They're not voting because...
- I don't fit into any of the "party moulds"
My views on life and society don’t seem to fit into the “three party moulds”. Academically speaking, I’m probably centre-left – but even with the funny position “New Labour” has put itself doesn’t none of them really fit my views:
I agree with the Tories view on law and order – as a law abiding citizen I hold the view that prison sentences should be much, much tougher than they are. If you’re caught in possession of a gun, you should be locked away for 10 years minimum. If you murder someone, life should mean life – no exception. Stories of convicted paedophiles going away for just 2 or 3 years concern me, rape or paedophilia should see you locked away for the significant majority of your life. I have these views for one simple reason: I never in a million years would commit a serious crime. You don’t “accidentally” rape someone. There needs to be good deterrents to “help” those who are more partial to commit a crime to think twice.
Whilst I think there should be a federated Europe, I don’t think we shouldn’t be part of it ourselves (and of course, that’s where the single currency and European laws are taking us). The UK has a one of the strongest economies in Europe and our unique position means that the advantages to the other European countries don’t necessarily extend to us. The ability to setting our own interest rates is especially important.
But other than that, I don’t share any of the views or values of the right wing. I certainly don’t agree with the Tory views on asylum and immigration (We need more immigration, not less – as we raise the bar and “skill” our own workforce, there need to be people to do the basic jobs that those skilled workers no longer want to do. At the other end of the scale, we need to attract business and academic talent from abroad). I also disagree with the Conservatives’ view on the Iraq war.
I strongly disagree with Blair’s war on Iraq the way he has aligned himself with Bush. The Bush administration is heavily indoctrinated in the neo-conservative views of Leo Strauss (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Strauss) which by it’s own admittance sells the false-concept of the “the state” and “religion” and promotes the concept that America unites in the face of a common enemy. In the past it was Russia, and these days it’s Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc. It’s a dangerous philosophy which only 50% of the American population seem to realise. It’s both even more dangerous and just as stupid for us to get into bed with it when supposed positive effects on society don’t rub onto us. We get all the pain and no gain.
I do agree with Labour’s values for the NHS, for the minimum wage and the wellfare state in general. I live in Tower Hamlets, one of the poorest boroughs in the country and I see first hand the people who benefit from the welfare state. I’m happy to pay my council and income taxes knowing that it’s helping these people in addition to me.
I probably agree with Lib Deb policies more than any other. They were against the war in Iraq, and their views on most things across the board seem in keeping with mine. However, I have the following problems with the party:
Their views on tax, in particular increasing tax across the board to promote education. As someone who started their secondary education just over 10 years ago, I don’t feel education needs further investment. I also disagree with their significant tax hikes for higher earners. As a moderately “higher earner” myself, increasing upper rate tax above 40% removes the most of the incentive to push oneself further. Why take that extra stress and longer hours if you’re only going to get back less than 50% benefit?
The willingness to align themselves with Labour when they need to. I’m not a Labour supporter, so it annoys me when they align with Labour on parliamentary voting. I guess this is more because Labour has shifted towards their centre stance. But when two parties agree so much on certain key issues, the concept of “choice “ diluted.
Ultimately the Lib Dems are not fit to run the country. Charles Kennedy’s “health” (read: eagerness to discover the bottom of the bottle) is concerning, and many of their MP’s wouldn’t be up to executing the party views.
I have no interest in any of the other parties: UKIP and the BMP pander to the extremist and in no way represent my views whatsoever. I do believe, however, it is important to fight the racism of the BMP and I guess the most compelling reason for me to vote would be to keep out the BMP.
The Green Party (and similar single issue parties) seems to be a wasted vote as there is no place for “single issue” politics in government. I don’t think the Green Party have a real stance on economics, for example.written 16th Feb 2005
Matthew replies: Green Party's manifesto section on the economy: http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/mfss/economy.html
(and their site appears nicer than the main parties!).
Lib Dems do not propose raising upper rate tax to 40%; they propose a 50% rate for above £100,000, and will use (some of) that to scrap tuition and top-up fees (nothing to do with secondary schools?)
Lib Dems probably align themselves with Labour on some votes because a) Labour have huge majority anyway, and b) that way they might get Labour to concede on something in another area?written 1st Apr 2005