Monday, March 15, 2010

Calling all political activists

Despite being the kind of person who takes a general interest in the world around him, likes to learn new stuff for the sake of it and has a real burning desire to just know how things work, I have absolutely no interest in politics.

I have a vague idea that this is a bad thing, but I can't seem to do anything about rectifying it. It just does not grip me. My knowledge of politics extends to a misty awareness that there's a general election coming up sometime soonish, and that there are three main parties to choose from, two of which are ones that people actually vote for. Many people seem to want to vote for the third but don't on the basis that no-one else wants to vote for them. This seems absurd.

I try to take something of an interest, I really do. But I get put off by one quite major thing. I'll try to describe what that is...

The two main parties' election campaigns appear to consist almost entirely of slagging off the other main party. Party Political Broadcasts interrupt my already sketchy televisual experience to tell me that I shouldn't vote Conservative because someone's got funny hair, or something. And then another tells me that I shouldn't vote Labour because one of them said something a bit iffy about my grandmother.
And then the Lib Dems come on and tell me that I shouldn't vote Labour or conservative because they both have bad breath and don't wash the soles of their feet in the shower*.

In short, the political campaigns that rage in the popular media; the ones that are more likely to come my way, seem to be geared towards ensnaring the average British TV soap enthusiast and/or Sun reader. Some of the skirmishes even appear to be targeted at readers** of the Daily Fail.

I guess this is a rather long-winded way of coming to my main point, which is a challenge. A challenge to anyone of a vaguely political nature who happens by this post. That challenge can be summed up in just two words:

Sway me.

I am a blank canvas. Convince me that your party is the one for me; the one next to which I should place my pencilled 'X' come voting day. You can do this in the comments or by way of a response post on your own blog (please comment with a link so that I and others may find it). Bear in mind that I am not the only person in this situation or with these priorities: You are potentially calling to thousands of others like me Some hints to help you along the way:
  1. My personal priorities are:
    1. Education (particularly mathematics, and from the point of view of classroom teachers)
    2. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics in general
    3. Not having to pay for things I don't use (i.e. paying extra taxes to fix roads I don't drive on)
    4. Religion (particularly crowbarring it away from decision making for important, real-world, non-imaginary things)
  2. If you include slurs against candidates from opposing parties (or against other parties in general) this will count against you. If your party is worthy of my vote you won't need to call someone else's mother names in order to win it.


@miss_s_b has responded on behalf of the Liberal Democrat party here:

Is there anyone out there willing to pick up the gauntlet in the name of any other British political party?

* Yes, I know this isn't precisely the case, but I think you get the point: Each party (it seems to me) moans about the policies of the others far more than saying why theirs are quite good, actually.
** I use this word loosely.