Tuesday, 5 May 2015
GE2015 - Lesser Evilism or Voting For What You Believe In
What a dismal general election campaign 2015 has been. The mainstream politicians and media pompously announce that this year’s election is the ‘most important ever’, whilst treating the voters with utter contempt. Policies? We have barely heard any of them, beyond some vague spending or cutting spending ‘pledges’. Instead, we have been fed a diet of irrelevant, negative rhetoric about who will wreck the country if the other side wins.
This unedifying spectacle began with the Prime Minister, David Cameron, doing his level best to avoid a televised debate, effectively throwing spanners into the works at every opportunity and eventually conceding only one, and that even before any party manifestos were released.
And so it has carried on, with the important issues dodged and the national debate reduced to scare stories mainly about the Scottish National Party (SNP). UKIP voters have been told they risk letting Labour in (with the SNP) and Green and SNP voters that they will let the Tories in (maybe with the Democratic Unionist Party, (DUP), and UKIP).
Party leaders have been studiously kept away from the voters, other than invited party loyalists, amounting to the most risk averse and stage managed election I can remember. Voters are there only to be intimidated into voting for the least worse option.
The Tories and their many friends in the media, sensing that an outright win is beyond them, have started a campaign of sucking up to the Lib Dems and howling that a Labour/SNP government would be ‘illegitimate’. Although, there are significant factions in both parties, who are against another Con/Lib coalition.
If the Tory/Lib Dem coalition does fail to get a governing majority in Parliament as is expected, they will clearly try to pressure Labour against an arrangement with the SNP. There would be nothing, in our albeit imprecise constitution, illegitimate about whatever collection of MPs forming a government, if they can agree a package of policies and win a majority for a Queen’s Speech. End of story, or so it should be, but the Tories are terribly bad losers.
The real issue of legitimacy in this election is that the mainstream parties all offer broadly the same policies and in an electoral system where it is near impossible for any real alternative to break through. Except in Scotland, where the Scots have clearly had enough of 35 years of neo-liberalism and are making a bold attempt to change the agenda.
Over one million people in the UK use charitable food banks in a country that is the sixth wealthiest in the world. Engineering a housing bubble in the south east of England is the only strategy for growing the economy, even though this caused all of the trouble we have still not recovered from in 2008. And we are offered more austerity economics in the years ahead, when the rest of world has abandoned the idea in favour of fiscal stimulus.
Some very big new thinking needs to be done to put our economy on a sustainable footing, to deliver fairness and equality, and real democratic renewal to a corrupt and discredited system, in which MP’s line their pockets by maintaining the status quo. If ever there was a chance to really break the mould of British politics, then this is it. It will not come though, by voting Tory, Labour or Lib Dem.
If you really want political and economic change, in England at least, then you need to place an X by the name of the Green Party candidate in your constituency. We will only win a handful of seats at Westminster this time, Brighton Pavilion, Bristol West and Norwich South are our best chances. But, if you really want our policies, and surveys show you do, then vote for them. You'll never get them otherwise. A big shift towards us will cause the other parties to adopt more of our policies, and we can position ourselves more credibly for the next election, which may not be far away.
If people keep voting for the lesser evil party of the establishment, then you surely will always get evil in the end. Make a stand, Vote Green in the general election this year. For The Common Good.