On a recent walk down Brick Lane, I was intercepted suddenly by a young chap who could, seemingly, only say two words: Pirate Party.
First off sheepishly and rushed, not very clear at all, I continued to walk. Then "Pirate Party," he repeated. I was a little perplexed, unable to relate what he had just said to my current position and situation, I hesitated giving him a bewildered look. "Pirate party?" Finally, in a sort of pleading tone, offering me a flyer. Ah flyer, Brick Lane, hipsters, an equation begins to form. "Oh," I thought, "A pirate party, that sounds fun. It's probably related to a pirate radio station round here - do they still exist? Surely in London. At the very least it's a party for pirates where everyone drinks Dark and Stormy's (giner ale, Sailer Jerrys and lime)." So I took the flyer and said "Ah, yes, Pirate Party." At which point I turned to my friend Eddie and said "Look at this Eddie a Party for Pirates."
Upon closer inspection of the uninspiring flyer I realised that it was not a party for pirates but a political party formed around the sole policy of legalising file sharing. A bullet point briefly outlined this policy, then below it, two more bullet points - sort of afterthought policies, where upon someone within the party realised that this sole policy is not solid decking for a Pirate Party. It seemed the party leader (Captian Black Beard as I will from now on refer to him,) tucked into a copy of 1984 and came up with a couple of paranoid Orwellian points, anti surveillance, anti mass corporations. To be fair to them I enjoyed their policies, created by my generation for my generation and although Captain Black Beard would never make PM he is at the very least doing something to get his voice heard and may one day get himself into Parliament.
Current candidates arguing on TV, policies sounding so in line with each other that you want to bang their heads together like one of those executive toys. I suppose this image is what makes a hung parliament seem so attractive to me. Watching Brown, Cameron and Clegg out-smug each other is enough to make me want to throw my vote away completely. It is like listening to school children debate why their Penguin bar in the yellow wrapper is better than one in the red or blue wrapper and vice-versa. What should I be looking for in an MP? The similarities between them, the overwhelming sense of a perverse personality pageant, that this election is turning into, is leaving me more than a little confused - and I do not want to stick around for the bathing costume round! Such confusion leads me to look for qualities rather than policies, the best looking one, the one with the criminal record, the one that rides a bike, and if all else fails then my favorite colour. But surely these 'qualities' are all mere psychological distractions, facades. Faced with such a dialema what more could I do? I asked the internet. A Yahoo questionnaire asked to rate a series of ideals based on what was important to me. 56% were in line with Conservatives. 55% were in line with Labour. 54% were in line with Lib Dem. Fuck off if you think I am scrawling a cross next to blue. Yes he is an entertaining marionette but his publicity is about as opaque as a sheath of ice. Surely this result further outlines my dilemma. What I would really like to see is something fresh. The Labour, Lib Dem, and Tory leaders are less gray then their predecessors, but they are hardly fresh meat. They are something for their generation, for the baby boomers, and that is who they speak to. Perhaps my 'youth vote' should go to a 'youth candidate' regardless of their party. And let us not forget that there are other options, other parties, none of which can take majority power but more seats in parliament do indeed mean a louder vocalisation of the things that matter to you. Captain Black Beard for example does not want to be PM, he merely wants to be heard. So what are the real alternatives?
If we all were to suddenly vote Lib Dem then there would be a fantastic opportunity facing us, a hung parliament, a chance for true change in our political system, something that would very much appeal to the youth voter who sees the forefront parties as out of touch. It would be a great opportunity for demoracy, as it stands, do we not just vote in a dictator for four years, and if we don't like him elect another?
The Green Party are in touch with many youth concerns however these concerns are being yelled over by a bunch of baby boomers claiming that "It is a waste of a vote," but in the long term, is it? By the time we come of age, could the Green Party stand a chance of ultimate power?
And if you really want to waste that vote a walk through London provided my with a few other real alternatives. The Christian Party who will make sure your five year old will not get a sex education. The Animal Party who will provide a sort of NHS service for you budgie. The Respect Party, a humanitarian option.The BNP who will legalise lynching. And if you truely truely want to toss that vote in the bin and say screw you Great Britain there is always the No Candidate Deserves my Vote Party.
And of course there is the party for the digital age - those bloody Pirates.
If all else fails you could just resort to anarchism.
If I am a true representative of the youth voter, then what policies interest me? It isn't immigration which more often than not comes across to me as an inexplicably acceptable form of racism. It isn't economy, which I truely believe is a man made force that has completely uncontrolable, that is the monetary equivalent to a tsunami or hurricane. I suppose it is Earth and Humanity. Something less corrupt, something liberal and peaceful that truly works for the people, for the world. Although that party isn't bothering this year... I think I'll just leave it until the last minute, trust my instincts on the day.
So who are you voting for?
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