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Pre-election blues: why should I bother?

Alan Reid

I strongly believe in the importance of voting – I truly do. It is a privilege and a duty, and I intend to always vote in General Elections for as long as I have the opportunity. So why, oh why, do the powers-that-be in Westminster make it so hard for me to do so?

I consider myself moderate and liberal, and a pragmatist rather than an ideologue – and so everywhere I turn on the political spectrum I am disappointed by the choice currently on offer. To be honest, I am somewhat depressed by the miserable state of British politics as it faces us today.

We have a Labour party that espouses a tired, outdated politics, one which, though seemingly well-intentioned, is motivated more by ideology than common (and financial) sense; furthermore, the party is led by a leader who is weak and unconvincing. We have a somewhat-arrogant Conservative party, who put forth a confused mix of policies while blaring out robotic soundbites ad nauseam, led by a PM who is controlling and secretive. The Liberal Democrats have a set of policies that are fairly sensible, but they are let down by their insistence to be as Europhile as possible and a leader who is a flaccid non-entity, completely lacking in credibility or gumption. The Greens still appear amateurish and can barely be called an environmental party any more. I won’t even bother with UKIP, who as far as I am concerned have lost their reason for existence.

So, it seems I have an awful array of choices to make. The parties and their policies all seem either incompetent, secretive, half-baked, or just plain stupid. I honestly don’t know who I’m going to vote for – there isn’t even any point voting tactically because both of my potential constituencies are solid safe seats for the incumbents. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m probably just going spoil my ballot on the 8th of June. Sod ‘em. I don’t like any of them, so why the hell should they get my grudging stamp of approval?

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