miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
So, I went to the Euro election count last night. So did a lot of other local political types. Our MP, Craig Whittaker, was there, along with our new councillor for Brighouse. Labour's PPC JoshFG - in fact loads of Labourites. Some Greens. Myself, and a small hardy band of masochistic Lib Dems.

You know who wasn't there?

Not a single Kipper. Not one. You know why? Because they treated the election count the same way they will treat the positions they have been elected to - with an utter breathtaking arrogance. One of the ones who has been elected to replace the lovely, hard-working, intelligent Edward McMillan-Scott has already declared that he's not going to go to any debates*:I have woken up in a dystopian nightmare where people who think that all politicians are corrupt, lazy, lying bastards have voted for the most corrupt, lazy, lying bastards of them all because at least they are honest about being corrupt, lazy, lying bastards. Oh yeah, and immigrants. Evil evil immigrants, coming over here, taking our [insert precious thing here]. As the joke** goes:
A car mechanic, an Immigrant and a banker are in a room with ten biscuits. The banker eats nine biscuits, and UKIP says to the car mechanic: watch out for that immigrant, she's after your biscuit
People from several different parties have asked me to defect to them in the last couple of days. I can understand why they have done so. Things were not great at the ballot box for the Lib Dems, and several other parties see me as a way to massively increase their diversity quotient in one go. It's not going to happen, though. I am not going to join Labour or the Tories and the inevitable Dutch auction of barely-veiled racism that started before the Euro count had even begun. When my child(ren) ask What did you do, mummy, when the fascists were rising and people were falling for their bullshit? I want to be able to hold my head up and say I fought them, and their poisonous ideology, and their vile insidious racism, and I couldn't do that if I joined Labour or the Tories with their appeasement policies***.

I'm not going to go Green because, while they are bang on with a lot of the social issues I care about, their grasp of fiscal matters is even shakier than mine, and I want to be in a party that has at least SOME people who understand economics in it. And I'm not going to go Pirate because, lovely as they are, they've got even less chance of getting anywhere than we have at this point.

So no, Liberal I am and Liberal I remain. As the lovely Jonathan Calder reminds us, from the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success - as long, of course, as there are still gardeners.

So who's going to pick up a trowel and join me?

* although the point was well-made by WhoCat on twitter that with UKIP's views, we're probably better off if they DON'T turn up to any debates
** not a very funny joke, I admit.
*** apart, of course, from all the OTHER reasons for a dyed-in-the-wool Millian Liberal feminist not to join either of those two equally repulsive parties - but this post is not about THOSE reasons.

making voting a legal obligation

Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014 12:00 pm (UTC)
bagpuss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bagpuss
If my understanding about your political opinions are correct I think I already know the answer to this question will be.

Given the low turn out of this election and the consequence of low turn out generally has for extreme parties like UKIP would you support legally obliging people to attend the polling stations and at least mark their ballot papers in the same way it works in Australia?

Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014 12:32 pm (UTC)
bagpuss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bagpuss
Certainly it doesn't make people engage in the process but I guess I possibly naively hope that it would at least make people pick the least bad option which would reduce the impact of the extreme views

You are right about needing reopen nomination and STV under any such system, I guess if our system had such options maybe more people would vote anyway

I guess under any government more electoral reform is some distance away.

Re: making voting a legal obligation

Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014 12:30 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
I've seen tons of people suggesting this as a solution. It doesn't solve any problem I know of.
There are three reasons people don't vote -- either they have a moral, religious, or political objection to taking part in the democratic process, or they don't know enough to have an informed opinion, of they don't care.

Making people who have a sincere objection to voting take part is, frankly, obscene. And I don't think that the votes of the ignorant or apathetic will actually get us *better* results.

The way to get more people to vote is to shrink the numbers of the ignorant and apathetic, by getting information out and by making their votes actually matter by having a decent voting system and an actual choice between parties with different values.

Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014 12:39 pm (UTC)
bagpuss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bagpuss
I must take the blame for this as I made no effort to engage with the process for this particular election but no party seemed to try and engage me.

We got almost no leaflets through the door and those which did appear didn't contain must useful info. I didn't know who the candidates were let alone what they stood for.

Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014 12:45 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Sadly in the Euro elections you can't vote for a candidate anyway, only for a party. Bloody stupid system.

Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014 12:52 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
I'd posit that you live in an area where one of the parties is considered "safe". We have limited resources for campaigning, ergo we campaign where we think we've got supporters enough to actually win. An area that's very safe for a different party is a lot of work for little to no benefit. An area that's contested by multiple parties including us is the same amount of work but gives a greater benefit.

If the parties in your area have enough activists to work, say, half the area properly, they're going to concentrate on the contested areas not the safe areas, hence most people never see a politician on their doorstep (because there aren't enough volunteers to cover the contested areas properly), thus increasing the problem. Euro elections make things worse, you don't vote for a candidate and the regions are huge.

Re: making voting a legal obligation

Date: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 05:26 pm (UTC)
rhythmaning: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
Educate! Agitate! Organise!


Re: making voting a legal obligation

Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014 12:55 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Apart from the reasons Andrew states, there's another reason to be opposed:

Britain has the problem to a small extent already, the top listed parties do slightly better, make it compulsory and you'd see politicians changing their names to Aaron Aardvark, etc.

Re: making voting a legal obligation

Date: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC)
rhythmaning: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
I'd vote for Aaron Aardvark! ;)

Re: making voting a legal obligation

Date: Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 09:35 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Aaron's probably from one of those "aardvarking families" that keep getting praised by the PM and promised tax cuts.

Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] magister
There was an idea my father mentioned to me that each person has one vote and can use it to either vote for or vote against a specific candidate.

Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Seems like a recipe for utter disaster to me, and it'd actually be more difficult to count than a proper preferential system, I think.

Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 07:53 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
Terrible idea.

Someone no-one has heard of wins with zero votes and we have no idea what we got.

Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 11:41 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Count me in. Douglas.

Date: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 05:22 pm (UTC)
rhythmaning: (Armed Forces)
From: [personal profile] rhythmaning
I'm staying!

And I think calls to change a leader at this point seem bizarrely stupid.

The Euro results have made Scottish independence (a little bit) more likely, I think. (As have "Better Together" duplicity.)

In the event of indy, you could join the migration of a variety of left-of-centre people to the north... ;)
Edited Date: Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 05:23 pm (UTC)

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