m a bit dubious about this. I can see that they would be a better choice than New Labour or the Conservatives, but only just. They seem a little tame for my liking, although this will obviously increase their appeal to disaffected voters from the other major parties who would be unlikely to support a more radical policy programme.

However, I am glad to see this country’s staid old two-party system beginning to open out with the increasing popularity of the Lib Dems. It is entirely possible that I may end up with a Lib Dem MP come Friday – but, although I know their candidate here (slightly) and wish him luck, it is highly unlikely I will be one of the many locals voting for him.

Then there’s the Greens. Although I can see the benefits of tactically voting Lib Dem to prevent a Tory majority, I am most likely to be voting Green. Their manifesto is the nearest fit to my political beliefs of any of the parties (although I’m never going to find a political party that believes in everything I believe in – unless I start one myself, and that won’t be happening any time soon!), and I would like to see them finally make a real domestic electoral breakthrough in this country.

European Green parties have already had some success in domestic elections, and Britain itself has two Green MEPs (Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert, the latter representing my part of London), 125 local councillors, and two members of the London Assembly. Party leader Lucas is standing in the Brighton Pavilion constituency and looks likely to win the seat. It will be interesting to see how well the Greens do this time around; the opportunity for a breakthrough is certainly there.

The possibility of a hung parliament gives Independent candidates a greater chance of political influence than usual – although some are a better bet than others. Having now met the Independent who is standing in this constituency I’m even more convinced that she’d be a really bad choice as MP, but there are some Independent candidates who would probably do a good job in representing the interests of their constituents in Parliament over and above the political dogma of the main parties.

It is very clear that more and more people are getting incredibly frustrated by these lies and political dogma. I’ve spoken to a number of people recently who are determined that they won’t be voting at all. It is absolutely their right to choose not to vote, but that approach does annoy me. As someone who is descended from a suffragette and who admires those who fought (and in some cases died) to extend the franchise, I would much rather that those who choose not to vote make a statement by spoiling their ballot paper instead…

And if you’re really fed up with all the lies, bullshit and spin, you could even try this on election day…

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6 thoughts on “Election Propaganda: the Final Day

  1. shmoo7275

    I’ll probably be voting Green as well. I’m tempted to vote Lib Dem for tactical reasons but I despise tactical voting and long ago decided not to do it anymore. People complain about wasted votes but, if everybody who thought that their vote was wasted just voted honestly the political map of this country would look very different. I’m hoping for a hung parliament myself, Lib Dems in control, with New Labour beaten into third place! That would make things interesting…

    1. trickygirl

      I suspect that a hung parliament is the best we can expect this time (hopefully it won’t end up as messy as 1974 though!). I agree with you about honest voting – I thought long and hard before making my mind up; this is the first election where I’ve felt out of my comfort zone in making that decision. In a way, that is a good thing because it has made me think. I can’t believe the number of ‘Vote Labour’ placards in people’s gardens locally, though – talk about sheep!

  2. shmoo7275

    Honestly, I think it would be nice to see our politicians forced to negotiate and compromise with each other, rather than hurling insults across the floor of an archaic building to keep up with a tradition that none of the electorate understand or care about anymore. People these days look at the House of Commons and see it as playground squabbling and part of that is our insistence on “strong leadership”. Well, we’ve had strong leaders for most of the past thirty years in the shapes of Thatcher, Blair and Brown. I’d take John Major over any of them, despite the fact that I’m not a Tory. Hampered as he was by a small majority, he had to actually work with people instead of simply bullying them in order to get what he wanted.

    1. trickygirl

      John Major was an interesting character politically. Despite being a Tory, he was a decent politician – just not a very effective party leader. Admittedly, following in the footsteps of Maggie was never going to be easy, and I suspect the party wanted someone they could at least attempt to manipulate in a way they never could with her, but I agree that he tried to work with people in a slightly more productive manner than she ever did (after all, she STILL thinks she’s running the country!).

      Blair and Brown, as we know, carved up power as their own private fiefdom in that famous Islington restaurant – and, with both of them, their leadership styles provoked the kind of petty schoolyard squabbling in the Commons that you mentioned. That sort of arrogance in leadership is, I think, very unattractive to the electorate; it (rightly) suggests that these leaders care more about power than they do about the the people they are supposed to be representing and leading.

      In a way, a hung parliament will allow the smaller parties, particularly the Lib Dems, to take something of that power back. A coalition government could be very effective in getting previously ignored voices heard at the heart of power, but my concern is that it could also allow politics to stall and ultimately to stagnate if some sections of Parliament refuse to work together effectively.

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