For people who’d like to vote Green
This post is for would be Green voters. But if your preference happens to be for a different party which has a history of not getting a proportionate number of candidates elected per votes cast, then this is for you too.
Every general election Green voters are bombarded with messages to vote for another party. Teams of people argue why on social media. Every general election is special for some unique reason and so, just this once, voters need to vote for someone they don’t really like, because the candidate/party they don’t really like happens to be less objectionable than the candidate most likely to win. So this year, in 2019, this Thursday, this general election is special because we are told that we are not really voting for our own area’s candidates on the ballot paper at all: we are voting for or against “Brexit”. The two main parties principal messages are about their opposite leader (as if that really made a difference outside their constituencies).
Even people who are not absorbed in the detail know this is not OK.
If you live in a safe constituency
If the last winning majority was, say, over 2,000 votes, you can vote for your favourite candidate full stop.
This is because how you vote simply won’t make any difference to the result.
If you live in a marginal
You might have to think rather more carefully. But of course 2,000 is just a random number. There are levels of marginality and you need to decide where to draw the line in your constituency. Go here to see the effect of marginality across the country and in your area.
If you want to vote tactically
You also need to understand why you are doing it. People who are not sufficiently well informed are highly vulnerable to manipulation and misdirection. Check what you believe is true. Check your own reasoning:
- Are you wanting to stop the Tories?
- Are you wanting to ensure the UK remains in the EU?
Depending on what your objective is, a tactical vote might or might not make sense. Here is a comparison, on one tactical voting website, of other websites. However, it makes no sense to simply take any website’s advice. Who runs the site and why are they putting time and resources into it? Which organisations run or promote them? What is motivating them?
But let us suppose that despite doing all of the above a tactical vote or voting for your favourite party are still options for you.
Which to choose? How to decide? What are the ramifications?
- Could you really tip the result?
- How does your tactical option benefit the party which gets your tactical vote?
- How does your decision not to vote with your heart affect the party you really love?
Is it really only about one vote this time?
Are you happy to deprive your favourite party of:
The UK voting system needs reform so that people are free to make a genuine vote rather than a so called tactical one.
One tactical vote or two million tactical votes will not fix broken First Past The Post. It doesn’t matter how well informed your vote is: how crafty you are. On your own you can’t stop people being misled by people who benefit from people being misled any more than I can. (But you could share this post.)
Neither The Labour Party nor The Conservative & Unionist Party are interested in any form of voting system reform. If you vote for either of them you are supporting and entrenching the problematic First Past The Post voting system. It makes no sense at all to vote tactically to benefit either of them.
The deposit system was brought in to deter candidates who were not serious. What The Green Party stands for should not cost us so much, but while it still does, we need all the votes we can get.