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So anyway, I didn't vote in the European Elections today, for a number of reasons...

Ignoring for a second idiots like the UK Independence Party, and the not-so-well-thought-out Green party, the choice is really between the three main parties. They've all got different ideas about what membership of Europe really means, and about how best to interact with Europe. And from what I can see, their opinions stem from differing visions of what a future with Europe will lead to.

The Liberal Democrats seem to want to plunge us headfirst into full membership of the EU, single currency, and probably in the long term some sort of European super-state.. Not that that's necessarily even remotely on the table right now, but of the three parties, I think they're most likely to want to pursue that agenda. I don't really subscribe to that idea of the future - I think that Europe's strength comes from the powerfully different opinions of its member states.

If Europe had a unified defense policy, and super-close cooperation in military matters a year and a half ago, then the UK would not really have been able to send forces to Iraq. This would have presented a problem for Tony Blair, who so strongly believed that we had to get involved. Schism ahoy, and the whole thing breaks apart. Traditionally, the countries of Europe have been at war constantly, right up until the mid-twentieth century. As peoples of different cultures, we don't get on very well and aren't quick to trust each other.

I think that our ability to argue is a strength, and that a large number of independent decisions is worth more than a unified one. For that reason, I didn't feel I could vote for the Lib Dems.

Labour are a party who will be lucky to ever receive my vote again (not that I voted for them before either). Hijacking socialism in the cause of becoming electable was possibly a necessary action at the time, but I can't help but feel that the Tories would have self-destructed soon enough anyway, and if Labour had still been a true socialist party then when they did win the election, they'd have made a difference to the country and consigned the Tories to being an opposition party for a long long time. As it is, they won by being a younger, slightly more acceptable version of the conservatives, which means that their position is only secure as long as Tony Blair has his hair (which is fading fast).

Labour believe that we should be in Europe in order that we can play a key role in its decision making. They argue that if we back away from Europe, we'll be sidelined like Norway (who are doing pretty well, actually, so nuts to that argument). They want a powerful Europe, with the UK at the helm. I won't bother to point out which other "socialist" government in the last century had a similar vision.

However, I feel that their stance is just so full of hypocrisy that's it's not even worth entertaining as an idea. The British people don't want our decisions to be made by other countries, so Labour try to pretend that further involvement of Europe will mean we can be the ones making the decisions. It's rather shortsighted to believe that we'd have some sort of priority over France and Germany, and that our power as a nation comes from anything other than our "special relationship" with the United States. Labour are selling Europe on a flawed platform, that we will somehow lead it and not have our decisions taken out of our hands. I don't believe in the future they're selling, and I don't believe in them.

The Conservatives wouldn't usually be considered, but I rather agree with some of the things they say about Europe. The problem is, I agree with what they're saying, but not why they're saying it. While I truly believe that strength comes from diversity, and that the individual cultures of Europe should remain distinct so as to preserve that diversity, they believe that foreigners are bad, and shouldn't be trusted. Obviously not to the extent that the UKIP does, but nevertheless, I feel a lot of their policy is motivated by bigotry, both of the members of their party and the demographic group they aim to please. I don't blame them - I blame the British people for having a mentality which makes it viable to stand on a platform of intolerance and gain votes for doing so.

One thing that Michael Howard keeps harping on about is the idea of the European Constitution. That somehow, it is for countries, not collections of countries. Wester's defines it as
The fundamental, organic law or principles of government of men, embodied in written documents, or implied in the institutions and usages of the country or society
Well Europe isn't a country, but it's certainly a society (of sorts), and so their insistence that the constitution is a step towards a single European super-state is just scare tactics engineered to make people vote for them.

So the problem is, though they sometimes come out with the same reasons as me for not being a part of Europe, their main selling points are based on scare tactics, and their opinions come from fear and hatred of foreigners. So I wouldn't even think of voting for them.

Since I don't really agree with any of the parties, and since I don't want to abuse my vote in some sort of exercise in showing the government how I feel about a wholly separate issue, I decided not to vote. The Tories are a party I simply couldn't vote for, and the other parties seem to miss the point of Europe. While Europe speaks with many voices, it is strong. If Europe speaks with just one voice, it stops representing a large number of people, and isn't as effective as a world power.

So that's why I didn't vote..

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and if Labour had still been a true socialist party then when they did win the election, they'd have made a difference to the country

Yes they'd probably have run up massive public borrowing and cause the collapse of our economy like the very same party did in the 70's...

Not really - if they'd been a true socialist party, they'd have funded public spending with tax increases for the rich...

When last I checked, our economy didn't "collapse" in the 1970s - perhaps you're thinking of when Thatcher came to power and rendered millions unemployed, and basically fucked the country right up.

Anyway, you of all people can't deny that Labour are "Tory Lite", and that if they had stuck to their proper socialist values there would at least be a means of telling them apart from the Tories, for good or bad...

you of all people can't deny that Labour are "Tory Lite", and that if they had stuck to their proper socialist values there would at least be a means of telling them apart from the Tories, for good or bad...

Oh, I don't know about that, they're just doing socialism by stealth. As it is the tories are very much unelectable still, and I can't see the liberal democrats capable of forming a viable government. You're a bit stuck really...

Damn. I never thought I'd say this to anyone, but... I don't blame you for not voting.

Indeed.. there's no representation for non-racist, pro-immigration voters who just don't think European unification is the way forwards...

What's so wrong about keeping things separate? In business monopolies are bad, why do people fail to draw any parallels with countries? Healthy competition, diverse cultures, it's all good...

Yeah, precisely. I think that's one thing that makes things bearable here in the states - the fact that we have so many separate states that are allowed to do their own thing to a pretty considerable degree. In some ways I'm supportive of big government, (such as when it comes to the basics of providing for the citizens). But, as far as trying to throw all the culture and economics into a blender... there's no way I'd go for that.

Maybe you should get into politics so there will be representation for people like you. ;o)

hey i was just browsing through journals...your really cute! my names malerie people call me mal thhough! so if you wanna keep in touch or tlk sometime check out my journal...xoxox_mal_xoxox

I would, but without proof that you're attractive, I'm afraid that's not possible. Hope you understand...

hey whats your email ill send you a pic!

LMAO - It's been a while since you've gotten one of these, hasn't it? I remember a time couple of years ago there were about a dozen a day.

their position is only secure as long as Tony Blair has his hair

never has a truer word been spoken about British politics.

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