So I’ve made my decision on who to vote for and just thought you might be interested to know who I’ve picked and why.
Right off the bat I’m going to say that the leaders debates have proven to be most thought provoking for me (I am really looking forward to Mr Dimbleby and the Beeb showing ITV and Sky how it should be done though). I’ll be honest and say that I was concerned about these debates originally, specifically because:
- Not all of the leaders of the UK political parties were getting to take part: This concern was fully justified, lots of talk about immigration from outside of the EU, but no debate about immigration within the EU. I don’t think they could have gotten away with this if UKIP were involved. Also, the Lib Dems position on Trident would have been challenged. “We won’t replace Trident!”, sounds good and it’s what the Lib Dems were shouting, but “We won’t replace Trident directly, but might get something else similar.” doesn’t sound as good. My biggest beef in this area was the fact that the Digital Economy Bill didn’t get mentioned once!
- I was worried that there wouldn’t be any real debate, just lots of reading of prepared statements: I was delighted to see that this was not the case.
- I was worried that 2 would mean that Darth Cameron would be thriving whilst Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg drowned: Erm yeah, I needn’t gave worried. First round: Nick wins, GB was on the ropes, Darth Cameron was on the canvas. Second round: Nick wins on points, despite Dave getting one of Murdoch’s Minions to tag team with him (GB did much better too).
The debates were not the only source from which I drew my information. I have had an array of pamphlets, leaflets (what is the difference between a pamphlet and a leaflet?) and other “stuff” deposited through my letterbox recently and I have read all of it. The Greens and the Tories did quite a good job here, Labour did a terrible job and here’s why:
- As I have previously noted here I was annoyed by the leaflets that presented the 2005 election results as evidence for the Greens being unable to take the Brighton Pavilion seat. I’m not stupid, do not treat me like I am.
- They addressed everything to me *and* my brother!?! We are two separate people who are so far apart in our beliefs that you wouldn’t believe we were raised by the same parents, or on the same planet even. He does not care about politics, in fact it scares me that people as ignorant as him get a vote at all, please treat us as individuals. I’m not saying send two letters, but maybe just address it to me.
Still, at least Labour tried. When I receive the Lib Dem end of term report card I will be entering “Could try harder.” in the general comments box; not a single piece of Lib Dem propaganda was received.
I was quite convinced I was going to vote Green until the Green manifesto came out. If the Conservative spending cuts will risk the recovery from recession, then the Greens policies will certainly kill it. Just picking on one point, how can doubling the price of petrol be even a remotely sensible idea? I applaud the desire to protect the environment but you have to have the infrastructure to support mass migration to public transport before you stop the average family from being able to afford a car. What happens when nobody is buying petrol? How will the public transport be funded then? With huge taxes?
I was seriously wavering. I don’t dislike any of the PPCs in Brighton Pavilion, they all seem like nice people (I follow them all on Twitter) and then I sat down and really thought about it.
I cannot vote for Labour. Labour have had 13 years in power and have achieved some great things (like the minimum wage), but they have also made some major mistakes, worse still, they plan on making some more:
- University fees.
- ID cards.
- Digital economy bill.
- Unprecedented levels of debt (no more boom and bust eh Gordon?).
- Misleading everyone about the evidence to support going to war in Iraq.
- My current Labour MP has been an epic fail. I wrote to him about the DE Bill, I only ever got a response saying “I got your letter” and he didn’t bother with the main debate (maybe if it had effected Cyprus).
I cannot vote for the Conservatives, Darth Cameron might be a Sith, but I assure you that his light sabre is blue. Anyone who thinks that in a period where “tough decisions need to be made” to reduce levels of debt that an inheritance tax break for properties worth £2000000.00 is important is either high on crack or a Conservative. The only proof I needed of Dave’s intentions was to watch a guy from Varndean School ask him about fox hunting, the question was not about whether the law was well written, or whether people were flouting it, or whether the police were failing to enforce it properly, or if it was taking up to much of their time, but these were the answers he gave. We don’t need time in parliament for a free vote on this issue, we’ve done it already. If the law needs to be improved to make things easier for the police then discuss those changes, but of course he doesn’t want to do that because he is completely in favour of hunting foxes, badgers, otters and probably people on welfare too (OK, I made that last one up).
I cannot vote for the Liberal Democrats. I am not amongst the number of people noticing the Lib Dems for the first time during the debates. It’s like the Ewoks emerging from the forest, they might be Ewoks, and Ewoks are immensely cool, but they do not have a chance of winning the seat of Brighton Pavilion and my vote would be wasted if lavished upon them, allowing Labour and the Conservatives a better chance of winning it.
I cannot vote for Labour, the Conservatives or the Lib Dems because they were all engaged in the expenses scandal and none of you are sorry for what you did, just sorry you got caught.
Back to the Greens. Caroline Lucas will never (or at least not in the coming parliament) be in a position to put the more extreme aspects of the Green manifesto in to place, but she won’t ever be whipped and will be able to promote fairness (proportional representation ftw), consideration of the environment, animal rights and civil liberties in a sort of Jiminy Cricket like role and so she gets my vote, but she didn’t win it, everyone else lost it.