I stood in the voting booth for a long time. Probably three or four minutes, deciding between Green and Lib Dem.
Eventually went with Green. for a number of reasons. Firstly, and most obviously, their manifesto is the one I felt the strongest affinity with – they certainly seem like the genuine left-wing option these days.
Secondly, Chipping Barnet has been a Tory seat for years, and the main players are Tory/Labour, so voting Lib-Dem would be unlikely to have a big influence. It also means that even if we get a tory this time round (old MP is standing down at this election), it doesn’t mean a gain for the Tories, just same ole same ole.
Thirdly, I hate the idea of tactical voting. I’ve done it in the past, I can see the reasoning for it, but it’s really shitty having a system where people don’t feel they can vote with their conscience. All the polls suggest that the Greens would get way way way more votes if they were all counted as with proportional representation. As it is, few people vote green before they don’t feel like it counts, so they switch to the one of the Big Three that they think is least odious. That’s a really rubbish way to do democracy. Dreadful, in fact.
So, I voted according to conscience. I did it. The greens won’t get in, but in the analysis, the powers that be will see that they got my vote, that I didn’t cave in and vote tactically, that I cared enough about the green way of doing things that I spent my vote on them.