Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who I'm voting for

Last week, Morgue posted urging people to post about who they would be voting for and why:

Social psychology tells us that the biggest influence on our behaviour is the behaviour of people we know.

Our day-to-day social groups usually share our opinions on political matters, but Facebook (and, to a lesser extent, other social media tools) connects many of us to people beyond this.

So here’s a simple thing you can do before the election: announce on social media how you’re going to vote. Perhaps also say why if you can sum it up in a sentence. No big song and dance required, no need to engage in arguments if people reply. Just speak up.

Since then, I've been inundated by members of Morgue's vast social network posting about their political preferences. So I thought I'd join the party.

On election day, I will be giving my party vote to the Greens, just like I have for every election they've been running. And the reason is the same: they're the strongest voice for a cleaner, more sustainable, more equal, and more free society. While Labour has made a welcome return to left-wing policy with its focus on child poverty and their push for more paid parental leave, their poor human rights record (and in particular, their disgraceful support of blank-cheque video surveillance powers for police) mean they are unworthy of my support.

I will be giving my electorate vote to Iain Lees-Galloway. While he's Labour, and has voted the party line on all of their objectionable stuff, he's a good guy and I'd like to see him back. And yes, he supports same-sex marriage.

In the referendum, I will of course be voting to keep MMP. It is fairer, it gives us a Parliament that looks like New Zealand, and it means governments need majority support for their policies. These are all Good Things, and anyone who disagrees is not any kind of democrat.

In the second question of the referendum, I will be voting for FPP. This is purely a tactical decision. I don't want there to be a second referendum, but if there is, I want MMP to go up against a system it can beat hands-down, which doesn't have much in the way of virtues, which can't be spun as a "middle road" and whose supporters are slowly dying off. And that system is FPP (STV would be my distant second choice after MMP, but it has a very high effective threshold, leading to a disproportionate outcome, so I'm not really that keen on it). I hear some people are leaving this part of the ballot blank, because they don't want anything other than MMP, but this abdicates power to people who don't (which will likely be MMP's opponents). Either vote your preference, or vote tactically, but either way, vote.