I don’t usually bother with writing about politics as my views tend to lean towards the wooly liberal side of things so everything I would say will have been said hundreds of times before by people much more intelligent and articulate than me. For the 7 years I have been able to vote I have also been seen to be throw away my vote on a party with no hope of really gaining any meaningful power in parliament.
Over the past couple of weeks things seem to have changed somewhat. Instead of backing the lame horse destined to receive a shotgun blast to the face I am backing a party with a real chance of actually gaining some pretty decent seats. I still think it’s doubtful that old Nick Clegg will become Prime Minister after the election (I’m sure most people that say they are voting Lib Dem will chicken out on the day) but there is a chance, no matter how small, and it’s a novel feeling for me.
So why am I voting for the Lib Dems on May 6th?
Before I go into specific policies I think it’s fair to say that the left wing, liberal voters really have no other choice. You could vote Green but that really is a wasted vote. I don’t really have to explain why I would never vote Conservative. Even if you ignore their awful, sub-human leader their policies on the military, immigration, taxation and almost everything else fly in the face of my own beliefs. Sadly this is also the case with Labour on the majority of subjects. Since 11/9 (the correct date format for 9/11) we have seen Labour erode our own personal rights and freedoms, take us in to two wars and become the pawn of large corporations lobbying for their own self interests. This is not a government I can support even if it is to block the Tories. This just leaves us with the Lib Dems.
I wont go into too much depth here as I don’t really want another 1000 word post and after too long I’ll only end up highlighting my own ignorance on many subjects.
Firstly I am ecstatic to hear a party talk seriously about nuclear disarmament. In this world of suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices I don’t see nukes as a viable deterrent. Why is someone going to be worried about retaliation when they don’t care about their own life. But ‘we aren’t talking about that kind of threat’ I here you say. Well I believe the threat of nuclear attack from Iran or North Korea is hugely exaggerated and anyway, North Korea has bigger (and closer) enemies than us. Even if these countries did want to nuke us they don’t have the modern missile technology we and the US possess. These nukes are large things. Too big to fit on a relatively primitive missile so the chance of it not being shot down on the fairly long journey to us is remote. So… I don’t really think Trident is a valuable investment for our country. Especially when other areas need those billions much more urgently.
I am also very supportive of the Lib Dems plan to raise the tax allowance. This will of course benefit me but that isn’t the main reason I like this idea. A lot of people earn less than you think. In my time working as a television, post production runner I was earning minimum wage. I was also living in London having to pay tube travel and extortionate food and booze prices. It isn’t just the TV industry that has entry level staff in this situation. Most creative industries rely on paying their runners/assistants pitiful wages. Usually these are really intelligent and educated people having to scrape by. I know a lot of other people that work really hard for little money so this would be a great help for almost everyone I know as well as some of the country’s most needy people.
Finally the Lib Dems are the only party that at least partially opposed the Digital Economy Bill. Nick Clegg has promised to repeal the bill is they gain power. I’m not sure how much of a publicity stunt this is but if they go through with it it can only be a good thing. This isn’t because I want to illegally download hundreds of MP3s. I don’t. In fact I only thing I torrent these days is television and that’s only when I can’t get a hold of it through legitimate means such as iPlayer or 4od – Dexter tends to be shown almost a year later on British TV. I’m more opposed to the infamous ‘three strikes’ clause and the part which means we could see Youtube, and in fact almost every web 2.0 site, blocked due to hosting or having the intention to host copy righted material.
So these are just a few reasons why I’ll be voting for the Liberal Democrats on May 6th. I really hope everyone reading this will also be voting and thinking seriously about who to vote for.