Tactical voting is the miserable business of giving your vote to someone you don’t really like, but on the whole find less objectionable than someone you fear might otherwise win. If you’re feeling the pressure to vote tactically, it probably doesn’t leave you inspired about local politics or feeling too good about your democratic rights and powers. What is the point, when all you can do is pick between a mouldy apple and an off banana?
The idea of tactical voting upholds the notion that really anything other than the two main parties is a wasted vote. I was having this argument with my Gran twenty years ago, and little has changed. The two decaying fruit options have got so suspect that it’s hard to tell which unpleasant sludge is which, to take that metaphor just a little further. There are some differences between their policies and you might find one less repellent than the other, but most of their underlying concepts are the same.
Vote for the main parties and either way you’re voting for the same fundamental attitude to money. The same ideas about what money is and how it works. Ideas the Bank of England has questioned. Labour didn’t sort out the bankers when they had the chance, the Tories won’t either. Public ownership of the banks, and a fairer, more egalitarian attitude to money isn’t available in either shade. Go over every policy area and you’ll find that most of the time, the two main parties are taking about doing more or less of pretty much the same things.
If, on looking about you, your impression is that all is just fabulous and that more or less of the same thing is going to be fine, then I’m probably not going to persuade you. If, however, you’re a bit worried about the future, the carbon based economy, the cost of living, the state of democracy, unemployment, banking, quality of life, your children’s prospects... then that absence of radical thinking might just trouble you. Exactly how tactical is it to be voting for the party you find slightly less alarming than the other party? If you want real change, you’re going to have to vote for it.
If you’re not sure who might best represent your real views and preferences, have a look at this site, which can asses you based on how you respond to different policies, and might give you an idea of how to vote. Or if you happen to appreciate mouldy fruit, by all means, stay with what you know.