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Corrosive Shame
Therapy for Life
Birmingham Residents Only...
20 lies or Lie to me
ant_girl From: ant_girl Date: June 5th, 2004 09:38 am (UTC) (Link)
It is a responsibility not a right.

Statements such as this annoy me. At least partly because I believe there are situations under which it is more responsible *not* to vote... I particularly believe that it is more responsible not to vote than to vote on the basis of party name or reputation rather than actual policy, which is what most people seem to do.

Is your "futile attempt to get rid of your Tory councillor" based on current Tory (and Labour) policies or the historical view of each that you hold?

Note that I'm advocating voting Tory, but I think if you would rather Green or Lib Dem, you should vote that way. Tactical voting is probably at least half the reason why these parties get such low numbers).
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: June 6th, 2004 12:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually I was concerned more with getting the "voting registration" sorted, rather than actually having to go to the polling booth and pick one of the different-colour;otherwise-identical candidates. I agree with what you're saying about "not voting" - as long as it is an active decision. I think (without deep-thort) that having a "None of the Above" box might be a good idea.

Policy wise it's difficult. I do think that at a philosophical level there is a difference between parties - however much they are currently jostling for a postage-stamp sized bit of the middleground. I dislike the idea of "giving Tony a bloody nose"-attitude which means that Local Elections always seems to favour the opposition party - to me this just creates climates of non-cooperation and obstreperousness.

I agree with what you're saying about the minority parties - does that mean we're both talking about PR as a way forward? It's by no means perfect but could be an improvement.

Tactical voting ~is~ probably more important at the general election and in true marginal situations.
From: ikkleblacktruck Date: June 6th, 2004 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Tactical voting just means you don't get what you wanted - of course, only a minority ever get what they want anyway. It could mean that you manage to not get what you didn't want, but the lesser of two weevils might not be any better.

From what I've seen of PR, it strangles effective government, but does that just reflect that deep down none of us would be able to get on with each other anyway?
ant_girl From: ant_girl Date: June 6th, 2004 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree with what you're saying about "not voting" - as long as it is an active decision

I don't know... for those who haven't the time or the inclination to look into the issues properly and weigh up the pros and cons of each party's policies, I think it is far better that they don't vote than vote from a position of ignorance or prejudice.

Tactical voting, in my opinion, has it's place. But you still didn't answer my question. ;-) Do you want your Tory councillor out so much that you're prepared to vote for someone else you also don't want because a) his current policies are utterly abhorrent to you, or b) you have a historical hatred of the Tories for the policies they held 10 or 20 years ago? (Just curious).
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: June 6th, 2004 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I am philosophically left-wing, like many of my peers I believe. I don't believe that fundementally Conservative policy and attitudes have changed in the last 20 years. Certainly at a local level many of the councillors are the same.

I do believe in more public services, and paying for them; I do not believe that the free-martet is the solution to every problem.

All the so-called policies at local level tend to be the same "higher spending on services" "more money for schools" etc. There's not much of a hair to split - but there is my trust in their willingness to (try to) deliver.

I think that in many cases the remaining "socialists" in Labour are at the local level - where they haven't been purged from the ranks of the new "Slightly left of middle if you look at us in the right light" parliamentary party.

So - bit of both and a non-answer all in one.
ant_girl From: ant_girl Date: June 6th, 2004 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
These are all strong reasons not to vote Conservative, and perhaps even *to* vote Labour, but not, in my opinion, strong enough reasons to practice the tactical voting you seem to be advocating...
kneeshooter From: kneeshooter Date: June 6th, 2004 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
To me tactical voting is about pragmatism. Plus, speaking personally, it saves me considering whether I would vote non-Labour for the first time. I've got a lot of sympathies for the LibDems, and if they were the credible alternative then I'd vote for them - I just fear it's a wasted vote.

Now of course, all I'm doing here is encouraging and perpetuating the two-party rotation arrangement which I actully quite detest, and they won't become a credible alternative until people like me vote for them.

So, I can't win! Hurrah!
ant_girl From: ant_girl Date: June 6th, 2004 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I think they are becoming more credible. Especially in local government.

Personally I believe that it is best to go with where your sympathies lie (and that includes not voting if you don't know, or if your sympathies don't fit very well with one particular party). I reserve tactical voting for situations where the likely winner is so abhorrent that *anything* would be better.

Or you could look at it this way: do you want your Tory councillor out so much that you're not prepared to *help* the Lib Dems become a credible alternative? ;-)
ant_girl From: ant_girl Date: June 6th, 2004 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I think (without deep-thort) that having a "None of the Above" box might be a good idea

Ooh, and if "none of the above" gets the majority, can we declare a state of anarchy? ;-)
dreamfire From: dreamfire Date: June 7th, 2004 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)
if you want to "not vote" destroy the ballot paper. at least that way its recorded
ant_girl From: ant_girl Date: June 7th, 2004 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
I think that depends on why you are "not voting". If you wish to protest, then certainly. If you simply are unable to reach an adequate conclusion, then I don't see that having it recorded makes any difference, personally.
20 lies or Lie to me