Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Decision Time: How I would vote

There's a slight tendency of bloggers to emulate our loved-hated siblings in the Real Media and endorse candidates or parties, hoping their influence will make a difference. It's all a bit grand and arrogant, but it can be interesting to read people explaining how they'd translate their opinions into the undoubtedly difficult task of casting a vote in a three-plus-party system. Regular readers won't be surprised to discover I appraoch this task as a keen LibDem, albeit with some reservations, who opposed the Iraq War, ID cards and has become personally obssessed with the Tory party's disgraceful campaigning on immigration and asylum. (Not that you'd know they were two different issues, from the dialogue in thsi election).

My ideal result of this election is (in this order):

1. The humiliation of the Tory party's anti-immigration campaign, leading to fear-mongering on this issue discredited as an electioneering tactic for the rest of British history.

2. Gains for the Liberal Democrats, with a distinctive voice on Iraq, tuition fees and the need for social justice through fairer ways of taxation.

In Labour-Tory marginals such as Finchley, beating the Tories is imperative. Anti-Tory tactical votes from LibDem voters must be cast to stop Michael Howard and utterly undermine the legitimacy and efficacy of his campaign.

In seats where the incumbent party seems secure, I'd vote Liberal Democrat to register a vote for those issues where both Tony Blair and Michael Howard are miles from a position I'd wish to support. Percentage of the vote matters, even in a first-past-the-post system.

In LibDem-other marginals, support for the LibDems to bolster a strong force in the Commons. You don't have to be in government to wield power and LibDem votes will be able to block controversial legislation where Tony Blair has previously steamrollered over the opinions of many of his own MPs. Britain's face will be changed depending on the composition of the House of Commons, and every LibDem MP has a significant effect on the composition.