As you know, UKIP recently won the majority of seats in the European elections, despite not having a seat in Westminster. The questions is how? I understand that people have been using UKIP as a protest vote, a way of demonstrating their displeasure with the current government. However, how does a vote for a party which will negatively impact the lives of every UK resident, constitute a successful way of protesting?
By voting for UKIP, one is giving power to a party wishing to:
- cut minimum maternity pay by more than half
- Introduce a flat tax rate, which would result in a tax cut for the wealthiest, and a tax rise for the poorest
- Similarly UKIP would scrap rules regarding tax avoidance by large companies, just what we require in lieu of recent tax scandals (see amazon http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/amazon-facing-fresh-uk-tax-avoidance-row-1449978)
- UKIP also wants to scrap the legal right to 4 weeks of paid holiday, now regardless of your opinions on the above, what is wrong with PAID holidays?!
- Furthermore, UKIP seeks to remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, now I don’t know about you, but I strongly believe that belonging to the Court of Human Rights is part of Britain being a free open country
- Finally, at a time where there is increasing concern about global warming a lack of sustainable energy, UKIP seeks to scrap wind turbine subsidies. It takes just 6 turbines to power 2000 houses, saving 8530 tonnes/year of greenhouse gasses being emitted, UKIP want to scrap the subsidies.
I understand frustration at political parties, however if one wishes to protest against the big parties, is it not better to vote for a small party like the Green Party, a party who’s policies would not harm the general public?
The argument against not voting makes sense, in that it took so much struggling to attain the vote (Earl Grey’s reforms and the women’s suffrage movements) that not voting can seem disrespectful to these campaigners, however voting for an extremist party is not the answer. It does not force the current government to change their policies, except to bend towards those of UKIP which gains the votes. Rather these ‘protest’ votes merely succor to generate publicity for UKIP, heightening their chance of winning Westminster seats.
Personally, I do not believe this is the answer. A protest is not successful when it results in extremists gaining power, power that can be used to harm the British people.
aha I know this post was rather different to my usual, however it was something I had to say, feel free to respond below
some sources: http://www.ukip.org/issues