Quite possibly the biggest problem with the 2015 election campaign (apart from the sweaty-faced debates and Ed Miliband saying “hell yes”) is the ever increasing mound of bravado and utter nonsense that one has to filter in order to reach a decision about who to actually vote for. This is, of course, if you spend at least thirty seconds thinking about it and don’t just say: “I’ll vote Labour because my granddad always has.”
Because I am a little more interested in politics than perhaps I should be (and to prove to the moronic Russell Brand that being part of the democratic process does make a difference), I may have spent slightly more than half a minute researching the political parties and what they are standing for in this election. I did stop, however, when my doctor told me that bleeding from the eyes isn’t normal.
My investigations eventually concluded that: Labour would drive us to financial ruin once again with pie in the sky policies and incompetent leadership; UKIP definitely is a racist party; although the Greens are a more appropriate protest party than UKIP, their ridiculous cloud nine ideas are too unrealistic to be taken seriously; and despite voting Conservative in the elections last year, as well as being generally thankful for the way they have got the economy back on track, I feel that in this election, where there is more at stake than just the economy, the party hasn’t instilled quite enough confidence in me to vote for them again.
This left me with the Lib Dems – an uncomfortable position for any young person who retains the hope of social acceptance. But I looked at their policies anyway, and soon a romance began to blossom.
I like how they want to help young people by improving careers advice, encouraging businesses to work closer with schools and increasing the number of apprenticeships. I also agree with a focus on the NHS, with a particular emphasis on mental health. A greater stress put on protecting the environment is an interesting one, too.
In reality the Liberal Democrats have been treated unbelievably unfairly during this parliament. The amount of abuse Nick Clegg has personally taken for the U-turn on tuition fees is amazing. I mean he said sorry, for crying out loud! How many politicians say sorry? It genuinely seems like he has a conscience. It’s also an incontrovertible fact that more students have gone to university than ever before, which shows that higher fees have made absolutely no difference to attendance rates.
Everybody said that the coalition would break down. But it didn’t. The Lib Dems kept it together and helped to set in motion what everyone wanted in 2010: economic harmony. This time the party is still accepting the fact that tax rises and cutbacks are necessary. They are prepared to use both, rather than just one to the extreme (or neither, if Labour are to be believed).
Regardless of who wins power after the election, the world will keep spinning. There is a need for a radical overhaul of British politics, a change everyone desires and something that will occur – one day. But it won’t happen on May 7th 2015. Over the years parties such as the Greens, UKIP and the SNP will continue to gain momentum, and will eventually garner enough to implement that change. But when the monotony is broken and the extremes of politics are introduced, we’ll wish they hadn’t been. We’ll want the centrists back; because the governance of our country is too major an issue to hang in the uncertainties of change.
The Liberal Democrats are sure of what they want and know what the country needs; and that’s why I’m going to cast my ballot for them. They may not gain many votes, but mine will be one of them.