Tuesday, May 10, 2005

not just a protest vote when you agree

So, the election then. No real surprises I suppose, although I’m disappointed the Lib Dems didn’t win more seats, especially when you look at the percentage of votes that each party got compared to the number of seats they end up with.
From today’s Independent:

But what has been irritating me most is the tacit assumption of most articles I’ve read that all lib dem votes were protest votes. No, no, no. I voted for them last time, it wasn’t about just the war but a slew of other policies, and trust issues as well. Perhaps they’d suffer the same problems as labour if they were in power, perhaps it’s the fate of the ruling party to take a lot of flack for even their best policies simply because they’re in power. On this front I do sympathise, as I pointed out before it’s amazing how little I seem to read and know about policy areas where labour excel. But regardless of this ‘rail against the party in power’ ethos, and side-stepping the ideological re-moulding into one amorphous, focus-grouped lump that the three main parties are frequently engaged in, the point remains that many of the lib dem policies – and politicians – seem genuinely progressive. This is why I want to see them rise.

In my mind I see a war of demographics as the older, conservative generations make way for a more progressive youth. The conservative vote has been flat lining since 1997 on 30 odd percent, they didn’t get many more votes this time around but labour did get less. I certainly can’t imagine why anyone would want to vote for a party which ran with some borderline racist policies and hates Europe; in my mind reactionary and insular best characterise most of their policies. But we favour progress, Europe, being friends and holding hands and not going to war.

Then again I could be completely wrong, the demographics don’t seem to have played out that well so far despite the reputation of the 60’s and 70’s for peace movements and liberalism. Didn’t they vote Thatcher in? Perhaps we’ll always be doomed to war and strife and disagreement, the human condition writ large.

Either way we could at least give the lib dems a bit more of a chance, it can’t hurt any.


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