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Tony Grist

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Third Party Blues [Apr. 16th, 2010|12:00 pm]
Tony Grist
My political memory goes back a long way now- and I don't remember a time when people weren't speculating about whether a third party might not come through and upset the two-party applecart. Surveys would be conducted that showed the electorate liked the third party's policies and personnel and that lots of us would vote for the third party if only.... if only everyone else would too.That's always been the problem- a problem of belief. If we followed our hearts the third party- Liberals, SDP, Lib Dems- would win by a landslide, but commonsense tells us such a thing is impossible, so we glumly make it so by opting for one of the other two parties instead.

I'm a lefty and the Lib Dems are lefties too- not as lefty as I am, but far to the left of the Tories and New Labour. So I should vote for them, right?  Yes I should. And Clegg's victory in last night's debate started me dreaming the impossible dream again. No, they're not going to form the government- that really is la-la-land- but they could wind up in a coalition with Labour. Clegg as Home Secretary perhaps? Vince Cable as chancellor?

I'm wavering .
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2010-04-16 11:30 am (UTC)
Of course, if you go back far enough, the Labour Party were the third party...

What I also think is that voting for the candidate you actually prefer, even if they aren't elected, tells the other parties where there are votes to be won. If Labour think that their only opponents are the Tories, they'll set out to woo Tory voters and appease the Daily Mail - and we've seen where that gets us. They assume they can disregard the left, because we won't, whatever happens, vote Tory.

So maybe if we can show them that there are votes to be won by being 'liberal' (or green), maybe we can shift the whole debate a notch or two to the left.

Or am I dreaming, too?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-16 11:47 am (UTC)
That sounds good to me.

New Labour has taken the left for granted. They've gone further and further to the right, grown more and more authoritarian- until all that's left of the party we used feel at home in is the name.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-16 03:25 pm (UTC)
All Utopias founder on the contrariness of human nature, but a socialist society in which the authority is spread around- through a network of workers co-operatives and the like- is, at least, imaginable.
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[User Picture]From: burkesworks
2010-04-16 02:16 pm (UTC)
Go for it. Whatever faults Elwyn Watkins has, unlike Phil Woolas he does not have Yarl's Wood on his conscience.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-16 03:27 pm (UTC)
That is very true.
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From: loxian
2010-04-16 01:47 pm (UTC)
Do not waver. Always vote Labour. That's my advice. But I suppose you could vote for whichever party in your constituency is most likely to defeat the Tory.
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[User Picture]From: burkesworks
2010-04-16 02:24 pm (UTC)
Do not waver. Always vote Labour. That's my advice

That would have been my advice until 1997. Now, with about thirty or so very honourable exceptions (Corbyn, Mitchell, McDonnell et al), the current Parliamentary Labour Party are no better than the Conservatives, and in many ways they're worse on civil liberties. The Lib Dems are much truer to the beliefs I've held more or less all my life, and that's why I wound up joining them. I could never vote for the party of ID cards and illegal wars and extraordinary rendition and tuition fees.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-16 03:34 pm (UTC)
In my constituency the Tory doesn't stand a chance. It's a close fight between Labour and the Lib Dems.

I would vote Labour with little hesitation if it were still the party of the left, but it isn't.

And it's not entirely irrelevant to my choice that the sitting Labour MP is the ghastly Phil Woolas. It would give me some pleasure to see him lose his seat.
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[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2010-04-16 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thankfully here I can vote Plaid Cymru, who are way to the left of Labour and even the Lib Dems. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-16 04:29 pm (UTC)
If I were Welsh I'd probably vote Plaid Cymru too.
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