So, who’s getting my vote?

I sometimes wonder how the people at The Observer ever get their paper out on time. They seem to have too many diversions, which they’ve taken to sharing with the rest of us on their Observer Blog. In keeping with the election theme, they’ve posted about several guides that will help the undecided pick a party for the 5th of May: Introducing the vote-o-matic. Obedient little reader of the Guardian stable that I am, off I went to find out where my political heart truly lies. Results as copied from the whoshouldyouvotefor.com site (click the heading if you want to try it for yourself).

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:

Labour

Your actual outcome:

  Labour 16
Conservative -57  
  Liberal Democrat 74
UK Independence Party -19  
  Green 40

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Eh? Lib Dem? Are you sure, matey? I dunno… Their candidate has yet to drop off any electioneering bumpf through my letterbox. Then again, that’s a good thing. Or maybe no-one is posting leaflets in our neighbourhood since our ward was rudely shunted north when some paper-pusher decided to scrap “Edinburgh Central”. It may take the Tories a few weeks to get round to us; we’re not even on the Tory target seat list. More importantly, I did the Observer Blog’s voting quiz, with the following results:

Observer blog vote-o-matic

You scored 78
Vote Liberal Democrat. Again. This time it really might work!

What is it with these Lib Dem results?!? I acknowledge that their policies are far more appealing to me than any of the other parties. In fact, if choosing your government was like Pick ‘n’ Mix, I’d probably still go for a majority of Lib Dem policies, with the odd ‘Cola Bottle’ sweet of Labour, and one or two choice liquorice sticks of the Greens. We left-of-centre voters are a really choosy bunch. I don’t just want policies that appeal to me, I need to be convinced that the party that is voted in can deliver. Really. Deliver. The “It can only get better” mentality just doesn’t cut with me anymore. I’m no longer some ideological student who feels the need to make a protest vote. I am, of course, still mad that those who opposed the invasion of Iraq were bulldozed by our elected government. I am still pretty p!ssed off that Labour has failed to deliver on many of its promises, and has slowly crept to the right of centre (or has the centre post moved?). But I am also very aware that it’s all too easy to criticise. A policy is, after all, merely a plan or course of action. It does not guarantee the results. Wishful thinking is all very well, but what is required are geniuses behind the scenes to do the sums and pull the right strings. As ever, my faithful guide to politics, “Yes Minister” reminds us that:

A career in politics is no preparation for government.
–Yes Minister, Official Visit

The media (pronounced me-jeerh in an affected way) are touting the 2005 Westminster election as the most apathetic ever. As an article on BBC News puts it: If “none of the above” was a political party, it might reasonably expect to be sweeping into power any time soon. Tongue-in-cheek it may be, but I find myself rather drawn to one or two of the options, like the Swiss Canton system, or a more involved electorate that is made to debate for a day before being allowed to vote. As for the “Benign Dictatorship” option, you may well laugh at it, but I lived in one for almost two-thirds of my life.

Who am I going to vote for?
One Vote: For sale to the highest bidder.

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