After having to arrange to vote by proxy twice after my first proxy realised she wouldn’t be in the country on the 7th either the hardest part was still to be decided, who to vote for. You see, the problem is that currently politics his falling apart even more dramatically than normal. The mainstream parties have proven that they can’t be trusted in some of the most obvious ways. Remember that one party that was going to abolish university fees and then basically tripled them? Right.
So, how do you vote when you know that, not only are people glossing over the truth, but that they have a track record of outright lying? It’s all very well voting for someone whose manifesto you agree with but if they are unlikely to stick to it then what’s the point?
At the end of the day, I decided to vote for the Green Party because I tended to agree with most of their manifesto (not all of it but one simply cannot find anything near perfection). How realistic some of their aims were… how likely the untested party would be to have any klout… well voting for them would probably be a risk. However, the other reality is that, with our current system of voting and in my highly Labourite area, there was basically no way that they were going to get a seat based upon my vote.
But, that seems to be the problem a lot of people are facing. People don’t really want another five years (or so) of Conservative government because they’re unhappy with the way the country has been run and the threats to the public services and welfare system. People don’t want another five years of Lib Dems because, while I think Conservatives get most of the blame, people really don’t seem to trust them at all, possibly because of complete negated promises in the past. Labour, well, they got us into this mess and don’t seem to have a leader who seems inspirationally competent. This has seen a surge in people voting for the smaller parties who are often more extreme… UKIP who are really rather far right, with most people agreeing that they are too far right, but are appealing to a lot of people who feel that their voices are not being heard. Greens who are left and may well have appealing ideas but seem disorganised and not in a position to run a country. There has also been a rise in the power of regional parties, such as the SNP (Scottish National Party) which is a whole other kettle of fish.
The predictions, and the worry, was that the voting would be almost completely split. This would lead to a hung parliament and another potential coalition, at best. I know that this has confused people from countries where this is the norm but, back home, hung parliaments are rather rare – I think it’s happened twice – and lead to a fair bit of instability. This was going to be a very messy election.
I stayed up to watch the results come in and, in the end, the results were, I suppose, better than expected.
The Scottish votes came in pretty quickly, compared to the rest of the areas. Basically all of Scotland ended up SNP which I find a little bit disconcerting, not because I’m against Scottish-ness and so on but rather because having many members of a party who are against the existence of the UK in its present form dictating policies for the UK in its present form… I don’t really see how that works out fairly for anyone, really. But there we go, that’s a whole other story.
Labour lost a lot of seats (mainly to the SNP), Lib Dems lost most of their seats, UKIP gained one seat, Greens maintained one seat… other regional parties fluctuated slightly but hold very few seats over all. I don’t know much about the regional parties so apologies there. Basically all the main parties have lost their leaders… a lot of quitting going on and a lot of mess to be sorted in that area.
In the end, we ended up with a Conservative majority…. just. Another five years of Conservative government… it doesn’t fill me with joy. Many of their policies I downright disagree with, a few are okay. The positives, however, must always be sought. Whatever the probably outcome of this election, the Conservatives were always going to have some decent level of sway. Perhaps the majority means that we’re less likely to have political stagnation.
Maybe I really am looking on the bright side. Maybe I just felt that no matter who won, none of the main parties offer me anything that I want and can trust.
I did vote. It’s important to get your voice heard even if there’s an almost non existent chance of making a change.
Sometimes I wish that I could go into politics and actually make a difference. In reality, I know that I would have to sell out most of my beliefs and it would suck my soul out. Maybe I’ll just stick to painting.
I felt I should write this post, partly because it’s an important topic and partly because I have a lot of foreign friends who have shown some interest. In this regard, the post is highly, highly simplified. How does one condense centuries of history, connotations and policies into one blog post?
This post is not for facebook because, as you probably know, I attempt to avoid the whole political/moral debating (aka flame wars) that tend to occur. This is one of those topics sure to incite strong opinions and, quite frankly, rightly so… after all, it is about our (for the British people) country’s future!
And now for something a little bit lighter. Got to have the odd comedian standing against the head of UKIP 😉