A little bit of politics

Posted on Wed 09 June 2004 in general

So tomorrow is polling day. Although I'm in a postal voting area I'll be heading down to the "polling station" tomorrow morning to deliver my vote. I'm afraid I don't agree with the government when they imply you'd have to be mad to prefer going to the polling station to the convince of a postal ballot. The main things that concern me are: a) the increased risk of electoral fraud, b) trusting the delivery of my vote to the Post Office and c) the attitude that
gimmicks are they way to get people involved in democracy. The last point is even more worrying when you hear about plans to expand voting to things like voting by text or Internet. It just makes me shudder.

Although I'm sure some people think the way I vote is predetermined by my political beliefs I can assure you its not. I sat down with the veritable pile of leaflets last week and read every single one to help inform my choice. Of course I have 2 elections to vote in and unlike some parties would like I vote according to the issues those I elect
can do something about rather than a referendum on the current Westminster government. They will get to find out how I feel at the General Election, or at there option whenever they would like to ask my opinion.

Although I dislike list based PR systems there are some advantages to the system we have for European voting. The main one is that minority parties can make more of an impact. I could vote for one of the big 3 parties but it would make little practical difference. This year I'm
minded to vote for the Greens. The first reason is their sensible href=http://www.greenparty.org.uk/index.php?nav=articles&n=68>IT
policies (especially when it comes to Software Patents). The second reason is one of the main (few?) things that Europe has been good for is environmental legislation, and here I think the Greens are well placed to make a difference. I do wish however that only representative body had a little more influence.

OK here my right wing politics do show up a bit. The current Labour controlled council IMHO isn't good enough. Although we enjoy relatively low council tax in my area not being part of Manchester proper I still want more for my money than the current incumbents are providing. However we have to vote for 3 councillors this year (which is odd enough - I thought you elected councillors by wards but apparently not) and both Labour and Conservatives have put up the full spread. I happen to think that the Lib Dems actually do a reasonable job in local government. To my mind they are less wedded to ideology than Labour and not quite as keen to cut everything to the bone as the Tories. I've been impressed with what the Lib Dems seem to of achieved in Liverpool for example. However I have a little dilemma, the Lib Dems have only put up one candidate this year so do I split my vote 2:1 with the Tories and risk splitting the Tory vote to Labour or just vote for all 3 Tory candidates in and effort to remove the incumbents? I'll probably be pondering this until tomorrow morning.

Thats enough politics except to say - whatever you do tomorrow make sure you vote!