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Why I Joined The Labour Party 

You don’t have to know me well to know I’m left wing. I’m very open about my political views. Maybe you follow me on Twitter, or maybe you know me irl. Maybe you’ve read my previous posts on politics, or maybe you’re just guessing based on my interests and the demographic I belong too. For most of my life I’ve been a Green Party supporter, and for many years, a member. I found it a frustrating experience. I’ve not always felt able to vote for the Greens depending on what constituencies I’ve lived in. The U.K. does not have a voting system that allows fair representation- as most of you will know, the First Past The Post system (FPTP) means that thousands of votes are completely wasted.

This time around I didn’t want my vote to be wasted. I was fed up of entering the booth, checking a box and then feeling like I’d be completely let down. In local and general elections I’ve run the full gamut of the Left- I’ve voted Lib Dem, Green, and in the most recent election, for Labour. Before I lived in Corbyn’s constituency, I lived in a Lib Dem marginal. Before that I lived in a Tory safe seat. I’ve always considered my vote not just against what I most believe in and most want, but also against what will likely come to pass and what will actually be counted. You’d have to be pretty naive to not think that way. This time around I didn’t want to have to worry. There was no doubt that Corbyn would win in my constituency. He had an incredibly successful campaign, and he’s held this seat since 1983, long before I was born. But I wanted to send a message. I wanted to increase the majority. And I wanted to align myself with one of the two parties this country, and its system, recognises.

I hate the system. There are so many organisations fighting for PR and ultimately that is the system I want, the politics I would like to be a part of. Even with the great work of groups like Make Votes Matter and Momentum it seems a long way off. So, during the last election, I made a decision. I decided to join the Labour Party. For now we are stuck with the two party system and I know which of the two I am behind. Labour have a strong manifesto, an inspiring leadee and huge national momentum. In the weeks since, we’ve been hit by tragedies and the response of both Tory and Labour leaders has solidified that I made the right decision. Even if there’s a lot of Labour policies that I don’t agree with, they got my vote. I’ve decided that joining and having some say is a better option then pushing for parties who realistically don’t stand a chance. I joined Labour because I wanted more voice. To make my vote matter, to influence what the central concerns and issues of the party should be. Politics in this country can you make so frustrated, so left out to dry. I figured there was nothing left to lose by trying a new tactic, and so far, so good.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Oisín Duffy (@irStylishD)

    I really loved reading this post, as I can relate to so much of the frustration at trying to pick the right candidate, only to be brushed aside by a two party system. Though my experiences are of the voting system in Ireland, which does at least have proportional representation. In a time when progress is challenged in favour of the status quo I’ve even thought about “playing the game” and voting for my preference from the big two. But when I think of it I can’t help but feel that I would be losing my voice, rather than feeling that voting for a “big two” party is helping me make a change. It just leaves me more frustrated that I’ve been subdued by the system and my voice drowned out, in favour of what the system says my choice should be. So, I’m very much looking forward to hearing your ongoing thoughts and how this move affects you and whether or not it gives you a sense of achievment with Labour victories, or makes you feel attached to the political movement again.

    p.s. thanks so much for the line, “he’s held this seat since 1983, long before I was born”… I was born in 1983, it’s not “long before” anything, it’s barely yesterday, I swear!

    June 29, 2017 at 9:26 am
  • Reply Kim

    thanks for sharing your thought process and explaining what the climate is like for you guys across the pond. As a voter you hope your vote can count for something and together with everyone else impact the country for good 🙂

    July 14, 2017 at 1:44 am
  • Leave a Reply to Kim Cancel reply