Vote & Then The Hard Work Begins

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I’ll not tell you how to vote tomorrow, because that is a decision for every person alone.

However, let’s be honest – this election won’t immediately change much. The emerging UK government will be led by a neoliberal party who’s prime policy will be to reduce the deficit, mostly by cutting back on public spending.

That party may be slightly restrained by more moderate or left wing alliances but the only real question is one of degree, whether the cuts will come quick and fast, alongside tax cuts or slow and drawn out alongside token tax rises.

In either case, austerity will live on and our economy will stagnate with normal people feeling the pinch as the financial institutions and multinational corporations receive public money in vast quantity.

However this election has already changed a lot.

The debate has expanded from one party to seven, with the progressive left better represented by Plaid Cymru and the Greens than Labour have even pretended to in well over twenty years and something approaching an actual choice has been laid before the British people for the first time since I was old enough to vote.

A second successive hung parliament seems inevitable, with the big parties talk of winning a majority seeming ever more desperate and disconnected every time it is uttered. What’s more, a parliament which is even more divided than the previous incarnation should make the push towards electoral reform inexorable

The next five years will not be all that much different from the last five years in terms of government policy, whether it’s a Tory or Labour-led government, whether the Liberal Democrats or SNP have any influence or not.

However, the prospect of a serious conversation about devolution, electoral reform and the UK’s place in Europe lie ahead and by handling these issues, with the voices of once relatively insignificant parties raised in parliament, the UK could be on the brink of significant, progressive change.

It needs to be, because the current voting system is broken, the current constitutional arrangement of an unelected second chamber and asymmetric devolution cannot continue and the issue of whether the UK is a part of Europe or not needs to be settled.

In most constituencies, your vote won’t change much about the result but every single one counts, especially when we come to look at electoral reform and rewarding parties for each vote they receive rather than who managed to bunch up their support most efficiently across the country.

So vote, but don’t vote for which out of Ed or Dave you want in number 10.

Step out of your comfort zone, do some research, read a newspaper with a different editorial slant to your usual, do an online test like Vote for Policies and find the party who speaks to you the most and vote for them, even if they have no chance of winning your seat. In this way, the disparity of the system will be laid bare and the case for positive change will be made.

Tomorrow’s election won’t change much, but the next five years could change everything.  Start it off in the right way and vote for something you can believe in.

Just don’t vote UKIP, because… seriously. Take a look at yourself.  Go back and do some more reading.

Lots more reading.

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