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The Danger of Party Allegiance

Updated: Jun 16

Written by James Bird

In our society, it is deeply evident that many associate with one political party and have no intention of changing their affiliation. Though it can be said that this is primarily due to the voting system; leaving the choice of only two to three parties, we should nonetheless be careful to align ourselves with a single party and understand why this is not a virtuous decision.

As voters and members of the public, we have the choice to A) vote for which party we decide to, based on whichever belief system you hold, or to B) not use our vote. The decision of choosing which party to vote for or not to vote for is not fixed and relies on numerous aspects that one may form their decision on, such as judging a party’s performance, using a manifesto and looking at whether the policies are in line with your current ideas/beliefs. Once using these, amongst other factors, we should decide which party to vote for.

Most importantly, it should be encouraged to challenge one’s views every so often, enabling a break away from such fixed positions that we now see in contemporary societies across the West.

Having an ideal is permissible; if you have mostly liberal views it would make sense to vote for a liberal-leaning party and likewise for other political views. However, to vote simply because you ‘like’ that party, or ‘have always’ done so, leads to blindness of what politics is truly about- making decisions. Of course, the choice is limited in a general election, but the choice we make should not define us; we should be guided by values and principles as opposed to something as primitive as a party allegiance.

We are allowed to change our political views, like we can change our views and opinions on other things in life, such as what music we like to listen to or which football team we would prefer to. As the primitive football mentality symbolises, we do not have to assign ourselves to a political party, to individuals or even an exact ideal.

Once establishing what we believe to be our views and policy preferences, we should then use this to guide our decision for voting in an election. As soon as you ignore these views and preferences and base your vote simply on which party you like or have always voted for, it becomes an unintellectual decision.

If we look at the 2019 general election, or the ‘Brexit’ election as some commentators have coined it, we see that many voters are now starting to change how they make their decision. Many do not base their decision on merely party allegiance but views and policy preference instead.

In constituencies such as Blythe Valley, the majority voted on the issue of Brexit which was clear in the result.

Over the next few elections in the coming decades, we will see a shift in party allegiance, as people become more aware that it is right to challenge your own views and it is okay to change them. This must be encouraged for effective public discourse.

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