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To fail to understand why people are "wavering voters"

(28 Posts)
howtotellmum Sat 06-Jun-09 09:30:35

and don't seem to understand the fundemental ideologies of the main two parties, which never change?

How can people not have a fundemental ideology/philospohy which they believe in? Is it he fault of the parties not to make it clear, or is it that people vote for whatever will make them, personally, better off at any one point in their lives?

goodnightmoon Sat 06-Jun-09 09:34:48

i disagree on this, because parties have actually changed quite a lot on key policies over time. Also, people's ideologies change with their own maturity and situations.

When you're young and single, you often don't care much about family policy.

And if you become rich, your views on tax are likely to change.

just to give two examples ...

lockets Sat 06-Jun-09 09:39:58

Message withdrawn

howtotellmum Sat 06-Jun-09 09:47:33

ah, but those are specifics, GNM. Your age and circumstances should not necessarily affect your philosophy of life.

One of the best books to show the real differences, if one by Alan Duncan- called "Saturn's Children- How the state devours Liberty, Prosperity and Virtue."

I see the two main parties as representing freedom and individual responsibility, encouraging private enterprise, choice, and minimum state control/interference, OR a top-heavy government, where high taxation is key, and the taxes spent on what the government regards as important, rather than allowing the individual to keep more of their own money and make those choices themselves.

HelloBeastie Sat 06-Jun-09 10:03:15

Well, that's one way of phrasing it, howtotellmum.

Another way of looking at it, is that it's rare for any of those free and responsible individuals to say, 'You know what? Rather than get a new car this year, I'm going to buy hip replacements for some old folks!'
So maybe some decisions are best left to governments.

It appears neither of us is a floating voter wink

retiredgoth2 Sat 06-Jun-09 10:14:15

....I disagree.

I am Labour by upbringing, was a Militant fellow traveller in the 80s and did a politics degree. So I don't think I am clueless.

....yet I have become, to my great surprise, a 'wavering voter'.


Well, I don't think it is easy to say that a fundamental set of values adheres to a particular party currently.

...I want (these days. The Militant years are long gone) a party that is socially liberal, and (less important) economically conservative (small 'c'). Most of all I want competence and decency.

....the current government (which until very recently I supported) is incompetent, and only patchily decent. They must go. Possibly for ever.

But where to find effective social liberalism, that isn't Yurt dwelling yoghurt weaving weirdness?

....I dunno.

<wavering emoticon>

howtotellmum Sat 06-Jun-09 10:14:46

So are you saying they shouldn't have the money to be able to buy a new car? (Ie it should be taxed-away?) Don't really get your point.

So if we all have new hips and don't buy new cars- what happens to the people who make cars? They lose their jobs and have to receive benefit that could pay for new hips.

And if we don't buy new cars, the government can't tax the car manufacturers, and ends up with no money for the NHS and new hips.

Far better to allow people to buy as many cars as they like, so keeping people who make cars in jobs, lots of profits to tax, (but not too much or they won't have enough to pay their share holders whose investment they need) and lots of money for new hips for those people who can't work or afford to buy their own hips.

onagar Sat 06-Jun-09 10:18:08

That might work if a party were a group of people with deeply held beliefs about the way society can be best served. In practice for the MPs it's whatever party will have them and for the party it's whatever will get them elected.

Both parties before an election will say things like "tell us what you want us to do and we will do it"

That sounds good, but it means they are prostitutes willing to do anything as long as they get the money and power.

oopsagain Sat 06-Jun-09 10:19:27

I hvae nobpdy to vote for.
Having voted labour all of my adult life, on an ideological basis, I find i cannot vote for them again in this present incarnatoin.

And I can see that nowtellmum has phrased her answer on the conservative philosphy beautifully, but my take on them is the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and to hell with oyu if you are gay/black/a woman etc..

I have no respect or common ground with either party.
So I am a wavering voter, I do understnad about the parties. But i'm wavering over gree or lib dems...

what a frickin' choice!

fluffles Sat 06-Jun-09 10:21:20

what if you don't want to vote for one of the two main parties?

most people know if they're mainly right leaning or mainly left leaning but it's not compulsory to vote for the two big parties.... i waver whenever i consider voting for a smaller party (but i don't cross the left/right line).

howtotellmum Sat 06-Jun-09 10:24:21

onagar- that's politics- they give us what we say we want- they reflect public opinion, rather than lead it, which is why to an extent, we get the government we deserve.

Having said that i do believe that some politicians do go into politics with good intentions and to try to make society a better place.

And if you ignore the perks- /expenses (scandal) which will be changed now, their salaries are not great- if they work really hard.

I think what bugs me is that there is a general apathy about Europe when most of the decisions are made by unelected bureaucrats- or our own failed politicians- think the Kinnocks, who are now millionaires thanks to the EEC.

howtotellmum Sat 06-Jun-09 10:26:20

And I can see that nowtellmum has phrased her answer on the conservative philosphy beautifully, but my take on them is the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and to hell with oyu if you are gay/black/a woman etc..

Ok- give me some concrete evidence that if you are gay/black/ female, you are worse off under the Tories.

I am listening- but not to dogma with no foundation.

oopsagain Sat 06-Jun-09 10:28:19

Maybe that's why we need proportional representation... to make it less about the party politics and more about debate over given subjects...

and retiredgoth2- YES, that's my point exactly.

oopsagain Sat 06-Jun-09 10:30:18

section 29

JollyPirate Sat 06-Jun-09 10:32:58

On the Right we have Mr Beige and on the Left we have Mr Gray. Politically not a sliver of space between them. THAT'S why I struggle.

Things need to change but the trouble is I don't for one moment believe the Conservatives are the party who will make those changes. That plus the fact that they have obviously been on the gravy train themselves for years along with the Labour politicians.

oopsagain Sat 06-Jun-09 10:33:58

sorry- section 28

I'd love to stay and debate.
but i have 2 kids tearing the house up.

I find it funny that the totally libitarian philosophy of the more right wing conservatives sounds great.

But there is a middle right/slightly further right that isn't really what i want in my world.

I think there must be a middle ground between the lack of social responsibilty that alot of people who vote conservative seem to have, and the over regualtion of stuff- 2nanny state" that the socialists have.

But i don't trust either main political party to know where it is TBH

HelloBeastie Sat 06-Jun-09 10:44:47

howtotellmum- you appeared to be basically putting forward the libertarian philosophy; that if you don't tax people they will spend the extra money in a way that is good for society. Off their own bat.

If you reduce income tax, you will either have to cut services or increase other taxes. That's just maths.

The libertarians I have encountered on t'Internet (there's a lot of them in America) claim that taxes should essentially be abolished, and this gap in services will be replaced by philanthropy. That people will choose to spend their newly non-taxed money in charitable ways. To which I say: hmm

I find a good way to tie them in knots is to ask how they would fund defence spending.

onagar Sat 06-Jun-09 10:49:04

howtotellmum, your OP mentioned that we "don't seem to understand the fundemental ideologies of the main two parties, which never change"

Then when I point out that they say "tell us what we need to believe in for you to vote for us" you say "that's politics- they give us what we say we want"

If they are willing to believe in whatever the voters want just to get elected that's not an ideology at all.

I didn't mean to insult prostitutes btw who probably in the main deliver what they promised and were paid for. The main parties don't even do that.

oopsagain Sat 06-Jun-09 10:51:22

Lol about philanthropy- isn't that howthe vicroians looked after the street kids and how scholls were set up- by the largesse of the church..
Haha, back to victorian times!
I think the libertarian would work on a personaly behavipura thing- drugs being freely availble and no laws regulating their use and all of that smile
but the "littel" people and their problems would get in the way, non? hmm

HelloBeastie Sat 06-Jun-09 10:51:44

As regards the question of wavering voters... I suspect these people tend to be considering one particular issue at a time maybe, and making their decision on that?

So last week they were thinking about expenses, pissed off with everyone, and just didn't vote. A year or so ago, there was a big hoo-ha about inheritance tax, and the Conservatives got a poll boost from that.

And after the Iraq war, they were annoyed at how they'd been lied to, maipulated and ignored, and voted Labour out. Oh no, wait... I guess some issues are more important than others.

oopsagain Sat 06-Jun-09 10:52:24

onagar- lol that you didn't meant ot tar prostiutes with the same brish as the MPs.

howtotellmum Sat 06-Jun-09 11:12:19

onagar- I knoew you'd say that.

What I should have made clear is that they give us what we want within the broad context of their ideology.

howtotellmum Sat 06-Jun-09 11:14:10

HB- what you explain is really the point I was making...

that the news of the moment seems to be the deciding factor, rather than the fundemental philosophy.

Do wavering voters appreciate that there are these fundamental differences, or do they base their vote purely on the headline topics?

Karam Sat 06-Jun-09 20:06:16

I fully understand why there are wavering voters.

Having a political philosophy that you believe in is the easy bit...

Finding a party that lives up to those ideals... now that's the challenge!

Until you find a party that gets there (which seems to worse than ever at the mo) then its obvious that there will be wavering voters.

Pogleswood Sat 06-Jun-09 20:20:10

Part of the problem is finding a party which matches your philosophy - it is possible to lean rightish on some issues,and leftish on others - and people also care more about some issues.And then there is what the party will actually DO if elected.
So wavering voters aren't necessarily being swayed by every news item.
And fundemental differences in philosophy between the parties don't always have the effects on life you would expect once they are in power.
And on a completely different note - why are the Kinnocks failed politicians? Neil was resonably successful in his career as I recall...

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