The Great Doctor of History

(Being my out-of-season contribution to the Moffatt/Dr. Who and Feminism genre). Many people have pointed out Moffatt’s issues with women. There are some good rebuttals – the best being Philip Sandifer’s at the TARDIS eruditorium.

It is, however, obvious that something is going on. And although whoever said you can’t argue with numbers didn’t have a clue – but numbers on their own are a question. Becca Moore has excellent research summarised as an infographic. This is what’s going on. So why?IS DOCTOR WHO SEXIST-01 2

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So what use would tactical voting have been?

Labour supporters are trying to blame the Green Party for Labour’s failure at the election. So let’s have a reality check. I worked out how many extra seats Labour would have won if the Greens had all voted Labour, and found 12. Putting the Tories on 319 seats. Four short of a majority. Meaning that a Conservative government was still inevitable. But either another ConDem government or (more likely and much worse) Conservative/Democratic Unionist Party. A party that is anti-abortion and homophobic.

Congratulations everyone who voted Green. That’s what you saved us from. A coalition that would actively make the Tories worse!

And Labour, the blame is entirely at your feet. Possibly if you’d had a better election campaign than “We’re another bunch of pro-austerity economic illiterates – just not quite as bad as the Tories” then you would have had people who actually wanted to vote for you. Rather than losing your votes to Farage and then blaming us.

And you do not own the Green vote. Some of us have hard lines you cross. Many of us will tell you that if you support Frakking and want our votes you can frack off! One of my personal lines is still the Iraq War – I’ll never knowingly vote for anyone who voted for that (which didn’t stop me voting for Jeremy Corbyn in 2005).

As for what harm would 8 MPs have done? Would they have been able to make abortion illegal? No. But it’s possible to restrict access to abortion without banning it. The sort of tricks Nadine Dorries loves to try. The DUP supports homophobic conscience clauses. And all they need is to sneak one or two of those into the back of Tory bills to make a Tory government even worse. All the economics of the Tory party with homophobia and mysogeny on top. By voting Green you stopped the DUP gaining a massively disproportionate amount of influence.

Remember: It could have been worse. And Tory/DUP is even worse than pure Tory. This is what the Labour Party are blaming us for not ending up with.

And that we almost had the DUP (of all people) holding the balance of power is yet another reason the voting system needs to change.

So what the hell just happened with the election?

The  2015 election is done. We have a new Tory government – and one that gained about 25 seats. And much is being made of the Tories gaining 25 seats and the Labour losing 25.  That happened, and it’s important. But from the perspective of the election (as opposed to the future) it’s a side effect. There are four stories to the election which are probably in reverse order of importance:

  • How a party without a vision other than “We’re not as bad as the other guys” makes no inroads (The net change between Labour and the Tories was a two seat swing to Labour (eight Labour went Tory and ten Tory went Labour)).
  • That the rise of UKIP soaked up a lot of disaffected voters who’d otherwise have voted “Kick the bums out” in favour of Labour (particularly in the North of England)
  • The rise of the SNP (taking 40 seats off Labour and 10 off the Lib Dems)
  • The disintegration of the Lib Dems who lost almost all their seats to whichever the competing party was as the party faithful had a real chance to make its opinions on the leadership known. The apparent Tory gain was caused by the disintegration of their coalition partners.

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Advanced Tactical Voting

There are a lot of people at this (and every other) election talking of voting tactically. Whether you should is an interesting ethical question – and one outside the scope of this blog post. The only thing I’ll say on the ethics is that many people voted Lib Dem at the last election to keep the Tories out. This is a guide coming from a keen amateur game designer for the would be tactical voters to making the best use of your vote under the First Past the Post system. A system designed for game playing rather than getting representative results. Continue reading