Unsurprisingly, I’ll be making my way to the polling station in a few hours time to vote for the Liberal Democrats. It will be a bitter-sweet moment, for many reasons. My ongoing fight against the lymphoma beast is one of them. Statistically, I would appear to have around an evens chance of making it through my treatment to still be around to vote in 2020. However, I’m determined to beat the odds as I really don’t want this to be my eighth and last general election.
Even though the candidates I’ll be voting for are unlikely to be successful, it’s always been important to me to vote. I’m proud that everyone in my immediate family will be voting, even if some of them won’t be voting the
right same right way (but then they’re all younger than me, so there’s still time for them to learn 🙂 ).
Today will be the eighth general election that I’ve participated in since the heady days of the SDP-Liberal Alliance in 1983. If the polls are anything like correct, I expect that by this time tomorrow I’ll be feeling pretty much the same as I did then (totally fed up!), but for different reasons. In 1983 the Alliance got lots of votes but precious few seats (23). My main hope for today is that even if we only manage to poll around a third of the votes that we did back then, the party might at least do a little better in terms of seats won.
If the Lib Dems do have any say in the next government, electoral reform and the introduction of proportional representation is a must. I’ve been disappointed not to see it as one of the “red lines”, as the unwavering commitment to it has been a uniquely Liberal cause during my lifetime. I don’t trust any of the other parties, least of all, Labour, to do the right thing. Their opposition to any type of reform during the last parliament speaks volumes and no-one seriously expects the Conservatives to have a Damascus road experience. So if this isn’t the role of the Lib Dems, then whose is it?
Good luck to all Liberal Democrats standing today. You have my vote. And assuming I’m still around at the next election, you’ll have it then too.