Note: I live in a safe Conservative seat for the National election, so my vote is very unlikely to actually affect the outcome; but, y'know, I still want to do it properly. I've also already made up my mind to vote Labour locally, as we have decent and hardworking Labour councillors already - plus the Labour guy is the only one to have come canvassing.
Good things about Labour
- The economy (low inflation, low unemployment, low interest rates, stability).
- Gordon Brown.
- Have been increasing proportion of GDP given in aid to developing nations (still too low, but at least it's been going up).
- Seem to have been fairly competent in most areas.
Bad things about Labour
- Still tinkering with schools and hospitals e.g. City Academies etc.
- Obsessed with 'choice' even where it's irrelevant.
- Tuition fees - I don't have a problem with people contributing to the cost of their own further education and I actually think the terms for repayment of all the government sponsored loans are fairly reasonable; but it's clear that fear of debt does put some people off applying; so I think some sort of graduate tax wolid probably serve this purpose better.
- ID cards - waste of money.
- Too willing to override the checks & balances built into the system (e.g. using Parliament Act to force through foxhunting ban)
Good things about Lib Dems
- Refusal to get into a bidding war about being tough on immigration. Proposing that we *gasp* actually allow asylum seekers to work and earn money
- Sensible policies on drugs.
- Moderate Anti Iraq war stance (moderate compared to e.g. Respect who do sometimes come off as a bit mad).
- Charles Kennedy.
- Evan Harris.
- Promise to implement UN target for overseas aid as percentage of GDP in aid 2 years in advance of other parties.
Bad things about the Lib Dems
- No apparent proposals to deal with pensions time bomb - even though their plans to provide free nursing care for the elderly and a higher state pension wolid make its effects even more pronounced
- General expert consensus appears to be that the 50% tax rate on incomes over £100K won't actually raise much at all, because people with those sort of incomes can employ tax advisers to find ways to avoid it.
- Policy to reduce drinking age to 16
- (locally) have not been running a positive or convincing campaign (though Labour's hasn't been much better tbh)
At the moment I'm wavering more toward Lib Dem, but...hmmm...