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So, I voted in the local council elections on Thursday. Not sure why, really. Thanks to the (sometimes tiresome) ubiquity of Radio 4 in our household, I feel fairly well-informed about national politics. However, I find that the more overtly political the program or participants, the further I'm pushed into political apathy.

Local elections are even more uninspiring because I don't know or care much about the issues, local politics and journalism being like their national equivalents only worse in every way. Indeed, I'm not entirely clear what it is that our local councilors actually do and their advertising doesn't make it clearer, divided as it is between the trivial and apolitical (changes to recycling schedules or road layouts) and the entirely ineffectual (support for Kyoto, opposition to the Iraq war). So in the end I voted based on a combination of national issues and prejudice, much like most of the other voters, I suspect.

My analysis went something like this:

They can't afford to ignore their core voters: greedy, selfish bigots. Therefore nor can I. No.

It's unreasonable when it comes to local elections, but I can't help but feel that a vote for Labour in any context is a vote saying "Yes, you were right and I was wrong about war with Iraq. Also, please take away my civil liberties in case, at some point in the future, a terrorist might find them useful." No.

As far as I can tell, they're a bunch of strident, in-fighting contrarians. Of course, this impression is founded on their portrayal in the reactionary mainstream media. Nevertheless, George Galloway's views have sounded pretty unpleasant whenever I've heard him voice them. No.

Somewhat single-issue, but at least it's a good single issue. In Oxford they even have a chance of getting in. A far better use of a protest vote than Respect. Maybe.

They're for taxing the rich to help everyone, and so am I. They're also pro proportional representation, which seems like a good idea to me. Unfortunately, they'll have to get enough votes under the current system to have any chance of implementing it, which means that people have to think they're worth voting for, which means that them doing well in local elections is a step in the right direction. Yeah, I suppose so.

Oh, and the results? Everything stayed much the same. No overall majority, so every party can blame the others for the council's failings while taking credit for any successes. Disappointing without being in the least bit surprising; which pretty much sums up my attitude towards politics in general. Though that was a quite a lot of rambling for someone so politically apathetic...


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2008 09:32 am (UTC)
I'm afraid local politics leave me with a sense of apathy too. I voted this time because it was a nice cycle along to the polling station in the sun. With you on the political deconstruction except;
Greens - Nice idea in principle except no one has any idea on what is good or bad for the environment, them included.
Liberal Democrats believe in taxing everyone as much as they can get away with rich or poor and certainly at local level have no idea how to spend the money. I mean council funded wormerys? Just throw your organic rubbish in a bad and it will compost, everyone knows food rots by itself.
I had the vague whimsy of standing as an engineering candidate with the slogan along the lines of 'I'll just fix whichever bit of the local government is broken' but it seems far too much like hassle.
May. 7th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
thanks much
thank you, guy
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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