Not only is a Lib Dem government the most popular option; it is the one that frightens voters far less than any other option.
I know that this just one of many sets of survey results, which all say wildly differing things, and that YouGov in particular may have been doing some push polling recently. But results like these should really be telling us now that the Liberal Democrats are actually a serious political force in this country.
It’s hard to really take that on board and incorporate it into the way we think. It’s been such a long-standing paradigm, becoming essentially a part of our national culture, that the Lib Dems are the hopelessly trailing third-place political party, who get to make whatever crowd-pleasing middle-of-the-road promises they want because they’re never actually going to be in power and have to make good on any of them. And it’s basically complete nonsense.
Unfortunately, as self-fulfilling prophecies go, it might not be possible to shake it off completely in the next couple of weeks. The chances of a Lib Dem government still seem slim – but this seems to be much more because nobody thinks it could happen, than because it couldn’t actually happen.
When asked: “How would you vote if thought LibDems ‘had a significant chance of winning the election nationally’?”, 49% said they’d vote Lib Dem. Seriously. Detailed YouGov stats here (PDF link).
Goddammit, people. Why can’t we all just vote for who we want to win? If everyone not backing the candidate who we’re told has the majority just doesn’t bother, because they assume everyone else on their side will do the same thing, then of course we’ll never get anywhere. But if everyone takes the radical approach of just voting for who they want to win, then we might just have a chance of electing the guy most people want to see in power.
To hell with strategy. Vote for someone worth it. Or, don’t vote at all – I don’t have the energy to go into a full rant on that right now, but that’s also entirely your prerogative. The genius that is Tim Minchin posted a series of tweets the other day, espousing a system of compulsory voting, as I believe is in place in Australia, where you’re legally required to cast a ballot and are fined if you fail to attend to your civic duty. I profoundly disagree with this; opting out of the whole process is one of those basic rights that I get very twitchy about anyone deciding they want to take away from me, whether or not I plan to exercise it. Encouraging involvement and combating voter apathy are important and worthy aims, but I can’t abide that kind of coercive method of doing so. Maybe there’s a full rant there for another time.
Mind you, even if the Lib Dems got a popular majority of the vote, they could still end up being screwed by the First Past the Post system. What the hell’s up with that, anyway? Haven’t there been perfectly good ways of making Proportional Representation work for years now?
To lighten the mood briefly before I close: Kent Hovind is still a loon. This time he’s positing a hypothetical conversation between himself and Ardipithecus ramidus. The guy still writes like an eight-year-old. You don’t even need to consider the inanity of his arguments; just the style of prose is cringeingly childish. (Hat-tip to PZ.)
Actually, that didn’t lighten the mood at all. Damn, and I don’t have any other links to hand. But I need to find something, so I don’t go to bed in a bad mood. Umm… Okay, you know what? It’s time to break out the laughing babies.
Much better. Night night.