Sunday, 17 May 2009

Elections and Punishing Parties

It seems clear that many voters will punish the major parties by voting for minor parties such as UKIP, the Green Party and the BNP in the European elections. It is, of course, anyone's right to do this. However, I disagree with the principle of using votes negatively like this.

The major parties are bigger than their individual MPs. It appears that most MPs from most parties have not defrauded the taxpayer or sought to profit from the expenses system. It is also true that of people elected under the banner of the three main parties less than 0.1% have abused their expenses. Up and down the country, councillors from all parties are squeaky clean, as are, it seems, at least a substantial proportion of MPs.

Those MPs that have abused the expenses system should be drummed out of their parties immediately. However, we should not punish the majority of honest politicians who are standing on June 4th. It will be particularly harsh to turn out honest politicians through voting for a party whose MEPs are as bad as the worst Tory MPs on expenses (UKIP), or a party whose leader is an overt racist and which has some truly nasty policies (BNP).

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