How I will vote

This is a response to the excellent writings of Stephen Fry on the same subject. His is a long piece but well worth the read: http://www.stephenfry.com/2010/05/04/how-i-will-vote/

In the same way I know that writing this blog post (adapted from a message left on the blog of Stephen Fry) has no bearing on anyone’s views, indeed may not even be read by a single person, I believe that my vote this Thursday will have absolutely zero* effect on the outcome of this election.

It is, as one might say, eleven types of invisible. Four shades of pointless.

My vote is, however, a personal expression of great belief and passion in the democratic process. It is a cathartic exercise, one that gives me immense value as a human being and citizen of this country, and I shall cherish it dearly. I shall feel a warm feeling close to how I imagine a religious person might feel. I shall drink Champagne.

(For the above reason, especially at this decisive time for Britons, I believe tactical voting to be both useless and irrelevant.)

Regarding my vote. In this election, I have previously been wavering between voting Labour and Liberal Democrat, and shunning the Conservative party.

Brown attracts me not because of his long-term vision but because of his boring detail-driven policy making; the country needs this. I do not believe that Brown for one minute ‘got us into this mess’; one has to look a little further than our borders. I believe when he says that global problems require global solutions, and that the solution lies in the bigger picture of the direction of global trade rather than the smaller picture of the regulation of our own financial industry.

Clegg attracts me because he leads a party I have great idealogical respect for. I shall say no more at this point, other than the following words: Iraq, the Digital Economy Bill, ID cards, expensive centralised IT systems for the NHS.

Cameron repels me not because of his character per-se, but because of the unchallenged, ingrained nature of his beliefs and loyalties, which I feel will not adequately challenge the status quo.

Deep down I would love for a Conservative party that was led by a philosopher, a champion of human rights, and social idealist. Alas such a party leader does not exist.

Despite my past wavering, my gut, my heart, and my head tell me I must cast my vote for the Liberal Democrat party.

* This is of course not true. My point is that it may as well be, due to statistics.

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