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I am a Liberal...

debelidebeli Posts: 583
edited January 2015 in The cake stop
I am a Liberal. I sit on what would once have been called the left of the party.

I have voted liberal for decades. I veered away from Foot's stewardship of Labour. In late 1993 I began to think about supporting JS's Labour party at a GE, but his death put an end to that musing. I'm still not sure what I'd have done had he lived.

So here we are in 2015 and a GE looms. Many of my liberal-voting (LibDem) acquaintances are so jolly cross about Cleg and tuition fees that they are shoutingly angry and vow never to vote for his ilk again.

I was never an Orange-Book LibDem... I just found them closer to my views than any other party. I still do. The tuition-fee vote was a consequence of being the baby partner in a strongly Tory coalition. I do not see it as a hanging offence, although as the father of three kids with huge loans I might be seen as one who does.

But here is the issue... My dear spouse is (I think) a Labour supporter. We live in a strong Tory area. Both our votes have gone to losers for many years. She now fears a UKIP vote sufficiently seriously to consider voting Tory.... I am suffering some sort of knee-jerk reaction to the thought and at present I'm determined to 'waste' my vote on the LibDem candidate.

I imagine that UKIP may be the only serious challenger to the Tories in our constituency, and I can live with a Tory MP much more comfortsably than I can with UKIP. What to do?

Ideas on a postcard please, but do remember that the Internet is filling up and we have to leave some space.
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  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    Vote Tory!
    Simples :wink:
  • Well depending on the relative numbers and how ignorant your fellow constituents are, could result in defections from the Tories to UKIP, making a vote for Labour or Lib dem viable? Apart from being tainted by living in an area with a UKIP MP there's no chance that they will have any power in the Commons, so even if the very worst happened and you got a UKIP MP I wouldn't be too concerned apart from the fact that it could push other parties to the right?
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    In an ideal world you should vote with your conscience. That is the true democracy. Naive, I know.
  • Ballysmate wrote:
    Vote Tory!
    Simples :wink:

    None of the parties appeal to me, but the Tories probably the least - mainly because I have to deal with the fall out of their Social Care policies on a day to day basis. Still, I don't think any of them are prepared to deal with the Tsunami heading our way.
  • RDWRDW Posts: 1,900
    Debeli wrote:
    The tuition-fee vote was a consequence of being the baby partner in a strongly Tory coalition. I do not see it as a hanging offence, although as the father of three kids with huge loans I might be seen as one who does.

    For me, this is a hanging offence. Not just party policy (much of which would not obviously be implemented in a coalition), but a personal promise made by every elected LibDem MP without assuming they'd be in power. ('I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative'). We know from some of the leaked discussions that senior party members, including Clegg, were making this promise in bad faith and had no intention of honouring it in the event of a coalition. This says a lot about their personal integrity.

    That said, anyone is better than UKIP. What are the polls and bookies saying about the chances of the top 3 parties in your constituency?
  • There was a statistic before the last GE that said elections were decided by 10% (or some such low figure) of the electorate nationally. I think what that means is most seats will go as predicted with the only real power goes to the important electorate in the key marginals.

    I once saw some research around an earlier GE that gave the electoral power of voters from each consituency. IIRC less than 1 you have less electoral power than average above 1 you had more. My constituency had a high Tory majority so it was something like 0.1 but some constituencies had a power number into double figures or higher. I can't remember the exact scoring system but it was something like that (or perhaps 0 was average and positive for high power and negative for lower). You get the idea anyway. That research basically went along the generally accepted view that there are some places voting is pointless other than carrying out your right to vote (a good enough reason even if it doesn't matter). Then there are other places where your vote can actually be critical to two or more parties helping them win by margins as low as say just in the hundreds out of 60,000 odd voters in the constituency.

    Personally I see no way around making everyone;s vote count other than say PR or other system. That just leads to head office of each party putting their cronies at the top of the list and trouble makers at the bottom. Also removes the connection between the electorate's representative. More parachuted in Westminster insiders and fewer locals making MPs.

    Either way Debeli I say vote Tory if your conscience lets you. YOU have to be happy to stand by you vote. You have to be happy with the idea that you contributed to another UKIP MP or you helped stop a UKIP MP coming into existence. The price of the latter is voting against your personal political beliefs. The price of the former is the UKIP gaining more presence and power in British life for whatever the consequences of that are.

    I will vote the way I believe since in my polling area they tend to swing strongly one way or another with long spells under one particular party. It swung back to this party last election so it is almot certain to be a big majority for them again. Basically it is a Tory area but every so often it goes Labour then straight back again. My vote matters little but I will cast it on principle that people struggled for that right.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    Are you a common or garden Liberal or a hand wringing Liberal? :wink:

    Seriously though. I am a True Blue, but don't believe that any party gets everything right. I do fear UKIP leeching votes from the Tories as I feel UKIP are a disaster in waiting.
    I fear Milliband more though as I feel he is totally out of his depth, having been given the leaders job by Unite.
    I find myself strangely hoping that SNP sweep Scotland to keep Labour out.
    Strange world!
  • Ballysmate wrote:
    Vote Tory!
    Simples :wink:

    None of the parties appeal to me, but the Tories probably the least - mainly because I have to deal with the fall out of their Social Care policies on a day to day basis. Still, I don't think any of them are prepared to deal with the Tsunami heading our way.

    Social Care? Covers a wide range doesn't it? From elderly care through to care of mentally and physically disabled in the community and on into other areas of the state involvement in society. I was always under the impression that a lot of these areas have always had fallout no matter what party is in power. I know from experience myself that elderly get a second class service from state institutions. The same is true with disability as well. NHS has always been incompetent with mental health. Social services screw up resulting in deaths of "in care" children and vulnerable adults no matter what party. Take the NHS for example, Labour brought in targets across all state departments. They were known for liking to slap a target on everything if they could. In the NHS that did a lot towards bringing down waiting lists but it messed up a lot. IMHO and IME it removed the doctor patient connection. IMHO it sent the NHS managers into overdrive trying to meet targets at clinical expense. My "evidence" for the last is admittedly hearsay from friends in the NHS who have experienced the demoralising affect of a pointless death due to Westminster driven targets and policies (Labour ones since it was about 2009 one case happened that I know about.

    I agree with you AS about Tories being distasteful in a lot of ways but Labour, Liberals, UKIP, SNP, Paid Cymru, DUP, Sinn Féin, BNP, etc. I don';t see good in any of them neither. I also take issue with you about one UKIP MP not being an issue because they will not have power in Westminster. Influemce in a lurch to the right by Tories but a lurch to the left to counter by Labour and LibDems is bad enough. But the real issue is that they have any MPs at all. I feel very strongly that UKIP as a party is noit fit for any public role. Being an MP is a serious matter. These clowns are not capable of this. A party without policies that matter on most of the portfolio covered by Westminster is not a party fit for existence in that institution IMHO of course.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    RDW wrote:
    Debeli wrote:
    The tuition-fee vote was a consequence of being the baby partner in a strongly Tory coalition. I do not see it as a hanging offence, although as the father of three kids with huge loans I might be seen as one who does.

    For me, this is a hanging offence. Not just party policy (much of which would not obviously be implemented in a coalition), but a personal promise made by every elected LibDem MP without assuming they'd be in power. ('I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative'). We know from some of the leaked discussions that senior party members, including Clegg, were making this promise in bad faith and had no intention of honouring it in the event of a coalition. This says a lot about their personal integrity.

    That said, anyone is better than UKIP. What are the polls and bookies saying about the chances of the top 3 parties in your constituency?

    ^ This
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • Ballysmate wrote:
    Vote Tory!
    Simples :wink:

    None of the parties appeal to me, but the Tories probably the least - mainly because I have to deal with the fall out of their Social Care policies on a day to day basis. Still, I don't think any of them are prepared to deal with the Tsunami heading our way.

    Social Care? Covers a wide range doesn't it? From elderly care through to care of mentally and physically disabled in the community and on into other areas of the state involvement in society. I was always under the impression that a lot of these areas have always had fallout no matter what party is in power. I know from experience myself that elderly get a second class service from state institutions. The same is true with disability as well. NHS has always been incompetent with mental health. Social services screw up resulting in deaths of "in care" children and vulnerable adults no matter what party. Take the NHS for example, Labour brought in targets across all state departments. They were known for liking to slap a target on everything if they could. In the NHS that did a lot towards bringing down waiting lists but it messed up a lot. IMHO and IME it removed the doctor patient connection. IMHO it sent the NHS managers into overdrive trying to meet targets at clinical expense. My "evidence" for the last is admittedly hearsay from friends in the NHS who have experienced the demoralising affect of a pointless death due to Westminster driven targets and policies (Labour ones since it was about 2009 one case happened that I know about.

    I agree with you AS about Tories being distasteful in a lot of ways but Labour, Liberals, UKIP, SNP, Paid Cymru, DUP, Sinn Féin, BNP, etc. I don';t see good in any of them neither. I also take issue with you about one UKIP MP not being an issue because they will not have power in Westminster. Influemce in a lurch to the right by Tories but a lurch to the left to counter by Labour and LibDems is bad enough. But the real issue is that they have any MPs at all. I feel very strongly that UKIP as a party is noit fit for any public role. Being an MP is a serious matter. These clowns are not capable of this. A party without policies that matter on most of the portfolio covered by Westminster is not a party fit for existence in that institution IMHO of course.

    I'm really with you on this, my take on the UKIP is they are a bunch of nasty opportunists feeding off the frustrations and predudices of a lot of dissaffected (and in most cases not very bright) voters. Where I maybe differ from you is that I think the best way to deal with them is not to bury them but shine a spotlight on them so that everyone can see they are worthless and have no real policies. I'm sure even our politicians would make short work of them in a political debate.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    I'm really with you on this, my take on the UKIP is they are a bunch of nasty opportunists feeding off the frustrations and predudices of a lot of dissaffected (and in most cases not very bright) voters. Where I maybe differ from you is that I think the best way to deal with them is not to bury them but shine a spotlight on them so that everyone can see they are worthless and have no real policies. I'm sure even our politicians would make short work of them in a political debate.

    I think it a mistake to label supporters of any party as being "Not very bright". It is dismissive and enables people to gloss over some people's genuine worries or concerns.

    Now, Labour voters - There's a group who are not very bright, :lol:
  • It is backed by some evidence, though. UKIP voters trend older and less educated than average. Alos, worries and concerns might well be "genuine", but that surely doesn't make them rational.

    Loved the Tories, aided by the Sun, attempting to spreading FUD yesterday with claims Labour were aiming for a coalition with Sinn Féin. That'd be the party who have refused to take seats and have run on an abstentionist platform since their formation, then. That's your not very bright in a nutshell.
  • metronomemetronome Posts: 669
    Hmmm, similar position here.

    My constituency is Clegg's and Last time I voted for him. Meh... This time I want to vote Green, but a Green vote here in Hallam is a vote for the Tories. I think i'll have to vote Liberal again in order to hopefully see Millepede in power.

    It's a bit like being MADE to choose which of three turds you want to lick.
    tick - tick - tick
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    I doubt there's ever been an election where tactical voting is more important than voting for party of choice.
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Ballysmate wrote:
    I'm really with you on this, my take on the UKIP is they are a bunch of nasty opportunists feeding off the frustrations and predudices of a lot of dissaffected (and in most cases not very bright) voters. Where I maybe differ from you is that I think the best way to deal with them is not to bury them but shine a spotlight on them so that everyone can see they are worthless and have no real policies. I'm sure even our politicians would make short work of them in a political debate.

    I think it a mistake to label supporters of any party as being "Not very bright". It is dismissive and enables people to gloss over some people's genuine worries or concerns.

    Now, Labour voters - There's a group who are not very bright, :lol:

    Having agreed whole heartedly with your views on the Charlie H thread, I find it impossible to believe you are a dyed in the wool Tory, you ve had a mini stroke and with help you can come round to being a normal sensible person.
    just look what they ve done to our armed forces, education, tuition fees, the increase in inequality..... their lies over immigration targets - so the people we need in this country cant get in but the people we don't want can.... meanwhile we are failing to depot the 10s of 1000s who shouldn't be here and granting citizen ship to murderers.... I could go on.... :)

    Meanwhile under Labour EVERYTHING was rosy :lol:
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    It is backed by some evidence, though. UKIP voters trend older and less educated than average. Alos, worries and concerns might well be "genuine", but that surely doesn't make them rational.

    Loved the Tories, aided by the Sun, attempting to spreading FUD yesterday with claims Labour were aiming for a coalition with Sinn Féin. That'd be the party who have refused to take seats and have run on an abstentionist platform since their formation, then. That's your not very bright in a nutshell.


    Concerns may or may not be rational, but I must confess I haven't seen evidence that suggests voters for any party are less/more intelligent than others.
    Even if causes for concerns are unfounded, issues should be properly debated so that they can be shown to be so.
    Dangerous game to dismiss people as lacking intellect due to their voting preference. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and a vote.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    mamba80 wrote:
    Ballysmate wrote:
    I'm really with you on this, my take on the UKIP is they are a bunch of nasty opportunists feeding off the frustrations and predudices of a lot of dissaffected (and in most cases not very bright) voters. Where I maybe differ from you is that I think the best way to deal with them is not to bury them but shine a spotlight on them so that everyone can see they are worthless and have no real policies. I'm sure even our politicians would make short work of them in a political debate.

    I think it a mistake to label supporters of any party as being "Not very bright". It is dismissive and enables people to gloss over some people's genuine worries or concerns.

    Now, Labour voters - There's a group who are not very bright, :lol:

    Having agreed whole heartedly with your views on the Charlie H thread, I find it impossible to believe you are a dyed in the wool Tory, you ve had a mini stroke and with help you can come round to being a normal sensible person.
    just look what they ve done to our armed forces, education, tuition fees, the increase in inequality..... their lies over immigration targets - so the people we need in this country cant get in but the people we don't want can.... meanwhile we are failing to depot the 10s of 1000s who shouldn't be here and granting citizen ship to murderers.... I could go on.... :)

    Meanwhile under Labour EVERYTHING was rosy :lol:


    It would appear that your stance on immigration is closely allied to mine. ie we should have control of our own borders. (Oops stepping into UKIP territory here) :lol:
  • Ballysmate wrote:
    It is backed by some evidence, though. UKIP voters trend older and less educated than average. Alos, worries and concerns might well be "genuine", but that surely doesn't make them rational.

    Loved the Tories, aided by the Sun, attempting to spreading FUD yesterday with claims Labour were aiming for a coalition with Sinn Féin. That'd be the party who have refused to take seats and have run on an abstentionist platform since their formation, then. That's your not very bright in a nutshell.


    Concerns may or may not be rational, but I must confess I haven't seen evidence that suggests voters for any party are less/more intelligent than others.
    Even if causes for concerns are unfounded, issues should be properly debated so that they can be shown to be so.
    Dangerous game to dismiss people as lacking intellect due to their voting preference. Everyone is entitled to an opinion and a vote.

    I agree, my point wasn't to discount their vote, let them put a UKIP candidate into Westminster and see what happens. Trying to block that is akin to Maggie introducing laws to prevent Sinn Fein voices being heard on the media, totally counter productive.
  • Yougov voting intention survey reveals UKIP voters are educated to degree level at half the national average, something not fully explained by their tendency to be older. I'm not dismissing them or their opinions, merely stating a fact. As far as tackling irrational or baseless fears, I'm all for it, with a caveat that sometimes it's a complete waste of time. UKIP campaign on emotion to a very large extent, and not nearly so much on hard facts. You cannot reason someone out of a position reason didn't get them into. The central plank of ukip policy, that we'll pull out of the EU and everything will be grand because reasons doesn't hold water logically, but people hold it dearly as a grudge. I'd go so far as to say a substantial minority at least don't even look at the reasons, it's bellyfeel politics.

    For examples of the kind of thing I mean, look btl on any Internet article reporting that a Kipper has inserted feet into mouth. They have a hard core of support who will defend any action.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    I wondered how long it would be before Maggie (God, or your deity of choice bless her) was introduced in the thread. :lol:
    Having actors speak Gerry Adams' words was a farce. Yet today there are people who argue about starving the terrorists of publicity in order to dry up support.
    Funny old world.
  • Well she changed British politics forever, no arguement about that.

    Edit - and Britain too.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 15,628
    Yougov voting intention survey reveals UKIP voters are educated to degree level at half the national average, something not fully explained by their tendency to be older. I'm not dismissing them or their opinions, merely stating a fact. As far as tackling irrational or baseless fears, I'm all for it, with a caveat that sometimes it's a complete waste of time. UKIP campaign on emotion to a very large extent, and not nearly so much on hard facts. You cannot reason someone out of a position reason didn't get them into. The central plank of ukip policy, that we'll pull out of the EU and everything will be grand because reasons doesn't hold water logically, but people hold it dearly as a grudge. I'd go so far as to say a substantial minority at least don't even look at the reasons, it's bellyfeel politics.

    For examples of the kind of thing I mean, look btl on any Internet article reporting that a Kipper has inserted feet into mouth. They have a hard core of support who will defend any action.

    My in laws vote Labour and I say with some certainty always will. When I ask why they vote as they do, they reply,"We've always voted Labour, they're for us, the working man" Yet when I ask them about specific policies, they haven't a clue. All they know is Labour good, Tories evil. That is also bellyfeel politics.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 46,779
    Debeli wrote:
    I imagine that UKIP may be the only serious challenger to the Tories in our constituency, and I can live with a Tory MP much more comfortsably than I can with UKIP. What to do?

    Ideas on a postcard please, but do remember that the Internet is filling up and we have to leave some space.
    Let's face it, voting Lib Dem is very likely going to be a wasted vote this time around. But I like your way of thinking to counter the UKIP threat. Please do spread the word amongst less sensible Liberals :wink:
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • Ballysmate wrote:
    Yougov voting intention survey reveals UKIP voters are educated to degree level at half the national average, something not fully explained by their tendency to be older. I'm not dismissing them or their opinions, merely stating a fact. As far as tackling irrational or baseless fears, I'm all for it, with a caveat that sometimes it's a complete waste of time. UKIP campaign on emotion to a very large extent, and not nearly so much on hard facts. You cannot reason someone out of a position reason didn't get them into. The central plank of ukip policy, that we'll pull out of the EU and everything will be grand because reasons doesn't hold water logically, but people hold it dearly as a grudge. I'd go so far as to say a substantial minority at least don't even look at the reasons, it's bellyfeel politics.

    For examples of the kind of thing I mean, look btl on any Internet article reporting that a Kipper has inserted feet into mouth. They have a hard core of support who will defend any action.

    My in laws vote Labour and I say with some certainty always will. When I ask why they vote as they do, they reply,"We've always voted Labour, they're for us, the working man" Yet when I ask them about specific policies, they haven't a clue. All they know is Labour good, Tories evil. That is also bellyfeel politics.
    Which is probably why Labour and the Conservatives are shi**ing themselves over UKIP. 'Cos that nice Mr Farage talks an awful lot of sense, doesn't he? The "working man" may not feel Red Ed has anything for him and the Tories are as confused. But they see Britain going to the dogs because of foreigners. It may be a protest type vote, but it has the big parties rattled.
    Ecrasez l’infame
  • Lack of education does not mean low intelligence. It means there has been a lack of education. The two are not the same. If there is evidence that UKIP voters are older and less educated then that evidence only supports those two characteristics. I have to admit that I know people with qualifications who are quite frankly lucky to get them. I have also known people without anything more than a CSE or GCSE to their name who put to shame the intelligence of well educated Doctorate students and graduates.

    It tires me when people assume education equates to intelligence. We have failed a lot of highly intelligent people in the world over, people without the education their intellect deserves. Yet we allow people with lower levels of intellect into university to study subjects with limited value to society. We fail on so many levels. From the teaching to a qualification or exam not actually teaching through to not helping those with extra needs adequately. There are so many factors involved but to rate intelligence to the number, level or type of education a person has is simplistic and wrong in increasing numbers with each year.

    Sorry! Rant over.

    PS isn't the issue with immigration not from those who we can stop such as none EU contries but to those that we can not stop without leaving the EU? I think I heard figures that showed the non-EU immigration had slowed right down to a trickle compared to the EU migration. So that surely means that the statement above of "failing to deport 10s of 1000s is a bit wrong. How can you deport those with a legal right to be here??

    I do agree that there is somehing wrong with how those convicted of serious crime overseas have been dealt with, i.e. not at all because they don't have the resources or ability to gain full disclosure of them from foreign legal systems. If Estonia doesn't tell UK Border Agency that one of their citizens was recently released for rape and murder and the UK BA does not have the resources to be able to ask about all then that is down to money and priority. It wasn't a priority under any of the last few governments BTW. The border agency mess is no doubt a legacy of past governments right back to early days of the EU.
  • One isn't necessarily indicative of the other, I agree, but for one thing, it was never my contention that they were less intelligent, but that they certainly were less educated. For anther thing, whilst intelligence and education aren't always directly connected, you'd have to agree there's a pretty strong correlation.
  • I tend to think it is becoming less of a correlation due to the education system not being right. I will try to explain, those with money or other means tend to get their kids into the schools that can get the best out of them. They become educated and in some cases right to the limit of their abilities. Those without the money or other means have to be very determined to get even close to the same education level. With difficulties due to day to day living such as lack of suitable study locations or what used to be called "bad influences" there tends to be a drop off in school attendance or at least the feeling of relevency to the child. I get the impression this has been increasing but I could be wrong.

    One other thing, I have found some very uneducated people with a surprisingly good grasp of politics. If you mix with such crowds long enough you realise that education and intelligence has less correlation with political understanding and indeed intelligence than you might expect. There is a correlation but it is not the whole story.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,281 Lives Here
    Ah the joys of FPTP.
  • I've got a few issues with the education system. The primary problem in my view is that it hasn't really adjusted for the modern world. Critical thinking is a key skill but it just doesn't get taught. These days information is so easily acquired that is vital to teach people how to process it correctly. That was a central difficulty I had with Gove's plan to return history teaching to names and dates, for example.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,686
    Ah the joys of FPTP.

    I've seen recent opinion polls showing that the Greens and UKIP might get about 20% of the vote at the next election. So if these figures hold up, 20% of the people will be represented by about 0.5% of MPs. :roll:
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