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Election - John C. Kirk

May. 5th, 2005

03:56 pm - Election

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Well, I've cast my vote...

In the past, I've always voted LibDem, aside from the first London Mayor election when I voted for Ken Livingstone instead (a decision I later regretted). This time around, I've actually been wavering a lot more, although I didn't actually get round to reading through all the party manifestos in full. In particular, I seriously considered voting Conservative, mainly because of their attitude to law and order (although they have various other policies that I disagree with, e.g. fox hunting). I do remember a quote I heard a while back (Churchill?) - something like "If a man doesn't vote liberal when he's 20, he has no heart; if he doesn't vote Conservative when he's 30, he has no brain". And my views do seem to be drifting further towards the right as I get older. In the end, I voted LibDem again, partly because it seems safe to do so - even if they win in my borough, I really don't see them winning the entire election, so I don't have to worry about my council tax (or equivalent) shooting up.

The main thing I'm thinking about is that we need unified policies. E.g. I can see the arguments in favour of population control, but I don't think there's any point in putting a quota on immigration/asylum if people are still allowed to have 10 children each. Similarly, when I hear people talking, and every other word is swearing, I tend to classify them as being poorly educated. But when I hear about teachers being stuck with disruptive kids, I think it would be better to kick them out; these two views clearly conflict with each other. As another example, I've seen some signs up saying "If you live in a council house, and you don't pay your rent, you will be evicted". That sounds fair enough, but then you wind up with the homeless numbers rising - do you then put the same people back into free accommodation? So, what I really want to do is figure out my perfect solution to all of these issues, and then vote for whichever party comes closest to my views, but so far I haven't achieved that.

More generally, I'm aware of my ignorance in certain areas (e.g. economics), so I don't think I'm really qualified to make an informed choice about those policies. In theory, I shouldn't need to be (that's the point of representative government), but it is something that nags at me a bit. Back when I first moved to London, I used to have long talks into the night with my flatmate, where we discussed various issues like this - the term "benevolent dictator" did come up a few times. I remember him telling me once "We can't solve all the world's problems sitting in our flat", but I do miss those days sometimes, now that we don't see each other as often.

Anyway, although I voted LibDem in Croydon, I'll be rooting for the Conservative candidate in Brigg & Goole (one of my other Durham friends).

Comments:

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From:gaspodog
Date:May 5th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm. I wouldn't vote conservative even if my mother / best friend / wife / twin brother was standing as the candidate...
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From:dwagon
Date:May 5th, 2005 05:38 pm (UTC)
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I don't think I could actually vote Tory even if I agreed with them - whenever Maggie Thatcher used to turn up on the telly, my grandad would call her 'the ratbag', which was a remarkably effective form of conditioning :)
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From:bazzalisk
Date:May 5th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
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I think I could vote Tory - if they changed all of their policies.

Otherwise they stand for selfishness, and that can never be tolerated, under any circumstances.
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From:rileen
Date:May 6th, 2005 11:46 am (UTC)
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Well instead of perfect solutions, you could just see whoever comes closest to your imperfect solution (if you have one). Or simply whose policies seem to make the most sense to you. The benevolent dictator used to come up a lot in my discussions with my friends too - not the most realistic of solutions :-p

The heart-head conflict is unavoidable for anyone with a non-neglegible amount of either - as someone from India, i can readily appreciate that population control can have several benefits, but i just can't agree in spirit with the government dictating people on how to lead their live.
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