Imagine a country where nothing changes.
I was having a chat with a chap on twitter who said he always voted Labour because of history and tradition.
Let’s start there: imagine the UK where no government ever changes. It is always the same party in power with the same number of seats. The opposition also never changes and has the same number of seats. Year after year after year. Would this be a good thing?
I suggest that this would NOT be a good thing, but it is the logical consequence (more or less) of what would happen if everyone voted for party X, without considering the policies not only of Party X but comparing them to parties Y and Z.
Failure to put policy before party is immoral.
Strong words but to do otherwise is to accept that you will always vote for party X even if their manifesto pledge is the slaughter of the firstborn child. An extreme example but makes the point. Blind loyalty where that blindness will have serious effects for the country and the other people in the country is immoral. You might as well go into the voting booth and roll a die.
“I always vote Labour because it best represents my values”.
How do we judge a party’s values? Is it by their name or by what they say and do? If it is by the name then I will point you to the “Democratic” people’s republic of North Korea. Isn’t it more logical to judge the values of a party by their policies and the enactment of those policies? If you agree then I hope you will also concede that it is the policies matter more than party. After all party values change. May’s Conservatives are more far right than Cameron’s; Corbyn’s Labour party is more left than Blair’s. Doesn’t it make sense to change as the policies change? More than one person has left their party because of the party’s position on Brexit – and I applaud that.
Floating Voters are what makes the system work.
We avoid the disaster of an effective one party state where the winning party never changes by having people who are willing to vote for different parties following careful consideration of the policies expressed by each – floating voters. It is intellectually rigorous to consider all the arguments before casting your vote and negligent to do otherwise. Now it may be that your party X (Lab/Cons/LD etc) may have consistently given the policies you most agree with and so you have never voted for anyone else. I have no problem with this & I would consider such a person a floating voter because they are considering the policies first and not just blindly voting for a party come hell or high water.