The Evil Party or the Stupid Party? A Topic for Debate, not a Recommendation
Note: We are determined to abide by the spirit as well as the letter of our legal status. Therefore, while I do not believe there is anything questionable about it, I will not publish this until after the polling stations have closed. SIG
The Libertarian Alliance takes no view of the present election. Our legal status forbids us from making any recommendations on how to vote; and all the main parties are at least deficient when judged by libertarian standards. For this reason, when explaining my decision on how to vote today, I am speaking wholly as a private individual, and not for the Libertarian Alliance. I will add that what I am about to say is almost certainly a view not shared by a majority of our other Officers. One of these is a member of UKIP. Another is a Liberal Democrat. Another will under no circumstances vote for anyone. Our former Director, Chris Tame, was a member of the Labour Party for a couple of years in the 1990s. I speak for myself alone, and you should take this as a subject for debate rather than a call to action.
I have read no newspapers, nor watched any television, since the election was called – indeed, I stopped reading newspapers several years ago. At the same time, news does drift in via the Internet, and I usually listen to the Radio 3 bulletin at 6:30am. Because I have not followed the campaign in detail, there is much that I do not know. But there may be much more that I can see without distraction.
I did intend to wait until election day, and look at the predictions for my own constituency. If my sitting Conservative Member of Parliament was obviously winning or losing, I would vote UKIP. If there was any doubt regarding the contest between Labour and Conservative, I would vote Conservative. My reasoning was that, while it was unlikely to win my constituency, UKIP had the closest policies to what I believe, and that helping to ensure a good overall vote for UKIP would make it clear that there was a large body of opinion hostile to the leftist police state.
I now must accept the possibility of a hung Parliament, in which the Conservatives will have trouble forming a majority Government. This means the possibility of a Labour Government with some kind of SNP support. If I look only at the differences between the Conservative and Labour Parties, I see little reason for making a choice. The Conservatives are marginally better on issues like press regulation and home schooling – or so it appears. But, overall and on the larger issues, there is more difference within the main parties than between them.
The big differences are the survival of England and of political accountability. If the Conservatives remain in government after today, they will allow another reasonably free election in 2020. If Labour forms a government, it will fix the voting system to keep itself in power till street protests are needed to remove it. This fixing will be dressed up as “electoral reform.” Moreover, if Labour must rely on Scottish support, the price will involve some Balkanising of England. In or out of the United Kingdom, Scotland cannot be an important entity in the British Isles so long as there is an England. Therefore, any reasonable Scottish nationalist will need to press for the dissolution of England into a group of devolved and squabbling territories. Only the Conservatives stand in the way of this.
My vote is unlikely to determine who wins the election in my constituency. But it may add to a Conservative victory in England in terms of votes if not of seats. This will give Mr Cameron the right to insist that he is the real winner today, and that he should be allowed to stay in government.
Judged by libertarian standards, the Conservatives in government have been half useless and half malevolent. I despise them and I hate them. But I fear Labour. For this reason, I see it as my duty to vote for the lesser of evils. Voting is more of a public duty than a private right, and I see it as my duty to vote for the people I hate to keep out the people I fear.
In closing, I will repeat that this should in no sense be regarded as a recommendation from the Libertarian Alliance. I am speaking not ex cathedra as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, but as a private individual. I also accept that I may be wrong.