No need to be confused any longer! Now you will understand exactly how you should vote. 😉 Post may contain satire and bias. I also talk about trends and likely results.
It’s UK election week on the blog – check out my previous post on The election 2015 communication circus. (And the previous two are relevant as well, on social change and personal development and worldviews and persuasion.)
The quick guide to voting in England
Vote UKIP if you are threatened by our fluid, interconnected world due to a deep psychological aversion to change.
Vote Conservative if you are threatened by our fluid, interconnected world due to fear of losing wealth and status.
Vote Labour if you are uncomfortable with our fluid, interconnected world and have a nub of social conscience.
Vote Liberal Democrat if you are uncomfortable with our fluid, interconnected world and don’t want to be those guys.
Vote Green if you see opportunities in our fluid, interconnected world and want society to reflect authentic human values.
Slightly flippant, perhaps, but not far wrong.
Voters elsewhere also have access to the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, and there may be other smaller parties in your area, like National Health Action. Check those out too.
The longer guide
The outgoing government has used the after-effects of the financial crisis as a smokescreen for a concerted programme of channelling wealth and power from the public to a small group of wealthy and influential people. I’ve labelled this neofeudalism, and there’s a section in Crowd/Control on it. I think it is driven by fear of losing those things as the world changes and the social order shifts.
I can’t even imagine what another five years of the Conservatives in power would do to British society. They’ve already been doing outrageous stuff. (And why not? The term was poisoned by the financial crash anyway, and they won’t get many more chances to grab on to the things they value.)
Another term would certainly involve massive shifts from the rights of the individual to the rights of money – and great suffering through ham-fisted, insane attempts to enforce the past and ignore the present.
So, getting the Conservatives out is the first priority. Just as a national act of self-preservation.
If you have a chance of getting a progressive party in where you live, that’s a priority too. My preference is for the Greens, as the most values-based, forward-looking perspective, but SNP and Plaid Cymru have been making encouraging noises about the three working together in Parliament. And it appears that they can work together with Labour to lock the Conservatives out – if Labour gets its head out of its behind and plays ball.
That can lead to difficult choices. It does where I live. Vote tactically, or as a genuine expression of preferences? I’m leaning towards telling the system what I actually want rather than being coy about it.
And remember, this is not just about ‘winning’. Getting seats is important, because it sets the ingredients in the parliamentary cake. If there are more voices representing the upward path, the debate may shift in that direction. If a ruling party depends on its allies, those allies can act as tug boats on policy direction.
There’s a longer game too, in numbers of votes. If smaller parties like the Greens get plenty of votes, they may establish themselves as second- or third-place contenders in some constituencies, and chip away at the resistance to recognising their views as credible. That puts them in a better position for future elections.
Also, if getting a significant share of votes doesn’t result in seats, it strengthens the case for proportional representation and wider constitutional reform. (Though that could give seats to less savoury parties too.)
There’s a pretty widespread view that our current political systems aren’t serving us well and need an overhaul. The difficulty is in getting the red and blue turkeys to vote for Christmas. But one of the major prizes of this election could be greater democracy and a more diverse parliament with greater accountability to the people.
This election will be lost, not won.
Votes are leaking away from the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats. The question is how much, and where they’re going. Some are being transferred between those parties, and some are spreading outward to the smaller parties.
Some trends are pretty clear, and have been for a while. But we can also expect some surprises when the results emerge.
The media are obsessed with polls. But the polls have been saying for weeks that Conservative and Labour will be basically tied, with neither able to govern on their own and limited possibilities for working alliances.
Turnout could make a big difference. People could be turned off by the messages put out by the trad parties, get fatalistic about more of the same, and not bother turning up. That could give the upcoming parties with more enthusiastic supporters a boost. Engagement may vary by age group, with older people feeling a sense of duty and young people keen for change.
One of the key trends will be the collapse in the Lib Dem vote. They got an easy media target pinned to their collective chest about betraying their promises last time round, and have never countered it, so they have lost trust. Their voters perceived themselves as in the middle, so can jump in any direction (though probably not UKIP). Many of the Green Party’s new members are disillusioned Lib Dems.
Another trend is the growth in the Scottish National Party, on the momentum of Westminster’s awful handling of the independence referendum just a few months ago. The SNP looks set to take most of Scotland’s seats and become the third largest party in the House of Commons. (I can see that chain of events going into the history books; and possibly leading to a new interest in proportional representation from Lab and Con to get them out again.)
Gains for the smaller parties – UKIP and the Greens will get an increase in vote share, but will it translate to seats? Current polls say not. I’m hoping for some surprise wins for the Greens, and UKIP falling on its behind.
SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens have said they won’t support the Conservatives, and they won’t enter a coalition but might support Labour on a vote-by-vote basis. From what I’ve read, that’s a workable outcome – perhaps the only workable outcome, unless there’s a big swing to red or blue. It might not give the best stability, but greater diversity of powerful voices seems desirable to me. If Labour can get past its own mindset to make it work.
Whatever the case, it seems certain that the next parliament will be less about the Red Team and Blue Team throwing buns at each other, and will be more diverse and – we can only hope – sensible and productive.
Do take the time to vote and give your little nudge to the kind of voice you want to hear.