Why vote? Part 2

4 05 2010

So,why vote on Thursday? It certainly cannot be because of any belief that any of the parties, or any combination of them in coalitions or minority governments, has a plan to reinvigorate either the economy specifically or UK society in general. This blog is grounded in materialism and does not believe that society can be progressed outside of continued dynamic economic growth. Discussion of how to generate more economic growth has been almost entirely absent from the pre-election debates, either on television or off it. All of the parties are mired in the low expectations of sustainable development and general pessimism about the prospects of our economy becoming dynamic again.

I therefore find myself caught in a no man’s land as far as the big economic issues are concerned. Unlike the Conservatives I do think that the state has a big role to play in helping to modernise the infrastructure of society like the transport system and  the power supply, in creating an education and training regime which is suitable for a modern society and in creating favourable conditions for the development and encouragement of new industries. The market cannot, and really never has, provided these basics of modern life.

Unlike Labour I do not believe that the state should be interfering in or managing the minutiae of our daily lives. The whole apparatus of the therapeutic state should be dismantled and we should be allowed to manage our own relationships with each other, within our families and outside of them, with minimal state interference. If those aspects of public spending were taken away it would make for a far better society.

The Liberals are a kind of anti-party at present which I cannot take at all seriously. There is nothing in their economic policy anyway which makes them stand out from the other parties.

Whatever happens at this election it should be clear that we are in a transitional state, away from traditional party politics but towards what is not yet clear. There have been some valiant efforts to inject more political debate into the election campaign, from the Institute of Ideas, Spiked, Big Potatoes and To the Point amongst others, most of whose take on modern politics I agree with. Experimentation along these lines must continue in order to help the birth of whatever new political movement will replace the old.

On the basis of all of the above, principled abstention from this election would be an entirely respectable position to take. However, there is in my view one reason to vote and one reason only. Whatever the result of the election, this country faces a very difficult future. Within a very short period after the election the next government will be forced to take radical steps to keep the economy moving. None of the parties has created a mandate for tackling the problems we face. In this situation the least worst scenario is to have a majority government which at least can be held to account for whatever it decides to do. Minority governments and coalitions will try to evade responsibility and load it onto the shoulders of others.

We need to be able to hold our government firmly to account for what happens over the next few years. New Labour is exhausted and the Liberals not serious. Neither has any chance of forming a majority government. For that reason, and that alone , the best result of this desperate election will be a victory for a majority Conservative government. I am not a Tory by instinct or tradition, but that is what we should vote for on Thursday.

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One response

7 05 2010
Ed Page

I was looking for a reason to vote and couldn’t find one so didn’t bother. This is probably the only reason I could have come up with so thanks for the advice. Pity I read it a day after the election.

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