This article is as trim as I could make it without missing any important bits. For people who like to get academic, I'll be posting a longer version with more context and citations, etc.)
Why is it so important not to vote Conservative?
The short answer is simple - the race for this year's election is not as one sided as the media would have you think. Here's quick example - The Sunday Telegraph recently featured an opinion poll and described the Tory vote as "hitting" forty percent. What it did not point out was that Tory support had declined since the previous poll, it had 'hit' forty percent on the way down.
In reality, despite the best efforts of Labour to self destruct and despite the massive jumping ship of the media to the Conservative camp, the opinion polls have started to narrow the gap, and that is not the way that the media and business executives want it to go. So the first thing we must understand is that the way you vote this time around could be even more important than ever before.
But isn't encouraging people not to vote really negative? Isn't it more democratic to ask people to vote for a certain party?
It's tempting to think that way, but it's important to understand right now that reducing the Conservative vote is about as powerful a blow as the people can strike. As we've established, the media have already jumped to the Tory camp. Newspapers like the Sun and Mirror are used to bossing elections. Numerous studies have shown that the media can be the deciding influence on election results in the UK. The other influence - and the more dangerous one because we can't see it - is the big money men who fund these parties and then lobby for their own selfish interests. The majority of these people have also jumped to the Tories.
In the past, these powerful forces have proved pivotal in deciding election outcomes. This year, with such a tight race, we have the chance to send them a powerful message that we the people decide elections and nobody else and that we are not sheep who do as we are told by them. After a year of disgraced bankers receiving millions in pay offs and journalists and MPs alike sinking to new lows, we now have the chance to send them one mighty wake up call.
Also remember that so many people vote through habit, family history or simply because one particular party seems 'in fashion' none of these are logical or good moral reasons to vote. By issuing a 'don't vote' message, we can encourage the public to use their vote more wisely and appreciate its true importance.
So who to vote for?
I'm tempted to tell you to vote for the party I support but that is not important right now. For historical reasons, the UK has always been a two party system (with the Lib Dems as an occasional side show) . However much we'd love to think otherwise, there are only two realistic choices for the general election. This brings me back to the earlier point - the most powerful effect you can have on this year's election is to shun one of the big two parties.
But the Conservatives are OK aren't they? Why shouldn't we choose them?
Please see this thread:
Why pick on the Conservatives? Why not Labour?
This is where my own selfish interests (we all have them) come in. As far as I'm concerned, Labour and Conservative are equally incompetent and immoral. The reason I'm picking on the Conservatives - and this is very important to understand and think about - is this: we have a chance to finish the Conservative Party and replace them with something better. If the Tories lose this one, it will be four defeats in a row, which is unprecedented in modern history. It Will also be the biggest shock that has ever hit the party, to lose an election they are so complacent about. The fallout from this is hard to predict, but there is every chance that a more honest, better run, true conservative party with principles and ideals can take its place.
But that's just my own self interest. For any voter - the "power to the people" points we've already made still stand true. For people with other ideologies, you still have something to gain. The Lib Dems have obvious opportunities,. The Greens, socialists and the rest on the left have the chance to remove the remnants of a rival ideology.
Please think about and ask any questions or make any comments. Thanks for reading.