So far I have managed to keep politics out of the blog. By politics I mean the current General Election. I was bored with it the day before it started, and I expect most everyone else is as well. But, it is rather a big deal, and I commented once or twice on the American election, so it would be churlish of me not to at least mention the state of politics in my own country. If it makes you feel any better, I plan that this will be the only election-related post until next week when we get the results. Things might change. There may be an alien invasion or something else, like some other country he feels the need to invade with Bush, that gives Blair an excuse to stop the election. But, failing alien invasion, no more politics after this till Thursay/Friday.
I voted on Friday: well, I put my little cross on two pieces of paper by the correct names (one for local, one for parliamentary), sealed them in their respective envelopes, and put the envelopes in the post box. Now all we need is for the Royal Mail to loose them or something. But I’ve done my bit. I wish that I was happy, but I know we’re going to be stuck with Blair for another 4/5 years. Thing is, and this has been the subject of much debate in the kitchen, the alternatives are just so… pants! The thought of Michael Howard running the country sends chills of fear down my spine, and makes me think I might move abroad sooner than planned. I can’t see Charles Kennedy running the country either. The fact that the Lib-Dem’s stand a Popsicle in Hell’s chance of actually getting a majority not withstanding, he just doesn’t fit the idea of what a Prime Minister should be. Not that John Major was exactly obvious either, but try as I might, I just cannot see a Liberal Democrat parliament running the country. (For you Americans’ reading this, there isn’t really a parallel between our Lib-Dem’s, and your Liberal Democrats, other than that both are in a minority, and (occasionally) speak some sense).
I can’t remember if I voted in the last general election, but that might have been because I was just too young. Nor I am what you would call a political person: I have my own views on what is right and wrong, what I think should happen (totally free health care and good education for anyone who wants it, at least up to and including post-grad, for starters) but no idea how to make those things happen, and not much belief that there is much to choose between the current big 3 (Labour, Conservative, Lib-Dem) when it comes to their ideas on how to get things done. I am, you might say, one of those much talked about, young persons with an antipathy towards modern politics. I also believe though that there is no point moaning about something if you don’t get off your arse and frelling do something about it. Hence, actually voting.
The local’s were a no-brainer really: our council is a Lib-Dem/Conservative split, with (I think), about one Labour and one UKIP person skullking in the background hoping no one will notice and lynch them. As far as that one was concerned, I voted for the dude who I knew would represent my local interests best.
But that left the parliamentary election. Again, my constituency, is a Conservative/Lib-Dem split. The majority was slightly in favour of the Conservative’s last time around, (we’ve had the same MP for as long as I’ve had a passing understanding of what an MP is). It’s harder to predict this time around what will happen, mainly because I am not in my home constituency at the moment, so am missing out on all the canvassing etc, (thank god!), but indications apparently are that it is going to be an even closer race. Apparently we are Lib-Dem target number 10. There is one road that joins Wells and Glastonbury with any directness, and is rather busy as a result. Mum drives it a good ten or twelve times a week, there and back, and she reported to me the other day that one side of the road is solid Lib-Dem posters, the other, solid Conservative. You have to drive to the very outskirts of the constituency, down deserted tracks, before you glimpse even one rather lonely (and most likely, defaced) Labour placard. There are a couple of worrying outbreaks of UKIP signs, but they’re most likely the product of one or two over enthusiastic die-hards. Hopefully.
So, who will the lucky winner be?
- Conservative candidate: our current MP; does a good job; actually lives in the constituency.
- Lib-Dem candidate: unfortunate name; now lives in (more or less) the area; already stood in two separate elections elsewhere in the country which, presumably, she lost; god awful website; frankly not doing a good job in persuading me to vote for her.
- Labour candidate: far too young and good looking to be a politician (see?); local; but really, no. I can hear the meeting now: ok, so we have this seat down in Somerset, we don’t stand a chance, but, oh look! We have this local chappy, he needs some experience, loosing is character building… I have no ideas of his views, his policies, anything. Definitely not. Cute though.
Which leaves a girl in somewhat of a bind: vote for the guy who’s done a good job before, but who (if he wins) would serve to increase the chance of a Conservative win; or for the woman who (on the face of it) shares beliefs closest to my own, but (if she wins) would she do a good job? Then there is the whole tactical voting thing of “a vote for the Liberal Democrats will mean the Conservatives get in by the back door…” A nasty phrase, scare mongering to boot, but with a ring of truth. In the end though, tactical voting is just more than my brain can handle. When all of the outcomes give you chills ranging from faint to full on hypothermia, the best you can do is vote with your conscience. We don’t actually live in a true democracy, but until someone comes up with a better model, voting for the individual who you think can best represent your interests will have to do.
The tiny part of me that revels in the bizarre, does make me wonder what would happen on the international scene if the Conservatives won the election, making Michael Howard the Prime Minister. For starters, the much-vaunted relationship between the US and the UK would undergo some strain, seeing as how Howard is already banned from the White House… On the whole though, I would rather that I never found out.