Conservative voters: Why this election, you need to vote for someone else

Conservative Logo with Union Flag Colouring

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I assure you that it is not going to be a bias attack of the values you hold dear. Instead, I will demonstrate that your values and the future success of the Conservative Party, depends on action now.

I am not going to second guess why you intend to vote for the Conservative Party. But if you just always have done, please check out my previous post. I am also not going to argue against the policies, I will assume that you are well versed in the manifestos issued this year. Although, I highly recommend taking this online test.As no matter who you vote for, it is insightful.

Instead I am going to use Game Theory and the benefits of improved equality to demonstrate how your values and the Conservative Party would benefit from a tactical vote.

The Game Theory rationale

Game theory is the study of mathematical models to derive optimalpositioning/decision making. In political terms this can most simply be seen in the traditional left wing vs right wing spectrum.

Voters are spread across this line. Each party aligns themselves along this line, taking the portion of voters nearest to them. The idea is to position your party where it will get the most votes. This is why, in recent years, The Labour Party and Conservative Party have always been the 2 main parties. They position themselves centrally. A bit to the left and right of each other, enabling the greatest reach of voter capture.

When other parties in your catchment zone do well, they take voters away from you, equally if they fail, you are there to collect the votes. For the Conservative Party, this is most visible with UKIP voters, whom sitting to your right are more traditionally going to perceive the Conservative Party as an alternative than a party further left.

The unbalanced electorate spread

Now just because you have been positioning yourself centrally to the electorate does not mean that you are a central party. In fact over the past few decades, the ‘centre’ has been drifting right in the UK. This has meant that the labour and Conservatives are both far more right wing than their counterpart parties in Europe. However, particularly since the financial crash, the electorate has been returning to a more balanced position.

The problem for the Conservative Party is that they are failing to move quickly to reflect this. Some noises have been mooted to this effect within the manifesto, but not nearly enough. The Labour manifesto is considered by some as particularly left wing. It actually remains to the right of their peer parties in Europe. they are however addressing a changing electorate, staying just right enough to ensure optimal positioning.Game Theory Example

If the Conservative Party were to succeed this election, they would miss the opportunity to re-position themselves to reflect the electorate. If they were not to succeed, a more robust change would be required to party policy, ensuring a quicker return to a competitive and optimal stance. A vote against the Conservative Party at this election, would be a vote for a stronger Conservative Party at the next election.

Increased Equality: Why this matters to Conservative voters

If you want any of the following, it really matters and I will tell you why:

  • A strong economy
  • Low crime
  • Reduced Terrorism
  • The ability for hard work to be rewarded
  • For your Children and Grandchildren to have the opportunities you worked hard for them to have
  • Security and freedom of the UK
  • The UK to be a powerful voice in the world
  • High employment levels

What greater equality is not

  • It is not Communism.
  • It does not fund laziness.
  • It is not a threat to innovation and industry.
  • It is not a punishment of the hard-working and the successful.
  • It is not exclusively a Left-wing ideal. Although left wing parties are often more outspoken, there are conservative parties globally who support this.

What Greater Equality is

  • It is a means to ensure that all hard work is appreciated, respected and paid appropriately. The gap between the CEO of a company and the lowest paid member of staff should be reflected. Each individual contributes to the success of the company, thereby a fair distribution of the company’s success would mean that a CEO would only earn a fixed times amount more than the lowest paid. For some companies, this is 100+ times as much, but do they really work that much harder? When someone earns so much more than someone else, it is not a reward for their work, it is a fine to the rest. It is undervaluing their contribution, their hard work leading to greater job dissatisfaction.
  • The tightening of taxation on the top 1% and of the largest corporations is not a punishment. It is a gesture to rebalance society.
  • A basic living wage for all would remove poverty. In turn this would improve the health and education of a nation. It would actually ease the stress on the economy.
  • More equal education would enable our industries to hire more qualified staff. It would allow greater freedom for the individual to choose their desired career path. This in turn would lead to greater job satisfaction. This leads to more effort being given to the work, greater innovation. A strong, future proofed economy.
  • Countries with better equality are less engaged in war. They recognise the contribution of all individuals who make up the success of their nation. They have strong relationships with other global nations, facilitating trade and peace.
  • You could live longer. Unlike our more equal counterparts, the UK’s life expectancy has not improved in recent years. Despite the fact that the UK is much wealthier than the majority of these nations.

Does it all sound too good to be true?

If there were not already dozens of countries demonstrating the benefits of improved equality, I would understand your concern. But they are there to follow. Each nation is rewarded with falling crime levels, corruption and poverty. They have improved mortality rates, better healthcare, better performance in education. Better lives. This isn’t just a platitude, the top 5 nations on the equality measure are also the 5 happiest nations on the planet.

It does take a bit of a longer term view, I admit. How quick this can be achieved will depend upon how quick parties are to address inequality. I recognise that change can be scary, but not long ago women were given the vote and you can’t say that this example of improved equality was a bad thing. That is all this is, a different way of thinking that very quickly will feel normal and you will wonder what the problem was.

At present, the Conservative manifesto is proposing policies which exacerbate inequality. To speed the process of achieving a ‘Strong and Stable’ nation, a vote against the Conservative Party, will demonstrate a desire in their voter base for greater equality. For longer, happier and more successful lives for all.

Thank you for your time. I hope this has given you some food for thought. I will not tell you how to vote, although I still feel it is important to vote. But if you could consider a tactical vote the impact would be worthwhile. If this post has you thinking further, please message me for more information on any of these topics – there is only so much I can put in a blog post.

To any non-Conservative voters, please send this page to your Conservative voting friends

Tactical Voting: What it is and how to do it

You may have heard in the media the term ‘Tactical voting’ being mentioned, but are not entirely sure that you know what it is. Let’s answer this concern.

What is Tactical Voting?

Tactical voting is a method of maximising the value of your individual vote. It works anytime there are more than 2 options to choose from. Everyone has one vote. The idea behind tactical voting is to make the most impact with your individual vote in your desired political direction. So, if your ideal party is very left of centre and unlikely to be elected in your region, you can instead choose to vote for a party that is not your ideal, but is preferable to a party in a strong position further to the right. This is how it would look like for you at this election.

So how does Tactical Voting work?

It only works because of the current electoral system. If Proportional Representation were adopted, whomever your favourite party is, they would receive fair representation in government. A vote could not be considered a waste. Instead, the number of total votes does not matter, only how many seats are won. Tactical voting is a challenge to this unrepresentative system. An attempt to make it more representative to you.

Tactical voting is looking at past results, seeing how parties have performed in recent elections and  choosing to vote in a manner to affect change.

For example:

Party A received 20 votes last election, Party B received 19 and Party C 4 votes.

Tactical voting exampleIf your preferred party  is Party C, and Party A is the furthest from your views,changing your vote to Party B could prevent Party A winning outright.

tactical voting example

Now obviously there will be a lot more voting taking place and it is unlikely to come down to just one vote, but each conscious vote can make a difference collectively.

Why would you want to vote tactically at this election?

You would only need to vote tactically if the area where you are eligible to vote has a strong Conservative candidate.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, called an early election in an expectation that she could strengthen her position in government by increasing the number of Conservative Party Members in Parliament. Ensuring less opposition to her more divisive proposals, which even a few within her own party have contested. A larger majority would weaken the voice of concern.

So the primary objective with a tactical vote this year is to prevent an increased majority. The hope though, is to achieve a change of government entirely.

What if the Conservatives are strong where I live?

Although the odds are worse than if you were living in a closely contested seat, it is still worth considering a tactical vote. Benefits can still be achieved by reducing a sizable majority. Politicians rely on the security of safe seats. By reducing the strength of a party in your area, they will need to work harder to ensure they retain them. It is this reason that safe seats can be left to stagnate or taxes unfairly raised. Whereas, areas where the vote is not secure receive greater public engagement and contentious taxing is given greater consideration.

What now?

There isn’t much else to say really. If you want the current government having a blank cheque to write all their own laws. Deciding your future for you, then do nothing.

If you still want to have a voice in your future, vote for whoever can beat them where you live.

If you would like to learn more about why you vote the way you currently do check out my previous blog post

Please share with friends and family. Tactical voting isn’t a dark art, it’s just making sure that your one slice of cake is a fair size.

The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Voting in the General Election 2017

I get it, politics can be confusing, you keep getting different messages from family, friends and the media. If only there was a quick and easy way to decide whether to vote and who for. Well congrats, you’ve just found it, in just a few steps (and in less time than it takes to watch one tv episode) you’ll be set.

Here goes …

Palace of Westmister at dusk with clear blue sky

What is the General Election and why has it been called?

The General Election is when you vote for those who represent you at the houses of parliament. The party with the most seats (not votes) tend to win. If a party gets over half of the available seats, it is theirs automatically, if they don’t but they have the most they will be the main party but can form a coalition with other parties to make up the numbers.

The election has been called by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, as they (the Conservative Party) currently do not hold a large majority. This means that it is more challenging to pass bills as if a handful of Conservative MPs disagree with their own party the bill can fail. The Conservative government believe they can increase their majority and thus make it easier to pass the changes they wish to make.

Why should I vote? It never makes a difference to me

You have probably heard all the old sayings of ‘people died for you to have this right’ and ‘people in some countries do not have this luxury’  and well, they’re not wrong. However, it is more than that.

If you feel that the current government (whoever is in power at the time) is not doing a good job, then you vote for someone else. Not voting is as good as an endorsement for them to keep going as they are. Also, particularly if you are 18-24, and feel that they do not represent your concerns, they never will if you do not vote as they have no incentive to try and win your vote. Instead parties focus their attention on the older generations who will be keep them in power / get them into government.

Also; if you have voted, you have a moral right to moan when they are doing a bad job (and it’s fun to moan) and to challenge them to do better. You participated in getting them their job (even if you didn’t vote for them), they work for you, you can find out more about who currently works for you , how they vote on big issues and see if they represent your views.

How do you know if you are registered to vote?

This one is easy – I have already received a Polling Card through the post for this election, so if you have not, you’re probably not registered.

 

How do you register?

Before reading any further, get registered, it’s really simple and also urgent as you only have until the 22nd May to get registered, so don’t put this off.

  • Check your diary for 8th June 2017 (that is when the election takes place) and see where you are / what you are up to.
  • If you are on holiday, in an all day meeting / lecture, or have a really bad hangover and don’t plan to get out of bed (on a Thursday, really!) then you will need a postal vote. This means you get it all over and done with ahead of time and it is pretty darn satisfying. Or you could have someone you trust vote on your behalf, find out more information on Proxy voting here.
  • If you plan to visit your local Polling station (often a community centre or Church, etc. within a few minutes walk from your home), then you can just register as normal.
  • Now stick the date in your phone with a reminder, you don’t want to miss it. Try and set it early, so that you vote before you go to work or Uni, it gets it out of the way and means that you can stay out with friends or head to the pub and not have to get home to vote.

Okay, registered … but who do I vote for? They’re all as bad as each other!

You will have been getting a whole range of different opinions from many different sources, passionate friends and family, the tv, social media, the truth is the only opinion that really matters is yours. Who actually best represents your ideals?

Yes, none of the parties are perfect, there will not be a perfect fit to your beliefs, however think of it like this. You could walk through a cowpat laiden field in Wellington Boots or in Barefeet. Standing in a cowpat is not an ideal scenario and although both options can be cleaned up and improved by you taking action, there is clearly a better of the 2 options. It is the same with the parties, you want to pick the best starting point – you can still hold them to account if elected.Wellington boots in MudFeet in mud

 

 

 

Understand that unlike the US, you are not voting for a personality, you are voting for the party that have the best plan for the country.

Try this short quiz to determine which parties best align with your views (the results may surprise you).

Okay I have my results – now what?

Well it depends on your results and what you believe in. If your top result was the Conservative Party (the party currently in power) and you are happy with what they have done in the past 7 years and what they are planning to do in the next 5, then you can probably stop reading now, you have your answer.

If however, you are an unhappy with your Conservative result, or whose results indicate views to the left of the Conservative party, there are options.

  1. You could vote for the party that best matches your ideals (assuming they are standing in your area (i.e. SNP only stand in Scotland)
  2. You could vote tactically. This might mean that you do not vote for the party with the top score in the quiz you completed, but for one of the other parties who still likely scored better than the Conservatives, but whom stand the best chance to win in your area. Now this will vary for everyone, so just enter your postcode and this site will tell you the best option you have to change the government.
  3. Or you could protest vote, by voiding your vote by drawing a big cross across the whole page. It is still counted as a vote, but indicates that none of the parties were good enough.

Now feel free to use this information to further your research, look closer at manifesto plans, but don’t get bogged down on single issues that are being forced on you, the government impact is wide ranging.

Be aware that media is bias and that algorithms on things like Facebook can mean things become a bit like an echo chamber and you only hear the same message.

But know that your vote really matters and that if you choose to vote tactically you have a real chance at changing the government or at least preventing a majority and ensuring they continue to feel pressure in the decisions that they make.

If this helped, please share with friends and family – especially if they are in the 18-24 year old bracket who really would make a huge difference to the country if they turned out to vote.