On Second Thoughts, I Give Up


Where do you- I mean how do you- Why would… if… what.

The Liberal Democrats just sent me a leaflet telling me not to vote Labour because they don’t have a chance of getting in. This is a real thing that happened, not something funny Ian Hislop said.

Really, guys? You’re now sending out leaflets to promote the same moronic and anti-democratic logic that’s kept you out of power for ninety two years? This is something you’d like to do?

If you want to use exploitation and deceit to gain popularity, there’s a much less stupid way to do it. Keep your policies exactly the same, but have Clegg announce he’ll keep the Trident missile system and won’t give amnesty to long-term illegal immigrants. You’ll find you then win. At that point, feel free to scrap the Trident missile system without telling anyone, and grant amnesty to long-term illegal immigrants.

Before the debates, Kim wrote to David Cameron to ask if he had any actual policies or if his whole campaign was just about what’s wrong with Labour. She got a letter back detailing what’s wrong with Labour.

On Wednesday Gordon Brown got in trouble for calling a bigoted woman bigoted in a private conversation that Sky broadcast. Then last night he used his closing speech of the debates, his last chance to focus attention back on policies, to repeat his limpest slanders of his two opponents.

Now the Lib Dems are asking people to vote against the party they believe in to keep out a common enemy, as if this will give their one vote the game-changing power it apparently wouldn’t have if they cast it democratically.

I can’t help but notice that all three parties spend their efforts begging people not to vote for someone, and the end result is that not enough people vote.

They’ve all done a great job of killing my interest in British politics, after the televised debates briefly rekindled it, so I’ll shut up about it now.

20 Replies to “On Second Thoughts, I Give Up”

  1. It’s been the same with the Liberal Democrat leaflets here. The last one was in the form of a short letter, where the LibDem candidate mentioned that labour can’t win about four or five times in the text, and ended with “P.S. Labour can’t win”.

  2. It’s pretty infuriating but then again, the Lib Dems aren’t perfect and they will try and game the system in the areas they can.

    I don’t think I’ll be a lifelong Lib Dem voter but at the moment they are the best hope, I think, of having a genuinely different way of doing things.

  3. Same here with the SNP leaflets. “Two horse race”.

    @Mike: I’d like the Lib Dems to get in and reform the voting system. After that, any party can get a big chunk of seats with a big chunk of votes, and I’ll look at some smaller players.

  4. I feel the same way in the states. I was so turned off by our televised debates because nobody would give you a straight answer. Everything is generic crap like “So and so hates American and freedom” and “So and so wants to clean up Washington!” It’s never about anything with substance, specific initiatives, or specific policies or votes. It sucks :(

  5. As far as I know, the Lib Dems are the only ones promising to do something about the Digital Economy Act (I hate calling it an act). Until Labour or the Tories either promise to do it AND get Evil Genius 2 made, the Lib Dems have got my vote.

    Win win for me.

  6. You’re wishing for the existance of a voting system so perfect that not even neckbearded mathematicians account for it in their voting theory papers.

    You also complain that political parties aren’t lying to you about the most valuable way to spend your vote. At least you’re consistently idealistic.

  7. I read your initial post and completely agreed.

    This whole “Win/Lose” metaphor has gone too far. It’s like “winning” a survey, by gaming it.

    Scenario 1) The elected politician looks out for the public interest (yeah, I know)
    Scenario 2) The elected politician looks out for his own interests

    Either way, he’s looking at the voting results and pandering/skewing his actions to hit their perceived interests.

  8. I was a bit disappointed by the repeated undermining of each other that the candidates have been displaying. I still felt that Brown did pretty well though, then again, I listened to it on the radio and read about it on twitter, so I didn’t have to see his face.

    Clegg didn’t say much, Cameron spoke a lot and spoke well but didn’t actually say a great deal about his policies. Brown actually came across as knowing more about his polices, but his presentation has always been more subdued.

  9. As someone who’s designed a leaflet or two that looks like that, I can tell you why it’s used on a local level. Even with a seat already held by a Lib Dem, people often say they won’t bother voting for us, because we’re not going to win in the seat (although that’s been remarkably less pronounced this election). The leaflet is used to make it abundantly clear that whatever things are like on a national level, it is worth voting for the Lib Dem in that seat.

    Tactics would have to change once the voting system changes, depending on what sort of system we get. I’ll personally be happy for more content focused leaflets. They’ll all tend to repeat the same point, whatever it is, as we have about the time it takes to pick the leaflet up and throw it in the bin to get info through to most people. So lots of pieces of paper put through the door mean more people eventually see what we have to say. It is annoying, but people don’t usually read long policy documents if you put it through their door.

    As for what policy we promote, while it’d probably gain some more votes, we’ve never been about altering policy to make ourselves popular. At least for the most part. The Lib Dem membership wouldn’t accept promoting something they don’t agree on. The leadership don’t get to tell us what we believe, however much the media seem to think it works like that…

  10. I got almost the same leaflet, but a different guy, of course.

    Thing is, I don’t really like the looks of this “Sandy” bloke, but I’ve voted LD these past 6 years and I’ll vote them again.

    Mainly becasue they’re the best guys to get some form of proportional representation going..

    ..which is why I can’t tell if this leaflet is to say “LOOK! We’re proving out point” or “we just want POWAR”

  11. It’s good that Dan Foster has transcended party politics. It’s too bad the rest of the parties haven’t done the same.

  12. We should get Rico Rodriguez organising the debates and policing the House of commons to keep out politicians who make stuff up or misrepresent things.

    I wonder how many MPs would be left?

  13. Nick Clegg: Latest in a long line of somewhat important people who happen to read James.

  14. @Mr Bubbles

    Rico would just blow up parliment, then, walking away (Cool guys don’t look at explosions) say

    “Try operating a country now you Government Jerks!”

  15. Now all we need is for Nick Clegg to read your article and respond in such a way that you feel like a dick, however correct you may have been in questioning things in the first place.

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