Picking a horse

So, I envisaged this blog as a detailed policy analysis of the Labour (!) and Liberal Democrat manifestos as I decide how to cast my postal ballot (when and if it arrives) ahead of the May 6 General Election in the UK.

However, I don’t have the time nor, it turns out, the inclination to do that analysis.  It’s not that I don’t care about policy, I do, and I’m generally interested in the details.  But, I feel driven by two factors: my ideological home, which is squarely on the left, and electoral tactics.  And in reality, the country is in an economic mess that any party will have problems turning around.

It comes down to this: I’m mad with Labour for allying with Bush in the Iraq war and for generally being crap and disappointing.  I’m excited that the Lib-Dems have a real chance as a third party to influence the election and potentially form a coalition government, which would completely shake up the British political system.  In fact, both my parents, life-long Conservative voters, are planning to vote Lib-Dem – which is a sign of Nick Clegg’s momentum and everyone’s disgust with both parties.  It should be noted, that if my mother were in this country, she’d likely be a tea partier.  And my constituency, Hornsey & Wood Green, went Lib-Dem in 2005, so is likely to stay that way.  But, I hate the idea of voting Lib-Dem and then watching them form a coalition government with the Tories.  I hate the Tories.  No matter how moderate they become, the ghost of Margaret Thatcher will forever loom over them.  They will always be the party of the right.

Although their new logo makes them look like a branch of the Sierra Club.

I poked around to see if I could find any policy comparisons and stumbled on this hilarious and brilliant tool for determining how you should vote on the Daily Telegraph site developed by VoteMatch.

I answered the policy questions and discovered I am aligned 57% with the Lib-Dem policies, 47% with the Green Party and 46% with the Labour Party.

When I went through the answers to compare different parties it was interesting to see how close the Labour and Lib-Dem parties are, which accounts for Gordon Brown repeatedly saying in the first televised debate “I agree with Nick.”  Compared to U.S. electoral policies, UK voters are choosing between political cousins – there is much consensus at the basis of the system in spite of the rhetoric.  It’s more like choosing a primary candidate than the actual election.

In conclusion, my constituency will probably stay Lib-Dem regardless of my vote.  Do I vote with old party loyalties and my political commitment to the Left or be part of a new force in British politics that rejects both major parties…and then forms a coalition government with one of them, but we won’t know which one until the election is done?  Hmm, maybe I should spend this weekend watching the debates and see who I LIKE best.

10 responses to “Picking a horse”

  1. Dave says:

    Labour seems more loathsome than the Democrats. The Lib Dems — well, at least they’re not as right-wing on immigration as Labour; otherwise I don’t really know much about them. Oh, they’re not obviously war criminals.

    The Telegraph tells me I’m 77% with the Greens, 71% Lib Dem and 63% Labour. Huh.

  2. LP says:

    What do you think of the Great Gordon Brown Gaffe? He does seem like a prat, as you would say… but gosh darn it, that woman sounded like a bigot, she did!

  3. Dave says:

    Isn’t that “seem like a pram“?

    Brown committed what is technically known as a Kinsley gaffe.

  4. LP says:

    He seems more like a prat than a pram to me.

  5. Stella says:

    Btw, one of my friends in London posted on his facebook page, how to make your Tory name (as opposed to your porn star name).

    Take your grandfather’s first name and then double-barrell the street you grew up on and the last name of your first school’s headteacher.

    So, my Tory name is Geoffrey Brookland-Armitage.

  6. Stella says:

    And why did “envisaged” cause reaction?!

  7. Rachel says:

    My Tory name: Cyril Pine-Caron.

    I love this!

  8. “Envisaged” is so British as to more than make up for “Labor” in the previous election post.

  9. Edwin Marseille-Thomas says:

    Our clan is British by way of the South of France. Jolly good!