Saturday, 16 May 2009

Please get out and vote

Neil Harding makes a very pertinent point in For Once, Maybe We Should Listen To Tebbit.

Remarkably, the loathsome Norman Tebbit has said something useful, which is to urge people to go and vote in the (proportional representation) European elections and to point out that they can vote against both Lab and Con without "splitting the vote" as is the risk with any first-past-the-post contest.

Obviously, what Tebbit is really saying to his Europhobic/xenophobic supporters is that they should vote UKIP, though as a Tory peer he can't actually spell that out. From their point of view, UKIP is essentially a ginger group aimed at pushing the Tories even further towards narrow nationalism and leaving the EU. They can all vote UKIP this time round, without endangering the prospect of a Tory government next year, which we are clearly going to get anyway.

But, as Neil Harding notes, the rest of us can draw similar conclusions in other directions - in particular, people can vote Green in this election without "wasting their vote". That is what I plan to do.

Neil also reminds us that not bothering to vote in this election is tantamount to voting for the BNP. So please, everybody, get out and vote for somebody, even if it is UKIP. It is your moral duty!


Jamie said...

I've spent the last month patiently explaining to people who don't plan to vote in the EP elections that PR is a *really* good thing: your vote is never wasted. I've also, as a card-carrying Liberal Democrat, been encouraging those people to vote Green.

The Lib Dems have have blotted their copybook locally here on the Wirral with a ludicrous plan to shut most of the libraries and leisure centres to save money: this is a borough with high illiteracy and high obesity.

I'm never sure whether I'm doing the right thing voting on local issues in a supranational election, but I'm obviously not alone in this. I dare say most of the EP voters across the states are turning out in what is in effect a referendum on their national governments.

But despite all of the above, I'm expecting a huge drop in turnout in the UK (somewhere in mid 20%s like a local election) and the BNP to do well - meaning the pols, always quick to learn the wrong lessons, will start to bang on about immigration and the EU and other dog whistle subjects through the next UK general election.

Neil Harding said...

Cheers, for the plug. Lets hope people do go out and vote. I wonder how many people know this Euro election is under PR and consequently that their vote does count whoever they vote for.