GreenReaper (greenreaper) wrote,

Interesting exercise: picking your own election manifesto

The BBC was doing it, so why not? It's my first election for over a decade…

Overall, I come out as liberal with certain reservations. The Liberal Democrats tended to win my vote based on specific, implementable policies representing incremental improvement which don't give or take away too much. Apparently I like the Alliance Party, too - usually when the Lib Dems aren't being idealistic enough; the Oxford Manifesto still has a lot going for it, despite ongoing challenges.

I agree with some Green "big ideas", but their red lines on nuclear energy and defence make me unlikely to vote for them. I also doubt their ability to fund their ambitious policies, and have concerns over the competence of their local representatives. (The Lib Dems, for all their faults, still have significantly more members with practical government experience.)

I clearly didn't support either of the two leading parties. The Conservatives are too authoritarian and too eager to cut social services - I'd categorize their approach as prescriptive, yet unsupportive. They tend to offer economic policies that I can cautiously approve of, then ruin it with a cheap play towards social conservatives.

For Labour, the issue is offering too much to everyone, except for immigrants (e.g. guaranteed jobs, benefits), and being keen to do things which sound good but are a) expensive and b) unsupported by evidence (such as cutting class sizes) - they've also ruled-out many opportunities to raise revenue, which I find fiscally unsound.

Europe is a big part of the UK's future; even if I disagree with aspects such as agricultural policy and the "freedom to be forgotten", these are best negotiated from inside the system. Labour isn't saying too much about this, while the Conservatives seem to want to punt this to a referendum which they expect won't pass. I sense pressure from UKIP in this and other major party decisions. (Fewer will compare UKIP with the Lib Dems - though I suspect their pro-Euro stance hurts them vs. Lab/Con.)

Education is tricky - I'm not opposed to a moderate level of university fees, but they can discourage people from going, and if we think as a society that most people should be getting university-level education - reasonable, given increasing lifespans - it can probably be managed more efficiently through a central system. For similar reasons, I don't favour academies, let alone free schools. But I also support performance-related pay, so I can't support the Green position.

I can't vote for the SNP, but if I could I'd probably classify them as similar to Labour, but more ideologically pure. I'm glad Scotland didn't leave the UK - I think it would have been a bad idea (especially for them, given the recent drop in oil prices) - but I don't oppose further devolution, as long as that comes with greater responsibility for raising the funds to support their social projects.

Overall, it's good to have more parties involved in the policy debate; but we need proportional representation to make it work properly (I favour range voting - hey, it worked well enough for Inkbunny's t-shirt competition). Failing that, I won't be too disappointed with another Lib Dem coalition, as they're able to moderate the worst excesses of both major parties - though naturally, I'd prefer them to be the majority partner! :-)
Tags: politics

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