H/T Stewart Cowan on Facebook for this UK Conservative Party online survey.
I took a look at it, and rapidly discovered that the Conservative party didn’t actually want to know what matters most to me (which is the smoking ban, of course). Instead, I was first offered a list of ‘issues’ that might be important to me. And of course the smoking ban wasn’t on the list. Instead it was all stuff like ‘the EU’, ‘immigration’, ‘schools’, and so on. It even had ‘climate change’ in it, FFS.
The second question was exactly the same as the first question, but which were important to the country.
I couldn’t see that my replies would be particularly helpful. If I ticked the box next to ‘EU’, it could mean anything from strong support for Britain remaining in the EU, or strong support for Britain leaving the EU as soon as possible, or any number of other things.
The third question was about ‘dealing with’ Britain’s deficit and debt. What did ‘dealing with it’ mean? It could have meant anything from increasing the deficit and debt as fast as possible, to auctioning them off to the highest bidder, or just forgetting about them.
The fourth question got down to the nitty gritty. Who was I going to vote for at the next election? And of course that’s what they really wanted to know. They don’t give a damn what matters most to me. They just wanted to know who I was going to vote for.
I was about to skip the whole thing, and read something else, when I noticed that there was an ‘Other (Please State)’ option at the bottom of the list of parties that I might vote for. And in this I saw a way of making known to them what really mattered most to me.
So I filled in the questionnaire up to question 3. And then on question 4 I indicated that there was no chance whatsoever of me voting for Labour, Lib Dem, or Conservative. And I indicated a 90% chance that I’d vote for UKIP. And then in the Other box I wrote ‘Any party that will repeal the pub smoking ban’, and gave a 100% chance of me voting for that party.
So whether or not they want to know what matters most to me (and they don’t), I think I may have managed to convey it to them anyway.
But I thought I’d recommend that people fill in the questionnaire, if only to use that ‘Other’ option to make a statement. It needn’t be about the smoking ban. It could be about the potholes in the roads in Burnley. Or the high price of whisky. Or anything.
Just so long as it’s What Matters Most To You.
Which reminds me that there was local town council election today. I didn’t know there was one until I happened to open a letter about it this morning. I wondered if I could vote in it. So, since I was going shopping in the town later that day, I took the letter with me.
When I finally reached the polling station, I was gratified to find that I could vote. And I was handed a ballot paper with 3 names on it, and headed off to the voting booth with it.
But once there, I discovered that there was no information about which parties they represented. So I went back to the registration desk, and asked what parties they represented.
The gnomic response was that there was no further information available except what was on the ballot paper. Although I was told that the first name on the list was in favour of ‘Positive Steps’, and the second one was an Independent of some sort. The third was a company director.
‘Oh good!’ I said. ‘I’m all in favour of Positive Steps!’
From these tiny morsels of information, I deduced that the company director was probably a Conservative, and Mr Positive Steps was some sort of radical Labour party progressive. So I marked my cross beside the Independent, since he wasn’t either.
It was about an hour later that I began to wonder what I had voted for. They could have been anybody. One might have been a Trotskyite. Another a Nazi. And the ‘Independent’ might have been a member of the Independent Al-Qaeda Death-to-Western-Civilisation Popular Front.
And it was him that I’d just voted for!
Joe Trippi, Democrat political guru, talking about Libertarianism and the internet.