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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Think Global, Act Local.

The local elections are tomorrow. I was unenthusiastic, to say the least, about my voting options but as I got a postal ballot, I have already (after much deliberation) filled in my ballot paper and decided who, if anyone, gets my X.

But for the sake of interest, what would you have done?



Labour currently runs the Council in Sheffield. There are some good things being done - lots of regeneration and positive stuff around the city centre. There are also some very unsatisfactory aspects - doorstep recycling provision is appalling, council housing is being demolished at an alarming rate, and the buses are becoming a disaster.

I've had two leaflets and letters from the Liberal Democrats. They spent a lot of time telling me that a vote for anyone other than them is a vote for Labour and I really don't believe in tactical voting (with the occasional exception when the BNP is involved). They also gave over a lot of space to ranting about the evils of Park Hill, when they are being not only snobby, but also strictly speaking it has little to do with my ward which is quite a distance away from there.

The Conservatives are not an option I'd consider voting for under any circumstances, so I won't even merit them with any pros and cons.

And Green - often an attractive option for me - have been, well, underwhelming in their approach. I have not heard a single thing from them. I don't know what they are standing for in this election, I don't know anything about the local candidate, whether they have a chance of getting in, or what they want to do, even!

That is just looking at the very local issues. I am entirely unimpressed with any of the main parties nationally, and while I do want to bear the national parties' issues in mind (e.g. not voting Tory), I do also want to think about Sheffield, and my area within Sheffield.

I have filled in my ballot paper, as I said, but reluctantly. What would you have done? Vote in my poll, above.


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4 comments:

greywulf said...

Lib Dems, without a doubt.

Labour has become the new Conservative - corrupt, warlike and ignorant of the needs of the common people.

Conservative are still Conservative, despite their pretence of change.

Green are too ineffectual.

That leaves Lib Democrats. I'm going to give them a chance. Heck, they couldn't be any worse than the rest :)

slowdown said...

I voted Lib Dem twice before, but since the Charles Kennedy debacle I've completely lost faith in them - they're quickly marching over to the same stupid centre ground that Labour and the Conservatives are squatting on. What's become clear to me is that the three main parties are entirely focused on power before principle, so there's no real choice for the voter, and only the illusion of debate on many major issues.

I know that the typical wisdom is that you need to be in power to bring real change, but I find that sentiment increasingly dubious when getting into power seems to require giving up or watering down the principles supposedly driving that change. Better to try and bring your principles to bear by influencing the debate, and that's why I think it's worth supporting the independents and smaller parties. They might well be ineffectual in the sense of winning power, but it can (I hope) pull the bigger parties in the right direction.

So earlier this year I joined the Greens. And I should declare an interest here, in that I'm actually standing in the elections in the ward I live in (in East Manchester). Not expected to win, but at least having a Green on the ballot gives people the chance to send a message. Nice to see that we're winning in Hippie's poll though :D

slowdown said...

Just reread your post Hippie, and I can sympathise with the problem of not knowing what the Greens are doing in your area - as far as I know (being a recent and relatively uninformed member) there are two main reasons. 1) They're targeting specific wards that they think they can win and 2) they don't have much money or manpower. In my case, I've done zero campaigning because it's more about providing the Green option on the ballot (although I'd obviously have to serve if there was a freak vote and I won). I imagine it's a similar story in your ward, but I really don't know - you can see what the general Green Party policies are on their website. I'll refrain from posting the URL here as I think that would be tantamount to using your blog as a hustings ;-) But look how I've rambled on...bloody politicians - never know when to shut up.

Sam said...

The Lib Dems are as Green as the Green Party. They get my vote as they are much more interested in grass roots issues than the big two. As for tactical voting - I believe the Lib Dems have been cornered into this manner of "advertising" themselves due to the pressue of the big two.