Wednesday, March 10, 2010

To hell with tactics – vote for whoever you like

I was going to describe the following as a socratic dialogue, but the idle daydreaming of a political junkie in election year is probably more appropriate...

Me: Nice and warm today isn't it?

Average UK voter (AUKV): Whatever. Shall we cut the small talk and get straight on with the politics?

Me: Wow, great daydream! Go for it.

AUKV: All the parties are pretty much the same

Me: Really?! have you compared UKIP and the Labour party recently?

AUKV: but all the main parties – they're all out for what they get and they all promise the same old stuff.

Me: Well I disagree with you on both counts.
There was a culture of claiming maximum expenses which was rightly exposed, but most Mps go into politics to improve people's lives and work extremely hard, normally 60-70 hours a week.
And there are important differences between the parties for instance on taxes and the role and size of government.
But if you really think that there's no difference vote for one of the smaller parties that best matches what you think. You can choose from anyone to the Socialists through to the English Democrats or BNP.

AUKV: But voting for a small party is a wasted vote

Me: So voting for a party that you don't really agree with isn't a wasted vote?

AUKV: It could be tactical.

Me: It could be but you just said there wasn't any difference between the main parties so exactly what is your tactic?

AUKV: OK, OK but it doesn't make any difference voting for a small party – I may as well not bother at all.

Me: Political parties pour over election figures. If a small party does even well the bigger parties adopt some policies of the small party, because they see they're popular. Look at what happened when the Green party first made it big in 1989 or how the Tories responded when UKIP first hit the scene.

Secondly, as you've pointed out people vote for parties they think have a chance of winning. Vote for your smaller party of choice now and next time they'll have a launch pad from second or third place and be perceived as real challengers.

Plus voting is far more enjoyable and satisfying if you vote for a party whose vision and policies you actually support. Aren't you bored of voting through gritted teeth?

AUKV: So... to hell with tactics?

Me: Yup, if you positively support one of the main parties, great, but otherwise just vote for whoever you like.

AUKV: What's that flying mushroom over there that looks like David Cameroon's head?

Me: I dunno, I'm too busy looking at the digestive biscuit that's got Gordon Brown's hair.
Must be part of my dream... or the new Alice in Wonderland movie.


  1. I could not agree more with you. Votes for small parties do get noticed.

    If you vote tactically then you are locked into voting for people you do not necessarily want always, as the issues will arise election after election. If you do not vote for who you want now then will you, 4 years time 8 years 12 years ?

    If you want change why wait that long - start voting for wh you want now.

  2. They made us pay
    Now make them pay
    Vote for ANYONE
    But the LibLabCON!

    We need a high turnout voting for any candidate other than the main three parties.

    Voting for any of the corrupt rabble comprising the main three parties is a wasted vote.

    Also, if you're in England vote for a candidate wanting an English Parliament because an English Parliament would put all of those infesting the Palace of Westminster out of a job, just as the Scottish Parliament has done in Scotland.