So almost predictably, with the ‘threat’ of a ‘No-Deal’ exit from the EU having been ‘taken off the table’, with a further Article 50 extension to January 31st now agreed, Parliament has now agreed to Boris Johnson’s request for a General Election, which will be held on Thursday 12th December 2019.
I know that questions have been asked about the timing of this election, and it has been suggested – and I would agree – that there is every chance that turnout at this election could be low if the weather turns out to be bad. What would be the chances of a ‘snowbomb’ hitting the UK on or before December 12th?
Because the thing is that a low turnout suits the Establishment Elites, as there will always be a ‘hardcore’ of people who will go and vote for the Establishment parties no matter what, and of course postal voting fraud is easier to control and manage.
Turnouts for elections are usually quite poor anyway, however this particular General Election will also ‘unofficially’ act as a surrogate “Second Referendum”, “Peoples’ Vote” or “Final Say”. The turnout for the EU Referendum that was held in 2016 was one of the highest in recent times, quite possibly helped by the fact that voters could put aside their tribal voting mentality, and simply answer a binary question.
Who to vote for?
Before I continue, as per the title of this article, I am not trying to seek to influence the way that anyone chooses to vote, I am just analysing the options being put to voters. It’s your vote, it should be your choice.
As I already stated, this GE is more than just another General Election where we decide the make up of our Government and Parliament, the underlying theme is ‘where do we go with Brexit’.
The Conservatives under Boris Johnson seem to be insinuating that a vote for them, is a vote for the ‘deal’ that has been agreed with the EU, which is nothing more than a rehashed version of the ‘deal’ that Theresa May got agreed. There is more on this elsewhere but it is basically “not really leaving the EU” and is essentially a new treaty with the EU. (So much for ‘leaving’ then).
The Brexit Party led by Nigel Farage is very much in favour of the so-called “No Deal” exit from the EU. Which, I believe, is the only way that the UK could ever actually ‘leave’ the EU.
The Liberal Democrats (someone call Trading Standards please) have made their position very clear – it is now party policy to just ‘cancel Article 50’ and thus Remain in the EU, not even bothering with the ‘second referendum’ that they’ve been calling for for the past couple of years.
And as for the Labour party, well your guess is as good as mine. Depending on who you ask and what time of day it is, their policy seems to flip-flop all over the place. Last I heard, they would seek to negotiate a new ‘acceptable’ deal with the EU for the terms of our leaving, then they would give the people a ‘Final Say’ referendum, and would campaign to reject the deal they had negotiated, and to Remain in the EU.
Some choice then
Obviously this General Election isn’t just about Brexit, after all parties will be putting forwards other policies as part of their manifestos. But let’s face it, this is going to be a Brexit General Election.
And that in part might also put people off from voting, as they normally do in General Elections.
“What’s the point, they never do what they promise”, “they ignored my vote in 2016, they’ll just ignore it again”, “they’re all a bunch of self-serving crooks” are common comments you’ll find being stated.
What could happen?
The ‘Leave’ vote could be split between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party. This could be disastrous, as it could end up with Labour winning more seats, and thus winning power.
But also equally, the ‘Remain’ vote could be split between the Labour and LibDem parties, which could end up with Conservatives narrowly winning more seats.
I would predict that the ‘Remainers’ will try and coalesce behind the LibDems, at least their policy on Brexit is absolutely crystal clear. And of course, the LibDems might also pick up some ‘token votes’ from those disatisfied with both the Conservative and Labour parties, without understanding fully what they would be voting for.
There’ll be a lot of encouraging of ‘tactical voting’ from all sides, as the Establishment try to contain this election to a straight choice between Conservative and Labour, as they have done for the last few decades – “Vote Farage, get Corbyn”, “Vote Swinson, get Johnson” etc etc.
If you want change…
…you have to vote for it. Unfortunately the ‘first-past-the-post’ electoral system we have here in the UK doesn’t make things easy for getting real change, not unless the millions of people who don’t vote get off their backsides and do something.
If you continue to vote for any of the Establishment parties (Conservative, Labour, LibDem etc) nothing is ever going to change.
Instead of not bothering, just go and vote for somebody else. Give your vote to an independent candidate not affiliated with any political party, someone brave enough to put themselves forward. Or vote for someone representing a small otherwise unheard of party.
Let’s face it, if we all got behind the Monster Raving Loony party and they somehow were able to form a government, would anyone notice the difference?