Labour Leader ~ how to vote?


As a union member, I’m entitled to vote in the Labour leadership elections.  At the last Labour leadership election in 1994, I was a Labour voter and I voted for Tony Blair.  Things have changed since then and I am no longer a Labour voter.  I support the Green Party now.

I have no intention of wasting my vote but my dilemma is, how to vote.  What do non-Labour supporting union members do with their vote in such cases?  I have a friend who is a devout Toryite (his lifetime idol, incidentally, is MargThatch).  In the 94′ leadership election, he deliberately voted for Margeret Beckett because he recognised a successful leader in Tony Blair. 

So, given that Labour is not my chosen political party, should I vote tactically – looking ahead, and choose the person who in my view would be best suited to helping the Labour party fall at the next General Election?  Or do I vote for the person who I feel could bring Labour into the running again in an attempt to keep the Tories out.  And how would this affect my own chosen party’s position? 

Or, given that Labour is in power now, do I think in terms of the present and simply vote for the politician who I feel is best for the country now and over the next year or two of a Labour government?

I’ve always actually been against tactical voting in General and Local elections because, democratically, it can never give a true representation of the electorate.  I want to use my vote responsibly so I will vote for who I feel will be best able to drag Labour away from the Right and into the centre Left, because, regardless of which party may or may not win the next general election, I feel that we need significant Parliamentary representation from a strong socialist party.  At the moment, it’s hard to distinguish the main parties from each other.  Not a problem if their combined policies are working for the betterment of the country and for the wider world in general, but we know that’s not the case. 

So far, out of all the suggested possible contenders, I’m not impressed.  Gordon Brown has always been a no,no for me.  He seems to get very nervous when things get tough but it’s not just that – he’s doing a good job in the background, running the economy so who would be capable of replacing him and keeping things on track?  I need to do some research.  I’ve let myself get out of touch with politics and with the Labour party in particular.

I have to say, while I’m here, I’ve not been impressed by all the party infighting that always seems to occur at some point within a party which fast becomes an all-in back-stabbing fest and battle of the ego’s.  They’re all the same with this.  The Tories have had plenty of their own infighting and even the Lib Dems have not been immune from it.  Don’t the politician’s realise?  It’s a real voter turn-off.  [Vote Green – for goodness sake…and for the planet’s future].  I wonder…maybe individual political parties should have their own internal election policy whereby they routinely hold leadership elections at two or four yearly intervals perhaps.  This way, there would be no divisive and ugly infighting, current leaders can put themselves up for re-election and discontented party members will know that there will be an election coming up whereby they can democratically have their say or can even put themselves forward for election.  I mean, here in Britain it’s supposed to be party politics.  We generally tend to vote for the guy who represents the political party that we want to see in power both at local constituency level and in Westminster.  And anyway, the leader who loses would still represent the constituency that voted for him (or her).  He/she just wouldn’t lead the party anymore.    Hmm…not sure.  Need to think more on that one. 

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4 responses to this post.

  1. My Thatcher-hugging friend has just reminded me (rather smugly) that union members who voted in the ’94 Labour leader election had to sign a declaration of sorts before they could vote agreeing that they were loyal to the Labour party (or words to similar effect). He’s right. I’d forgotten that bit.

    If this voting criteria, albeit dependant on trust, still applies for this coming election, and I suppose it will do, my dilemma now is, can I be as dishonest as my friend was back then and falsely sign that I support Labour so that I can cast a vote?

    It’s a fair way off yet anyway.

    Reply

  2. Been thinking about the suggestion that political parties could routinely hold leadership elections and I’m now thinking it’s a no-no. It would seriously detract our politicians from their real job of running the country. It happens anyway when contentious leadership issues arise – like now.

    But no, silly idea. Leave it as it is. The petty squabbling and back-stabbing will happen either way.

    Reply

  3. Posted by misslionheart on September 15, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    With all due respect Earthpal, do you really think the Green Party will ever make a significant difference to current day politics? Their policies make little impact on the vast majotity of the British public. They have a very small chance of ever being in power, but, fair dues to your strong beliefs.

    Reply

  4. Well it’s difficult when people have a “why bother” attitude. But actually they have plenty of influence over current politics. They have Euro MP’s lobbying Westminster and Brussels all the time.

    What we need is some brave and HONEST voting. Then maybe the Greens can get someone in Parliament who can officialy represent the planet. It bloody needs it.

    Reply

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