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May 02, 2010

Comments

Luis Enrique

well, I think Nick is wrong about the Lib Dem tax. It's no criticism of a tax reform that it doesn't benefit people who are too poor to pay tax. Plus there's playing fast and loose with income data, as I've written elsewhere: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/03/19/data-abuse/

I am quite surprised to learn you oppose raising the income tax threshold

JParry

Simple answer is that you cannot refine the signal you want to send with your vote under the current electoral system. It's all or nothing. You would have much greater scope to do so under the Single Transferable Vote. Seems like another reason to vote LD this time...

Calum

Well, what do you expect? You can't take the unsynthesised opinions of every voter in the country and expect to get a parliament which is exactly representative of the sum total of those views (and considering what some voters believe, thank goodness for that...)

Matthew

I'm surprised too at your opposition to it. You've previously posted quite a bit on how big government and redistribution can't work because the lowest-paid pay too much income tax, and although everyone pointed out to you it was sillly to ignore the benefits side, I didn't realise you had changed your mind?

Terry

I guess we'll have to get used to the art of compromise - after all, it looks like the government is heading rapidly that way. Which in itself might not be a bad thing. Debates people turn up and listen to, searches for things the parties can agree on instead of constant sniping for the sake of it? The Lib Dems have some policies that need deeper digging but at least they aren't proposing to chuck away billions on ID cards, Trident, inheritance tax for the rich etc. etc.

blanco

Chris, even if none of the parties offers a particularly attractive package, I think it makes sense to vote for whichever one is the most attractive on offer - or the least unattractive on offer, depending on how you see things.

You will never get a perfect political party, and whilst a lot of people say they wish they could mix and match the policies from each party to suit their own views, this can only be done a) if you join one of the parties and change their policies from within, or b) vote in such a way as to maximise the possibility of a parliament with no one party being the largest, and so they'll have to mix and match their policies.

Ultimately, you can't tell me or anyone else that your vote is too precious to be given to anyone other than the perfect match:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/01/precious-vote-apathy-tactical-voting

(Ignore the Toyn's silly patronising tone, she has a point)

Use http://voteforpolicies.org.uk or VoteMatch if you want to see which party is closest to you on the issues that matter most to you.

chris

Matthew - I'm not opposed to lifting low-wage workers out of tax. I'm opposed to pretending that this, on its own is sufficient.

redpesto

blanco - Toynbee would have a point if she didn't (a) use that patronising tone; (b) use it (as well as the same arguments) every time there's an election; (c) pretend she's above 'tribal' politics while insisting on voting Anything But Conservative (I might share that opinion, but it's still 'tribal'); (d) repeatedly fail to take account of the fact that it's New Labour that she's talking about, not some SDP 2.0 that's frolicking in her head with the magic ponies. She's stuck with forever voting against rather than voting for, which doesn't help anyone in a safe Labour seat or address the problem of how one gets New Labour to turn into something better (or just die off) by voting 'for' it. Plus, she now thinks that somehow 'we' can tactically vote for a hung parliament, which is a much bigger ask than doing so simply to get rid of the Tories. Moreover, I'll wager that she'll use exactly the same arguments if and when we get PR.

redpesto

PS: One other problem is that New Labour's 'imperfections' weren't errors; they were policy, which is a bit more difficult to excuse when casting one's vote.

ortega

Some people says that Clegg's rising means the need for a change in the election system. But it seems to me that your reasoning belongs to the two party system. The more parties you may vote (with the hope of them being elected) the more things you find to like and dislike in every one of them.

Luis Enrique

so what you meant was: "I’m tempted to vote Lib Dem to endorse ... its immigration policy ... But such a vote is also a support for a tax policy that lifts low wage workers out of tax"?

Doesn't make much sense to me.

Andrew

Chris - The Lib Dems aren't claiming that taking low-paid workers out of Income Tax is sufficient. Clegg announced an aspiration to give workers a say and a stake in their companies in the Liberal Moment. Lib Dem policies on reform of the NHS and the Royal Mail contain concrete proposals in this line.

I'd have thought the direction of travel proposed by the Lib Dems is one that you'd instinctively support.

chris

Andrew - of course, I would support moves towards greater worker democracy, and I welcome the Lib Dems idea about Royal Mail. But they just don't go far enough - and I can't see a straight articulation of the case for coops, which is that bosses have too much power.
Nor do I see much in their manifesto about welfare benefits, other than a vague promise to target tax credits better.
Wouldn't a seriously redistributive party be clearer and bolder on both policies?

guthrie

I saw a bus in trafalgar square on Saturday with people urging us not to vote, because it encourages them. So clearly to improve signalling, we need re-open nominations on the ballot paper as well as transferrable voting.

Guano

I suspect that Nick Cohen is referring to his friend Denis MacShane when he talks about honourable men, though Denis is one of the main reasons why I won't be voting Labour.

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