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Parties -vs- independence

On 12 May 2014 at 4:08pm Innocent Bystander wrote:
On Sun 11 May at 8:51am Clifford wrote in "Tory Victim Ruth":
"If 'best' was so obviously recognisable we wouldn't need parties. There are conflicting interests in society. Parties are a rough-and-ready way of representing those interests. People vote for a party and the one that more people support takes office. If people don't like what that party does they vote for another one next time. Vote for an 'independent' and you're not voting for 'best', you're voting for personal whim."
If we can for a moment forget the personalities involved and one particular current issue, this is turning into a pretty fundamental discussion on the way our democracy works.
There’s no such thing as “best” because the word is subjective, value-laden and therefore meaningless. What’s one person’s “best” is another’s “worst”. Because “best” doesn’t exist it goes without saying that it is unrecognisable by anyone – even political parties. A reasonable definition of "best" might be "least worst". But then the same problems arise in defining "worst".
I agree there are many conflicting interests in society but the purpose of political parties is to sharpen and to draw attention to those conflicts, not to resolve them. You can see this every day as parties fall over themselves to find and promote differences in what they stand for in order to distinguish themselves from others. Conflict is the life-blood of politics. If parties can’t create and hang onto differences we might as well have one big happy party. Single party democracies are alive and kicking (mainly those they serve) in many parts of the world. There clearly can be no agreement on what constitutes "best", and political parties have no particular expertise in revealing what it means.
Many people do not vote for a party but for the candidate with the greatest appeal. Personally I never vote for a candidate who is too lazy, incompetent or arrogant to tell me what they’re about – either through literature, on my doorstep, or both. If they can’t be bothered to do this I assume they can’t be bothered to represent me. I never vote Tory because I have nothing in common with them and they do dreadful things to the most vulnerable. I never vote Lidbem because they can’t be trusted. UKIP’s way off the scale. Labour’s internal machinations hold little attraction. What added value do the different parties provide for me, and who can I sensibly vote for?
On 12 May 2014 at 5:47pm Sussex Jim wrote:
The "most vunerable" are their own worst enemy. They are a product of the experiment with socialism in the previous century.
The Liberals, once a credible opposition, are now just an "alternative" party.
UKIP are a temporary protest party; but we must release ourselves from the clutches of the EU.
The only credible party is the Conservative; the natural party of Britain for more than 100 years. I am not too impressed with Mr.Cameron-but he is our best choice to get through the next five years.
On 12 May 2014 at 6:31pm Mr Sensible wrote:
Only a minority of people vote for the party that gets in. This party then follows their own agenda, completely ignoring the majority of the population. The are strong if backed by the powerful media, weak if not. Hardly a democracy. Our political system is a mess.

The people in the UK vote not for policies but along tribal class-led lines. Due to the first past the post system small parties find it hard to survive so the spread of parties and interests we can vote for is tiny.
Currently many people are hacked of with the way things are. As has happned before along pops a charismatic leader with a handy scapegoat (immigration, Europe, i.e foreigners again) and the easily led and less educated jump on it. A dangerous scenario, especially considering most would-be UKIP voters are not aware of any of the parties other policies, like privatising the National Heath for instance.

This is where our system has brought us.

What would happen if we ignored the political parties, tribalism, class divides and charisma? Who would we vote for if we were not blinded by this? Why not find out? Try the link below and see which party caters for your real interests.

Then report back here with who you were/are going to vote and what the result YouGov's clever 'Vote For Policies' web site gave you.

No cheating.

Check it out here »
On 12 May 2014 at 8:29pm Ted wrote:
Nationalise the Banks!
Oh that's right, us & the Americans (and numerous other countries) already did. Capitalism failed spectacularly & had to be bailed out by the state (with our tax money & currncy devaluation), the Chinese & some very wealthy Arabs.
It's unforgivable that we will be paying for decades for this heist by the greedy rich and nobody, not one person has been fingered for the heist. All our ruling elite are compliant in the theft and I can't think of one of them who is telling us the truth. Not one.
We are led to believe that the crash was caused by people overstretching their mortgages & credit cards. It's a lie. The age of austerity is a lie.
The middle classes paying for everything and the poor being blamed for everything.
Westminster & the EU, all part of the Big Lie. I won't be voting for any of them.
On 12 May 2014 at 10:05pm Zebedee wrote:
Vote Green then. Not complicit and unlike UKIP, not full of nutters.
On 13 May 2014 at 12:31am Innocent Bystander wrote:
Nice one, Mr Sensible. Your linked questionnaire is both fascinating and revealing. I now know which party to vote for, in the absence of any suitable indie.
On 13 May 2014 at 6:33am Deelite 2 wrote:
Here's what Sussex Jim and his ilk are voting for.

Be careful what you wish for Jim.

Check it out here »
On 13 May 2014 at 11:56am Clifford wrote:
What I still can't understand from all the posts on the issue is what is the purpose of voting for an 'independent'? What does an independent stand for? What are their basic principles? And, please, don't anyone say 'Doing the best for their constituents' because Innocent Bystander has aready explained - at great length - how subjective the concept 'best' is.
On 13 May 2014 at 12:29pm Innocent Bystander wrote:
I'll be brief! If 'Doing the best for their constituents' applies to independents surely it applies to parties too? They're hardly likely to claim to be offering their worst.
On 13 May 2014 at 1:31pm Clifford wrote:
Bystander - The point about parties, as opposed to independents, is that voters can have an approximate idea of their approach to issues. That is what a party is: a gathering of people with shared views.
On 13 May 2014 at 5:02pm The Voice of Reason wrote:
Well Sussex Jim, my guess is that your real name must be Ruth O'Keefe, or you must be living with her. To suggest that the Tories are the only credible party, sort of gives it away.
On 13 May 2014 at 8:17pm belladonna wrote:
Just did that survey - found I'm 75 percent green and 25 percent Tory!!! AAAAArrgh. Well, happy about the green, not so much the Tory. Although the policy I turned out to be Tory in, I misread, so wanted to change, but not allowed to. So I comfort myself with that.
On 13 May 2014 at 8:27pm Innocent Bystander wrote:
I'm not so sure about that, Clifford. For example, how about Lansley's immensely expensive, futile and destructive reshaping of the NHS which was sprung on us from out of thin air and appeared nowhere in their manifesto? Nor was flogging off Royal Mail. Nor was the ludicrous bedroom tax. Nor was gay marriage - a real blinder from our trendy Cameron metro. Total reversal on renewable energy (remember his boast of being the greenest government in history?!) The list goes on and on. Not a single voter voted on these major policy initiatives because nobody knew about them at the election.
I really don't see that parties offer any more certainty in what they'll do once in office than independents.
On 13 May 2014 at 11:30pm Deelite 2 wrote:
Clifford. Have you discovered you are a greenie yet?
Welcome aboard. :-)

Check it out here »
On 14 May 2014 at 1:22pm Town Flyer wrote:
OMG I'm 50% UKIP. I feel dirty.
On 14 May 2014 at 8:37pm The Voice of Reason wrote:
50% green, 25% labour and 25% lib dem. An interesting result Mr. Sensible.
On 14 May 2014 at 9:49pm Mr Sensible wrote:
Well, that is a surprise VOR!
On 15 May 2014 at 5:08am The Voice of Reason wrote:
What did you think my result would be?
On 15 May 2014 at 6:17am Mr Sensible wrote:
UKIP. But probably I'm mixing you up with someone else.
On 15 May 2014 at 11:14am Southover Queen wrote:
A particularly unsavoury poster called "Voice of Britain" I suspect who, thankfully, seems to have been removed/discouraged/had his computer confiscated.

Voice of Reason is always, er, reasonable.
On 15 May 2014 at 5:20pm The Voice of Reason wrote:
Thank you Southover Queen, I'd like to think so too.
Mr. S. - UKIP????????
On 15 May 2014 at 10:09pm Mr Sensible wrote:
Sq is right on the money as usual.

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