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Tuesday, April 24, 2007 

So who the hell do I vote for?

With the local elections fast approaching, I'm faced with something of a quandary. I have the misfortune to live in a ward which is essentially a modern day rotten borough, in that the Conservatives have held the seat for decades, with a winning margin usually in the region of a 1000 votes over the nearest candidate.

The other parties standing are Labour, the Lib Dems and UKIP, with the Greens apparently not thinking it worthwhile to even attempt to put up a candidate. I wouldn't piss on UKIP if they were on fire, so that leaves me with the choice between the first two.

To say I'm frustrated with what Labour has done nationally is a understatement; the giving in to corruption by ordering the SFO to abandon the probe into BAE, the continuing mass wastage of taxpayers' money in PFI schemes, the constant, worthless reforms being imposed on the NHS, the idiotic appeasement of the tabloids on crime and the lunacy of our foreign policy has all meant that I vowed not to vote Labour ever again, even though I'm sure I'll probably end up eating my words at some point.

The council up until recently was Liberal Democrat run, and while they haven't done too bad a job, they haven't exactly been impressive either. Nationally, I might well end up voting Lib Dem at the next election, simply because if they promise to bring in PR it'll hopefully mean the end to the ridiculous vacuousness of so-called "radical centrism" which currently infects and stifles politics. The rest of their policies though have always come across to me as Blairism with a slightly kinder face, even if their opposition to the war was welcome. With the abolition of their most noteworthy policies at their conference last year, it's worth wondering what exactly they are for.

On a personal basis, I sort of know the Labour candidate and he's a decent sort that I'd normally be more than happy to vote for. As it is, I'm finding it difficult to do so, even though my vote will be more or less worthless either way.

Do I then ignore national politics altogether and vote Labour? Vote for the Lib Dems knowing that whatever I do doesn't matter? Spoil my ballot to make a similarly pointless gesture about the lack of genuine choice? Not even bother wasting my time? Your input is welcome.

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I tried canvassing via the phones for Labour. Very satisfying, in its way. One lady was quite adamant that she was voting for the SDP. Will this be taken as a referendum on Blair or Labour full stop, though? I suspect the latter, now that Blair has begun walking the plank.

Ach. I can't make that kind of decision for you. Look deep within your soul.

From the sound of things, the course of action that may best reflect your views at present would be to write 'none of the above' on the ballot paper and put a large cross next to it.

Okay, so officially it'll go down as a spoiled ballot, but at least you'll have the quiet satisfaction of knowing that a returning officer will have seen your modest statement.

Thanks for your suggestions. At the moment I think I'm swinging towards biting my tongue and voting Labour, but we'll see come the day I suppose.

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