I Think The Least Worst Option Is…

Many in the UK will be heading out on Thursday to place our crosses in our prospective boxes and play our part in our democratic system. I’m really not sure what way I’m hoping it will go. I’m kind of dreading every possible outcome (granted, a Tory/UKIP coalition is the only one that actually makes me physically shudder, so I guess that’s something to root against). But, putting the result aside, I also think it’s going to be interesting to see what the turnout will be. There’s been so much disillusionment these last five painful years. It will be interesting to see whether it’s fired people’s passions, or whether it’s extinguished people’s hopes. Have these last few years of growing inequality, wage repression, spreading foodbanks, NHS sell-offs and stagnated economy enraged people enough to fight back or reduced them to apathetically accept their uncomfortable lot? There’ve been numerous debates in the media about the value of voting. So many people have resigned themselves to the fact that it doesn’t make any difference.

To me, not voting because you’re angry at politicians is like not locking your door because you’re angry at burglars. It just makes it easier for them to screw you over. If you don’t vote then you’ve willingly stepped into the political blind spot. Politicians want power. The only way to obtain power is to convince more people to vote for them than anyway else. So people who don’t vote render themselves irrelevant. Only a foolish politician would waste their time listening to the views of people who don’t vote. Any such people would naturally be ignored as they’ve relinquished their keys to the gates of power.

For example, say you have a demographic that’s renowned for not voting. For the sake of argument let’s call this group ‘Young People’. And say there’s another demographic that’s known to have a consistently high voter turnout. For the sake of argument let’s call this group ‘Pensioners’. If you were a politician, lusting power, with a limited amount of money in the pot, what would you do? Obviously, you’d funnel money away from the ‘Young People’ and use it to buy off the ‘Pensioners’. And that’s exactly what we’ve seen.

The last five years have seen unprecedented levels of cuts across the board, but pensioners have largely escaped the swingeing cuts. That’s great for them. Cameron ‘triple-locked’ their benefits and provisions. Meanwhile, young people have been forced to feel the full brunt of the cuts. Is this surprising? Of course not. But it’s something to consider when listening to people who preach against voting. I honestly think David Cameron must love people like Russell Brand. Young people don’t tend to vote Tory anyway, so convincing them not to vote at all is just less votes for his opponents (although he’s hilariously now changed his famous anti-voting stance at a time when it’s too late to register to vote).

If you want to reduce inequality and increase fairness, convincing people not to vote is last thing you want to do. The only way to work towards equality is for all people, from all demographics, to go out and represent themselves. That’s why I’ll certainly be putting my cross in a box. Granted, I’m not holding out much hope; I’m just trying to work out which is the least worst option.


About lanceleuven

5 responses to “I Think The Least Worst Option Is…

  • Charlie

    Politics is an odd beast – I’m not sure anyone wins apart from the establishment.

    From this distant vantage point..
    Labour promised nothing apart from spending 4x the actual revenue they had and roused themselves into an incoherent frenzy (and god help us if Miliband actually ever gets into power – the man’s a moron)
    The Tories fraffed and huffed and puffed and said nothing actually useful or promised anything truly conservative (and Cameron was all over the TV with his dreadful smug face)
    The Scottish Nationalists paraded like a bunch of self important tartan clad warriors (having been soundly smacked down just months ago in the referendum) and failed to realise they represented a total not even the population of Birmingham.
    The only good thing is the Lib Dems got a kicking – they never seemed to stand for anything.

    The majority Tory government probably is the best outcome for the UK at the moment – Labour just don’t have it together yet (and seem odly to be headed back to the 70’s in policies) and a Labour partnership with SNP would be generally bad for the majority of the population in England.

    The Tories will be out when they undoubtedly u-turn on the EU referendum having claimed (what will be a pyrrhic victory) success negotiating change on some non important EU policy and thus no need for referendum after all.


  • lanceleuven

    I certainly agree with your points about Labour. They ran a pathetic campaign. Which was in keeping with their last few years in opposition to be honest. It’s good that Miliband has gone, but I doubt his replacement will be much to get excited about.

    I definitely agree about the Lib Dems. They deserved most of what they got. The only real disappointment was Charles Kennedy losing his seat, doubly so after his death.

    I’ll have to agree to disagree with you point about a Tory majority being the best outcome though. Good knows what horrors await now that they have full control. I’m not relishing it. I’m predicting more erosion of basic rights, more demolishing of the NHS, more more peddling of austerity economics, more pain for the poor and an ever increasing gap between rich and poor. It’s going to be a very painful few years indeed methinks.

    I don’t think Cameron will be able to back out of the EU ref now. We’ve gone too far down that road. They’ll be outright mutiny if he tried. There are too many Eurosceptic backbenchers who’d be calling for his blood.


    • Charlie

      The only other possibility would have been an Lab/SNP combo, which I think would have been even more horrific. Ah well – good luck Blighty, you’ll need it.


      • lanceleuven

        It’s true. After your comment the other day I was trying to think of what result I would have preferred. I couldn’t think of one. How bad is that? Cheers for the well wishes. You’re right, we’re going to need it alright! 🙂


  • Charlie

    I totally agree – you have a smarmy smirking toff that needs a bat to the face or the double incompetent splendour of Millipede and the mad Scot. Its like choosing between being punched or kicked… *sigh* Time for a pint or three in one of England’s finest and enjoy Wimbledon in the sun. Cricket is coming too!


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