Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Voting Tory, This I Know

I am surprised -- am I not suprised? -- that, according to this questionnaire, I'll be voting for the Liberal Democrats in the forthcoming British elections.* The utterly unthinkable alternatives include (a) that I should hesitate to draw conclusions from the questionnaire since I'm not steeped in the particulars of current British political controversies or (b) that I should gainsay the results of a web-based poll.

Because these two alternatives are so unacceptable, I will vote for the Liberal Democrats, though I may cast my second vote for the Greens.**

Generally, I would have thought myself a Labour voter. I didn't leave Labour, Labour left me.

While I realize American politics and British politics track one another only so closely, I am genuinely surprised at how many questions in this poll seem unfamiliar -- more exactly, to my culture-war-weary American eyes, the questions were surprisingly bland, or what we label technocratic here in the USA.

At the risk of running amok with Anglophilia here, the questions in this poll suggest a national politics featuring political parties that want to pursue more or less distinctive policy ends. Here in the USA, by contrast, we are increasingly accustomed to one party that fights within itself over policy, set against another party that needs tranquilizers and bite-masks to keep it doing only as much harm as is done by scrawling insipid, misspelled slogans on walls using its own shit. I'm looking right at you, Libertarian party of the USA, but I actually mean our straightjacket-ready friends in the GOP.

* I am neither a resident nor an eligible voter in Britain, as far as I know.
** I don't plan to vote a second time -- unless, of course, I vote a first time, which I don't think is likely since [see first note].

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