Voting for Real Change

In my last few election posts I haven’t really made any firm commitments. So I suppose if I’m going to write over four thousand words of agitation, I really ought to reach a conclusion.

Simply put, I believe in the system we’ve got. We return individual candidates to represent us, and it is a collective foolishness that this country focusses on the leaders above the candidates that they are actually voting for. It means that “safe seats” exist, and that cronies with business backing remain in power. This is the case among Labour as well as the Conservatives. If we backed local candidates who actually worked as public servants, the political landscape would constantly shift. For reasons I’ve written about elsewhere, I don’t believe that changing the system to reflect voter ignorance (i.e. moving to a form of proportional representation) is the way forward. What we need to do, now that the drive for the Alternative Vote has system failed, is learn to focus on our local candidates, because that is the only way we’ll see a change in the behaviour of parliamentarians.

Nevertheless, sometimes a party’s policies or attitude are so abhorrent that you can’t necessarily vote for a good candidate because you’re not sure that they’ll oppose bad policy. I live in a Conservative safe seat. My MP serves the community’s best interests well. But given that I live in an affluent area, his constituents’ interests are often traditional Conservative interests. Thus he will be unlikely to vote against unnecessary and draconian security measures, or the selling of NHS assets, or austerity budgets.

This means that I will have to look closely at the other candidates and make a choice for my local area.

And you should, too. Ballot-spoiling is the choice of people too lazy to research. They’re not happy with current politics, but don’t understand the system well enough to make a useful vote. Ballot-spoiling changes nothing, and if the non-voters and ballot-spoilers just took fifteen minutes out to just see who their candidates are, many could swing their constituencies to a party that otherwise didn’t stand a chance.

The only way to change the system is to vote for SOMEBODY. The right somebody. And you will achieve more by backing an honourable loser than by throwing away your vote.

(Practising what I preached, I had another look at my local candidates after I first scheduled this post, and am now galvanised to vote for a someone I had previously written off. So there you go.)

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~ by Scary Rob on 8 June, 2017.

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