So, who to vote for?

I’ll be going into the village later today to cast my vote in the UK election—yes, even colonials like myself are allowed to spit in the slurry pit every five years or so,

I’m still deciding which candidate to vote for, so I thought I’d trawl the web to find out what my politics really are and which party they most closely match.

First, I visited The Political Compass, which is a fairly serious attempt to move beyond the prevailing one-dimension “left-right” view of politics that is so ludicrously out-of-touch as to be meaningless.

The Political Compass uses left-right to cover economic politics and authoritarian-libertarian to social politics, then plots individual or party positions on these on a scale.

When the various parties contesting the 2010 UK election are plotted on the scale, the results are much more telling than the simple “left-right”  scale so heavily over-used by the media and politicians.

Almost all the political parties lean heavily towards the authoritarian when it comes to social issues, while all the major parties lean heavily to the right on economics.

Even more telling, the Political Compass shows there is very little real difference between Labour and the Tories—both are socially authoritarian and both favour the “free” market.

Only the SDLP, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats are libertarian on social issues—with the Lib-Dems well to the right economically and the other two being to the left.

So, where does that leave me?

I did the Political Compass’s test and came up with a rather interesting result.

I’m one point up from absolute libertarian and one point in from absolute left economics.

In other words, I’m about where anarcho-syndicalists1 would be!

Hmm. Time to look somewhere else.

My next port of call was Vote Match, where you can pick from a selection of personal views and priorities, then see how they match the parties standing in your part of the UK.

Vote Match asks that you rule out parties that you’d never vote for, but I decided to leave in all parties first time around.

The result?

I found myself with an equal split between the British National Party and the Liberal Democrats, with the Greens only a couple of percent behind.

It sounds strange at first glance, but after reviewing my answers and considering the philosophies of the parties, I could see why Vote Match returned that outcome.

The BNP is actually to the left economically, the Lib Dems lean heavily towards libertarian socially, and the Greens are a bit of both. My answers favouring those options took me in those directions.

Countering that, I have no time for authoritarian bigotry or unchecked consumer capitalism so my answers rejecting those pushed me the opposite way.

In other words, Vote Match was putting me in the same position as The Political Compass—a red-and-black-flag waving anarcho-syndicalist.


With no anarchist movement to vote for, I needed something simpler that could show me a path to one single party that actually has candidates in the election.

And I found it.

Try In the Dark’s How to Vote: A Helpful Flowchart for yourself. It’s by far the best guide on who to vote for in 2010.

Oh, and who will I be voting for? If you check the flow chart, it should be obvious…

- – -

1 Anarcho-syndicalist?

Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Scene 3

  ARTHUR:  How do you do, good lady.  I am Arthur, King of the Britons.
      Whose castle is that?
  WOMAN:  King of the who?
  ARTHUR:  The Britons.
  WOMAN:  Who are the Britons?
  ARTHUR:  Well, we all are. we're all Britons and I am your king.
  WOMAN:  I didn't know we had a king.  I thought we were an autonomous
  DENNIS:  You're fooling yourself.  We're living in a dictatorship.
      A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--
  WOMAN:  Oh there you go, bringing class into it again.
  DENNIS:  That's what it's all about if only people would--
  ARTHUR:  Please, please good people.  I am in haste.  Who lives
      in that castle?
  WOMAN:  No one live there.
  ARTHUR:  Then who is your lord?
  WOMAN:  We don't have a lord.
  ARTHUR:  What?
  DENNIS:  I told you.  We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune.  We take
      it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.
  ARTHUR:  Yes.
  DENNIS:  But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified
      at a special biweekly meeting.
  ARTHUR:  Yes, I see.
  DENNIS:  By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,--
  ARTHUR:  Be quiet!
  DENNIS:  --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--
  ARTHUR:  Be quiet!  I order you to be quiet!
  WOMAN:  Order, eh -- who does he think he is?
  ARTHUR:  I am your king!
  WOMAN:  Well, I didn't vote for you.
  ARTHUR:  You don't vote for kings.
  WOMAN:  Well, 'ow did you become king then?
  ARTHUR:  The Lady of the Lake,
      [angels sing]
      her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
      from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
      Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
      [singing stops]
      That is why I am your king!
  DENNIS:  Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
      is no basis for a system of government.  Supreme executive power
      derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical
      aquatic ceremony.
  ARTHUR:  Be quiet!
  DENNIS:  Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power
      just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
  ARTHUR:  Shut up!
  DENNIS:  I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just
      because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd
      put me away!
  ARTHUR:  Shut up!  Will you shut up!
  DENNIS:  Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
  ARTHUR:  Shut up!
  DENNIS:  Oh!  Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
      HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!
  ARTHUR:  Bloody peasant!
  DENNIS:  Oh, what a give away.  Did you here that, did you here that,
      eh?  That's what I'm on about -- did you see him repressing me,
      you saw it didn't you?

15 Responses to “So, who to vote for?”

  1. Apparently I’m mid-way between Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

  2. One glaring omission:


  3. ….or Plaid Cymru

  4. The flowchart is a blogger’s joke, not a piece of politically balanced and sanitised BBC “comedy”. Relax and take the nationalist chips off your shoulders.

  5. And here was me thinking it was straight up.

    Anyway, s’alright Stoney my karma is balanced, I’ve a chip on both shoulders, I hate Ozzies too.

    (The above is a blogger’s joke. Relax and take the chip off your own shoulder. Then tell us how hard you worked to do so.)

    • mummys little angel Reply 7 May, 2010 at 21:32

      Why is there no party for those that just hates bigots? I would have voted for them

      • Think you’ll find that’s Gordon’s party. They specifically hate old lady bigots from Rochdale.

        • mummys little angel 8 May, 2010 at 06:48

          er no, the old lady was not the bigot in that incident, and if you had listened to the report carefully you would have heard that.

          The bigot was Gordy when he jumped to his bigoted conclusions…old lady equals racist and dumb!

        • Oh I listened carefully alright, several times thanks to the joys of 24 hour rolling news. Gordon most definitely called a bigot a bigot. My Flocking Eastern European colleagues agree with Mr Brown’s assessment of her character too, pity he didn’t have the cojones to say it publicly.

  6. Oh, grab that damp piece of old cutlery and give all the pollies a wake-up or something with a good jab of its rusty blade.
    Politics is no different Down Under I assure you northerners!They are all a waste of breathe (and our money).

  7. I’m another one in the same area as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Now that’s a hell of a pub quiz team!

    • Interestingly, most people I know who do the Political Compass end up somewhere around Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Needless to say, none of them are politicians!

      I was also quite surprised to see where the Political Compass put me—and I haven’t yet come across anyone else who’s supposed to be an anarcho-syndicalist. Hmm, I wonder if I can get the OH to do the compass test?

  8. I’m a lot closer to you on the political compass than I expected – about three points up from the bottom on social libertarian and only one in from extreme economic left. Surprising. I’m sure I did this a few years ago (last time there was a general election in Ireland) and was far closer to centre of everything. Obviously as I’m getting older and more cynical I’m firming up on what I think. Or something.

  9. Well I’m a bona fide red-and-black flag waving anarcho-syndicalist, and I voted Green. If that helps. Bit late now though I guess

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