As so the UK goes to the polls (or the majority of them don’t, they ignore it and just bitch about it later — I’ll try and avoid the bitching).
For the first time I can remember I’m not voting, I could probably have managed a proxy or postal vote but I left it too late (and the Philippines postal system leaves a lot to be desired). I doubt my vote would count for much, my home constituency is solidly red and my parents — where I could also vote — solidly yellowy-orange, or whatever the Lib Dem colour is. I have to clarify as the Scottish Nationalists can’t pick a colour different enough from the other three, what’s wrong with a nice purple?
I know I should have made more of an effort to vote, but I’m honestly not sure of who to vote for. Thirteen years of Labour haven’t turned out as well as it might, the economy is in the toilet and our civil liberties are fairly shredded. I used to be very much of the mindset that “if you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to fear” but I’m not anymore. Whilst I genuinely think that government did what it thought was best it’s left the machinery there for a later government to abuse.
Which annoyingly leads to me liking a Tory policy, as they’re looking too repeal a lot of it. Unfortunately it’s only one policy and they’ve got a bunch of really dubious candidates standing and other dubious policies to match. Although they might be the only party that wouldn’t panic the horses in the city too much, which might prove important in the long run.
The Lib Dems are dangerously close to actually having some power, and having to enact some of their policies. Something that would have been unthinkable in any other UK election I can remember. I guess they deserve a shot, but I’ve never really got over the sudden compromises the Scottish LDs made when they got a sniff of power in the Scottish government.
I’m not sure I believe the Nationalists argument that they’re still relevant in the UK parliament, previously perhaps — nowadays, not so much. And they trail a distant third or fourth in either seat I could have voted in.
Maybe I’d have voted greens or a maverick independent, who knows. I certainly don’t. I don’t know what’s going to happen next either, but I’m going to go out on a limb and make a prediction:
The Lib Dems vote collapses to just above it’s usual level as ‘Cleggmania’ fizzles, probably partially due to being given a stupid name. Their vote is split roughly evenly.
This gives the Conservatives the most votes and seats, but no overall majority. The LDs could make up the difference for the Tories but not for Labour who come second but with too few seats to make a coalition work.
Gordon Brown resigns in a surprisingly dignified goodbye, Nick Clegg starts to make overtures to the David Cameron but insists that electoral reform an absolute must. Cameron says no. Some newspaper makes a Man from Del Monte joke.
Cameron goes it alone and forms a minority government. The city has a bit of a fit as it realizes that this might go on for a bit, the FTSE drops along with the pound. In reaction the LDs and other smaller parties agree to support a limited Queens speech and an emergency budget and then ‘address each issue on merit’.
The opposition try and push through electoral reform, they may or may not succeed before Cameron calls it quits and goes back to the nation for a proper mandate.
All signs pointed to this being the last first-past-the-post election I would see, with reform following rapidly on it’s heels. Now I’m not so sure, I think we’ve got one more old-school election before we’ll see proportional representation … maybe more.