I can't make up my mind whether I'm Red Tory or Blue Labour. I'm a South Walian and so should be Red Labour, I suppose, but I can't be doing with all that Leftist identity politics drivel. My views are progressive in terms of wanting the State to use its powers to lift people out of poverty and increase social mobility, but conservative when it comes to marriage and family life, abortion, euthanasia, and so on. I'm a libertarian when it comes to free speech and don't believe that the law should be used to protect people from feeling insulted or having their views held up for ridicule. But I'm concerned that faith-based views are being squeezed out of the public square in an increasingly secular society. I think that it's only right that the wealthy should pay their fair share of tax rather than do all they can to avoid contributing to the public purse that funds valuable services like health and education. But I also believe in personal responsibility, and that well paid work rather than feckless benefits dependency is the best route out of poverty. Cameron's championing of the Protestant Work Ethic redux on last night's Question Time certainly struck a chord with me. But I don't feel like a Tory and Ukip's 'Little Englander' mentality certainly doesn't appeal.
As is the case with with many people who are not card carrying members of a political party, none of the mainstream parties wholly represent my views in all policy areas. Neither do any the fringe parties for that matter. I don't think supporting 'The Christian Party' is the answer. While believers should take an active interest in politics, government belongs to the 'common kingdom' where Christians rub shoulders with non-Christians, engaging in a whole range of cultural activities, and in which there is often no distinctly Christian take on things. It's no good trying to throw a proof text at whether or not the government should continue to pay its 2% of GDP subs to NATO, or to decide on whether LA maintained schools provide a better education than Academies or Free Schools. Yes, we are instructed to pray for rulers, 1 Timothy 2:1-4. But Paul's petitions concern the freedom of believers to live in peace and proclaim the gospel, not more purely political matters, like whether we'd be better off in or out of the EU.
I suppose it's about choosing the least worst option, having listened to what party leaders have to say, read the manifestos and taken local factors into account. The likelihood of another hung parliament only serves to complicate matters, as the compromise deals needed to garner support for a ruling party inevitably means that some manifesto promises will have to be dropped. Con-Dem, Con-DUP, Con-DUP-Ukip, Lab-Dem, Lab-Dem-Nat-Green, who knows what combination of parties the electoral arithmetic will serve up?
Anyway, I've pretty much decided who I'll be voting for on May 7th, but wouldn't presume to tell readers how they should cast their vote, bar saying that you'll need to use a stubby pencil to make your mark on a ballot paper in a polling booth near you. Glad to be of service.