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(Labour) Party in my eyesocket, and everyone’s invited

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Season 7 of Buffy wasn’t nearly as funny as the rest, but I liked that line of Xander’s. He didn’t specify which party mind you.

When I go home to vote these evening, I’m fairly sure I’ll be voting Labour in the general election, Lib Dem in the Hackney Mayoral election (if anyone cares)… and I’m still a floating voter for the council elections. So if anyone’s skulking around hoping to change hearts and minds… tell me who and why. In the running are Greens, Labour and Lib Dem. Though I believe our ward’s fairly safely Tory for some reason. Perhaps the large Hassidic Jewish population, who’d rather organise their own business, and the Tories offer the most in that regard? Or rather, the least.

You know, I’m still not entirely sure whether I’ll be voting Lib Dem or Labour in the general election either. I am an infuriating floating voter.

Perhaps it won’t make a large difference in the result of the election, as I’m in a very safe Labour seat (though, it would make a difference to  total voting numbers should they kick in during a Hung Parliament).

But all the same, I’m finding I want to choose very carefully and actually back the people I’d prefer to have in charge. I’ve voted tactically or in protest on the whole before, so trying to find a horse I actually want to back (rather than a horse I want to bar, or an issue I want to push) is a fairly new experience.

I believe in social justice, equal opportunities and a society that aims to look after its members, and not just some of its members, and but I’m also fairly pragmatic. I have strong objections to Labour’s record in some areas (civil liberties, foreign policy), but they have also done some decent things, and I feel that not voting for them because of 28 day detention or Iraq is a little childish and backwards-looking.

Some Lib Dem policies have really impressed me, especially their pledge about equal splitting of maternity and paternity leave, which I believe is an essential step towards genuine equality between men and women in society and in the workplace.

Also, on a personal note, a friend of mine recently had twins, and I think it’s frankly rubbish that he only got two weeks off to spend with them. Two weeks, with two brand new people? Bah.

But, with the Lib Dems, I still remain unconvinced that their “fairness” has a firm shape. I’m not convinced that they are as committed to social justice as they are to electoral reform. Perhaps I’m just taking part in that self-fulfilling policy – that the Lib Dems have no shape, because they haven’t been bashed around by the realities of power.

So, Lib Dem or Labour? I’ve got until 10pm tonight to decide…

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