Why I Don't Want To Vote At The Next General Election
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I’m a swing voter, I firmly believe that far too many people have political allegiances based on factors other than their actual views. The whole idea of “voting for party X because I always have” is to me a key fault with today’s politics in Britain. Due to this I will go into every election year with an open mind, deciding which party I think will do the best job for that term. Not voting is an extremely depressing idea to me, but this is the situation I find myself in. While I can’t legally vote in the general election next year I am imagining the hypothetical situation whereby I can vote. For a guy that spends so much time talking politics, the decision to not vote is one I would not take lightly.
Why won’t I vote? I tend to use the process of elimination to make decisions that I’m unsure about. Starting with the opposition party, Labour, my main concern is with the leadership. Before you think Miliband, I have to make it clear that while I don’t trust, like or approve of Mr Miliband, it is not him that worries me the most in the Labour party. It’s the other Ed, Ed balls, who is the shadow chancellor that puts me off voting for Labour in 2015. Yes, Miliband has a lack of charisma, energy and likability but I don’t see him as the slimy snake that I see Ed Balls as. The vast majority of people (including many of those in his own party) know that Ed would Balls up the economy.
It was a shockingly poor decision to keep Balls as shadow chancellor instead of getting rid of the deadwood from the Gordon Brown years and moving onto fresh faces, some of which are very popular in the Labour party. So while the Ed’s help the Tories keep this election close, likeable and seemingly knowledgeable politicians such as Chuka Umunna and Andy Burnham stay in the shadows.
Moving to the Conservatives, I must admit I think that Osbourne has fairly sensibly dealt with the economy (for the most part). It’s ironic how they decide the best way to then move forward is to put the recovery at risk by leaving the EU. Furthermore, Cameron seems to me to be like a puppet on strings now, with his radical back benchers forcing him to join their Anti-EU rebellion. They’re like a mob with pitchforks, and Cameron knows if he doesn’t please them then he may face a similar leadership crisis Miliband has faced recently.
Also, I simply can’t give my vote to a party which decided to ignore concerns from students and go ahead with the sudden spike in tuition fees from £3,000 to £9,000 a year. As a student, how can they represent me if they do not treat myself as they do other areas of society? Oh, and don’t even get me started on the Bedroom Tax. Going back to their backbenchers, there are many in the Conservative party who I find reprehensible, including MP Nadine Dorries, Home secretary Theresa May and former minister of education Michael Gove. The Tories may be sensible, but their far-right backbenchers and the manner in which they treated students push me away from ticking their box.
Away from the two major parties, the Lib-Dems and UKIP have been having their own mini-battle in the lead up to this election. But while Farage has soared, Clegg has flopped. Clegg’s naivety has been on full show during the coalition government, in fact a quick glance at the coalition agreement shows clearly that this is not a man with the savviness and toughness to be a political leader. Clegg pushed for House of Lords and electoral reform, which although they are two important issues, are highly uninspiring topics for most. The majority of the public don’t see the importance of these issues when you put them up against the unpopular trio of the tuition fee rise, Bedroom Tax and NHS privatisation.
Farage on the other hand is not naive, he realised there was a need for a scape-goat in British politics post-recession. The EU, a highly flawed (but much needed) organisation which is made of rich bureaucrats was the perfect one and links perfectly into UKIP’s other major pet hate, immigration. But while UKIP continue to scare monger about immigration (and neglect having many other policies) the other parties have cowered, refusing to engage in the debate for fear of losing support from within. Well, that backfired. Their refusal to engage just caused more people to view them as weak and incompetent, adding to UKIP support.
I’ll state firmly now that I do not agree with the Xenophobia and the scare-mongering pushed by UKIP. I do not agree with the notion that immigration has caused the problems we have, blaming it on the other is a recurring theme we can see through the 20th century and it’s a wholly wrong one.
That’s my analysis of the current political situation, it may change drastically before I’m allowed to vote in the 2016 mayoral elections, and I really hope it does.
Lance has his own politics blog. For more from the world of politics, visit http://politicalstreet.wordpress.com/.