I voted

5 May 2011 12:00 pm
lizziec: (Max at work)
[personal profile] lizziec
I voted at about 7:35 this morning which felt veeeeeeeeery early. Still, it's done now and I'm feeling rather Meh about the whole thing. I voted because it's my civic duty and I believe very strongly that I should be exercising it because of all the people in the past who couldn't and campaigned for my right to do it.

my polling card

But...

I had to hold my nose and vote for the least-worst option and that left me feeling rather dirty. I shouldn't come out of the polling booth feeling dirty because I had to vote and all the choices were pretty much equally dire. Let's take these decisions one at a time.

In my ward in the council elections the choice was between a Liberal Democrat who doesn't live in the ward, but does at least live in CT2, a Tory who lives in CT3 and a Labour candidate who lives in CT4. Both of the latter are really quite a long way from our ward.

I've been a Liberal Democrat voter as long as I've been able to vote, but I'm feeling particularly pissed with their sell-out of major policies in central government, and their candidate's campaigning against the missing A2 slip roads in Canterbury in local government. However, I'm more pissed off with Labour, so I'm not voting for them, and the City Council is already seriously Conservatively controlled with very little representation of other parties and I really really hate the Tories, so I'm not voting for them either.

So I held my nose and voted for the Liberal Democrat, not because I supported him, but because he was the least worst of the options I had in front of me. And that makes me really quite angry.

The AV referendum was even worse from my position. I think AV as a system really sucks, almost as much as FPTP sucks. A victory for AV will not make proportionality or representation in this country any better. It is so poor as a system that before the last General Election no major party was in favour of it. I'm in favour of full PR and this isn't going to get us anywhere close. That's why it was rejected as a system in The Jenkins Report in the late 1990s. It's also not going to make the blindest bit of difference where I live currently because this seat has been held by the Conservative Party for over 100 years. AV will not change that. It does not stop safe seats.

Having said that, I don't want politicians to assume that everyone loves FPTP because they don't. "No" votes in this referendum will be a split between people who want to keep FPTP and people who don't want AV (in favour of full PR).

I couldn't make a decision about the referendum question for a long time. In the end it was the "No" campaign who forced my hand and caused me to vote "Yes" in the referendum. Their leaflets and adverts made me so angry.

They didn't appear to be based on facts at all, and usually use at least part of the available space to rip on Nick Clegg. Now I'm as pissed as most people at Clegg, but him being an idiot in my eyes isn't a reason to vote against AV, it's just the "No" campaign trading on his perceived unpopularity. Additionally, AV doesn't mean that we need electronic voting (votes are counted by hand everywhere else it's used and in other more PR-type voting systems in other countries), and even if it did mean electronic machines (which I'm against) the government weren't going to use the "£250mn" on any of the things they say it would buy in the No leaflet *anyway*. Also, since when was the first placed candidate necessarily "the best"? And they lose major points for the false equivalency of trying to compare voting for an MP with an actual race.

TBH I think if one of the best reasons I can come up with is to vote for AV is that the No campaign are a bunch of lying douchebags then something has been very wrong with the Yes campaign. If by some miracle the Yes campaign do win (and I don't think they will) then it will be because the No campaign Publications of Lies pushed a lot of people who were on the fence into the Yes camp.

ETA: This is an example of what I mean. How could one not vote against a campaign that has posters like this?
The last No to AV poster from Conservative HQ. No, really. WTF?

tory no to av poster
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