May 01, 2005

The Fang Approved Election Strategy

Writing about make my vote count x from rOcK tHe CaSbAh!

Because I'm great.

(Oh yeah, this is kinda aimed at liberals, mostly. If you're pro-conservative, well, feel free to follow my advice.)

1. If you are living in a marginal seat area, vote Labour if you can stomach it. Or whoever the biggest non-conservative party is. (See? Told you I was biased.) If neccessary, you can get a clothes peg from the Guardian to put over your nose, to help get over the general stinkiness of it all.

2. If you can use a vote-swapping service, then all the better. There is absolutely no need to feel guilty about it. Tactical voting in this way is very much a part of democracy. Moving votes to get greater effects is simply compensating for the crumminess of the first past the post system.

3. Not voting is bad. Seriously. There is zero precedent for voter apathy being an effective means of protest. It will certainly not register at all with an international audience. If you can not stomach voting for a main party, vote for a minor party. The greens. Respect. Socialist Worker. Whatever. They may not win, but when the results are analysed, the message will be sent out, loud and clear.

4. Register on Make My Vote Count for a fairer system.


- 16 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. You really hate capitalism don't you?

    01 May 2005, 09:42

  2. Why do you say that?

    01 May 2005, 12:01

  3. "1. If you are living in a marginal seat area, vote Labour if you can stomach it. Or whoever the biggest non-conservative party is."

    Suggests an anti-capitalist stance…

    01 May 2005, 12:53

  4. Suggests an anti-Conservative stance, surely. The Tories don't exactly have a monopoly on capitalism, if you'll excuse the pun.

    I don't have any generic problem with capitalism, providing that it doesn't stick itself where it doesn't belong, and that it is reasonably sane and competitive. I take economics modules, for god's sake!

    01 May 2005, 16:08

  5. Peter J Thomas

    No you are right about them not having a monopoly butt they nevertheless represent the free market liberalism that will keep our country competitive on the world stage.
    I agree with your point on voter apathy.

    01 May 2005, 18:49

  6. No you're quite correct, the Conservatives don't have a monopoly on capitalism and centre-right politics. The Liberal Democrats (the party I've gleaned that you support) and Labour (the party that you seem to want to come out on top in this election) are not capitalist parties however. I did search your blog and comments just now, but I haven't really found the evidence I thought was there to support my thoughts on why I thought you were anti-capitalist. Maybe I got them from comments on other blogs or confused some comments I read with those of someone else. Anyway, just to clear up once and for all, why are you so anti-conservative?

    01 May 2005, 20:06

  7. 1. The immigration issue.
    2. The anti-europe issue.
    3. The pro-war issue.
    4. The economics issue.
    5. The international affairs issue. Pulling out of the Geneva convention. Jesus Freaking Christ.
    6. Cheap tricks galore.
    7. The general sense of focusing on short term public perception issues, instead of any long term progress.

    02 May 2005, 03:10

  8. Carter

    7 extremely valid reasons…

    02 May 2005, 15:29

  9. Well I get the impression that you're centre-left (liberal) and so I know that arguing my case for why the Conservatives are right on immigration, anti-europe and economics is a lost cause. As to the rest:

    3. Labour (or rather, Tony Blair) ISN'T pro-war? Look at the number of times he's taken this country into battle since he's been elected.
    5. The Geneva convention was written in 1959. You don't concede at all that there could be elements of this which are just too out of date to be feasable to stay in nearly 50 years on? Much fuss is made of how nobody else has done so, in truth, nobody else has done so yet. Someone's got to be first.
    6. See point 3 – I don't see the Conservatives as any worse than Labour in this respect. In fact, I see Labour as a whole lot worse, but that I concece is at least partly due to my political bias.
    7. See point 6! All parties are guilty of this to some extent, because long-term solutions rarely win votes over fancy short-term fixes which don't really work. It's a sad fact of getting elected.

    So, in short, while you have given 7 reasons to dislike the Conservative party, I don't see 7 reasons to vote for Labour. Although obviously if you disagree with the Conservative line on the three I didn't talk about then Labour still make a better bet.

    02 May 2005, 16:47

  10. 3. At least there is some doubt, and as was said, this election is not all about Tony Blair. The Labour party has been far more critical about the war than the conservatives ever have.

    5. And that precisely why we should not be first. The strength of such conventions lie in unity – yes, they are uncomfortable for everyone, but everyone shares their weight equally. With such a convention, there can be no accusation that they are dictated terms, and everyone understands and at least agrees with the principles behind it. Howard has himself admitted that it would be impossible to replace the Geneva convention, if it falls apart. And if we leave, why should other countries feel that the convention is binding? I am frankly horrified that the tories are considering initiating a major breakup of the diplomatic world for a local concern.

    02 May 2005, 18:59

  11. 6. Labour does not moan about political correctness and other unquantifiables. Labour does not talk about surveys of perception in lieu of actual statistics and independent interpretations. The NHS did not complain about Labour distorting figures over hospital hygene.

    02 May 2005, 19:03

  12. 3. Fair point, depends on if you're a pacifist or not as to how you view it. Personally, I take the view that at least the Conservative government is open and honest on it's position regarding the wars that this country has fought in; as opposed to Labour who should in principle be against such events but in practice have acted very much for.

    5. You didn't answer my question – do you not concede that the Geneva convention is out of date, considering it was written over 45 years ago! The principle of the convention is not in question, however the legalistic side of the document is such that it no longer works for the modern world – we have changed, and our laws should change with us.

    6. Labour doesn't moan about political correctness – it enforces it. You can bring up plenty of numerical statistics to cite either side – the point is, how people feel about it. I don't think the perception surveys are that out of kilter with the sorts of opinion I encounter. The NHS did not complain about the Conservatives creating situations with warped priorities from protocol and targets, along with unneccessary bureaucracy and a top-heavy structure. And one does not hear the Conservatives being accused of fiddling/running the system to make waiting lists and statistics look good.

    03 May 2005, 01:31

  13. 5. The geneva convention is not our law. It's the law of the civilised world. It is imperfect, but it's going to be the only law that we can get the world to agree on. It is irreplaceable, and thus cannot be rejected.

    Ask yourself this question. Minus the geneva convention, what do we have left? We don't have anything left anything that is even remotely similar to it, that has any effectiveness at all. If someone is going to contribute to World War 3, I don't want to be the one who elected him in. By all means, seek to reform it. There are systems in place to allow that. But pull out? Madness.

    6. As I just said, that's an issue of public perception that has been encouraged by the Right-wing media. It's a problem which has been created by the right, who now portray themselves as saviours. In all cases where the targets have caused problems, the government has worked to reduce them, while I don't see any credible plan from the Tories on dealing with the irrational fears they have created.

    03 May 2005, 11:51

  14. 5. I personally agree with you in that it would be a far better idea to reform it. Ask yourself this though: is it ever likely to happen? Any more than the creation of a completely new international convention? For my part, I hope that the Conservative approach of withdrawing from the Geneva convention is a false pledge intended to awaken other countries bound by the convention into acting and reforming the convention. If we don't get our way, we could always pull out and then if it ever were to be reformed we could rejoin. But the fundamental point is, the Geneva convention is out of date and to keep it in its present form is restricting in ways which were never planned. I don't know the details of the legalities, but I can't imagine that the Conservative policy on immigration requires a complete overhaul of the convention, merely alterations to certain areas which talk about refugees. I think the notion that the UK withdrawing from the Geneva convention will cause world war 3 is a little bit of a fantasy – I was unaware of any major military action planned that contravenes the Geneva convention in addition to withdrawing from it

    6. If you think it's all perception, I suggest you talk to some of my family members who are doctors and nurses. I can assure you that from where they're looking, it is not a creation of the right-wing media at all. The government's own statistics show that doctors and nurses are leaving the profession in droves, one of the major contributors to staff shortages (and consequently we're having to bring in thousands of migrant workers instead unneccessarily. I would like to add at this point that I am not opposed to economic migrants in the slightest, but to bring in people from outside when we have the skills and the people to do the jobs ourselves does seem rather barmy to me). Whether you see the Conservative plans as credible or not is a matter of personal opinion and judgement.

    03 May 2005, 17:31

  15. So you are supporting the conservatives because you think they are lying.

    How curious…

    03 May 2005, 18:13

  16. Hehe I didn't say I think they are lying, I said I hoped they are lying (well I could say bluffing, which is also what I hope it is, but yes that would just be a way of saying lying politely). It is a bit curious I know, but there we go. The Conservative party aren't perfect, but on balance I consider them to be a better alternative to Labour, hence they are my party of choice. If I were to make my perfect political party, I'd blend mostly UKIP, Greens and Conservatives together and add in a couple of my own thoughts and ideas which none of the parties represent. But there we go, like that's ever going to happen!

    03 May 2005, 18:20


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