No longer a Floating Voter #GE2017
My job requires political impartiality. I’m involved and invested in the political system that we operate in the UK. I believe passionately in democracy and participation. Not voting is an abdication of responsibility as an adult. We all owe it to each other to participate in choosing our governments and answering the big questions.
The penalty good people pay for failing to participate is to be governed by others (Plato)
This has always been true, and never so clear as it is now. Like it or not we are living in interesting times. In the proverbial Chinese sense. There is only one key issue in this general election, Brexit.
Brexit dominates this General Election more than any other issue. It affects every single one of us, whether we want it hard and fast, soft and slow or never in our lifetime. If you want the UK to leave then you’ll want to campaign to ensure that we do. If you wanted to stay, or avoid the hard Brexit that Theresa May is offering, then you need to find a candidate in your constituency that professes to support your viewpoint.
Whatever you want there is going to be a fight about it. The 2017 general election is the second Brexit referendum, only this time we are (ever so slightly) better informed.
I see Brexit as an existential threat to the UK. I firmly believe that it has already polarised us to an extent that is harmful. We can see that with the noises coming from Northern Ireland and Scotland. NI is worse because it might reignite the violence by creating brand new grievances for the old paramilitaries. Scotland though could strike the death blow to the Union.
For that reason alone I will never vote for a candidate, or party, that supports Brexit. It was reckless in the extreme when David Cameron called the referendum to placate troublemakers in his own party. It was criminal that he didn’t set out what government policy would be if people voted to Leave. If he had then the worst lies of the Leave campaign could have been shown at the time. It would also have given a negotiating mandate in the event of a Leave vote, which would have meant we would have had much less uncertainty.
So my vote is pretty much certain. I’m voting for a candidate that wants to stop Brexit. There’s only one of those here and hopefully 20,000 other people like me that will vote for them. The margin in my area for Leave was only 700 votes, under 1% of those cast. The MP has a 22k majority, but some of those will be remain. So if everyone switched to the same candidate then he could lose his seat. At the very least he needs a good scare so that he thinks twice about supporting a hard Brexit as his party leader proposes.
Here’s hoping for an uncharacteristic outbreak of common sense.