On the Left - What a surprise ! - But nowhere to go ?
The Political Survey 2005 : www.politicalsurvey2005.com/ reveals to no great surprise that I'm politically left-wing. With regard to political compatibility it suggests that of all the largest political parties it is with the Greens whom I have the greatest similarity of views, with twice as many respondents sharing similar views,than do Labour and Lib Dem inclined voters. It would have been interesting to compare my typical views with those held by the continuing Liberal party, but they are not included in the comparison chart.
Happily there are no BNP or UKIP supporters with whom I share commonalities with, despite being more Eurosceptic minded than most other Lib Dem members. In terns of the wider populace the survey says :
* 8.6% are significantly to your left
* 45.8% have views about the same as yours
* 45.6% are significantly to your right
That seems about right ! I'm glad that it recognises that I am internationalist in outlook, prefer rehabilitation to retribution in respect of the criminal justice system. And, in economic terns, it describes me as 'slightly socialist' and anti-war. In reality, I very much support a redistributive economic model.
So where does someone who is broadly on the left, is internationalist in outlook, redistributive in economic terms, a Euro agnostic, favours decentralisation, has small l liberal values go ? Traditionally and tribally I was Labour. Blair, the Iraq War and a shift to the right put paid to that. Lib Dems outwardly appear quite attractive, but their taxation policies and their potential impact on public services concern me. The floated proposals on 'free schools' could result in more selective and socially divisive system and some at the top of that party want to reposition the party on issues like scrapping tuition fees. In short my perception is of a party moving rightwards under the leadership of an ineffectual leader. The Greens ? Disorganised, often illiberal and their policy programme seems in part disjointed and unrealistic.
There are people in each of these parties I admire, ethos and policies that I can subscribe to (and disagree with). But none really enthuse me.
As someone who has always been politically engaged I feel 'switched off'. Watch most political programmes on TV, listen to radio broadcasts, read eports in the written media and little reflects my concerns or those who live in areas like mine. On a political blog I find myself more enthused about writing of the Derby - Forest match this evening. How has it come to this ?
At least America was offered clear and distinctive choices. No-one could doubt the differences between McCain and the Republican party and the alternative of Obama. Obama in European terms is hardly a radical, but the choices on offer meant voting could make a difference. Nationally whilst I'd hate to see the return of of the Tories and, locally I see how they still serve the few rather than the many, I just don't feel motivated politically at all. Am I alone in feeling this way ?
Can anyone give me good reasons to leave my armchair and be politically active again. Nasty conservatism in one borough (Torbay) can only motivate one so much !