Most of my political action is anarchist and I try avoid too much action involved in influencing government or getting involved in party politics since I tend to see polical parties as authoritarian gangs vying for power and democracy as a kind of system of rules that let different gangs assume control without as much violence as would be required in a dictatorship.
I think a lot of anarchists and anti-authoritarians of various persuasions see things pretty much the same way which is why most tend to think voting is a bad idea. Personally I am not so sure as some parties practise greater levels of authoritarianism than others and so I tend to vote tactically to attempt to move the country in which I live in a less authoritarian direction. So far in vein, but I don’t feel it is a waste of time trying.
In addition to listening to the proposed policies of the opposition parties and observing what the governing party actually does in power, I also like to compare their placement on the politcal compass. The Political compass website grades parties and individuals on a questionnaire to measure their levels of authoritarianism and economic persuasion. They have produced a map of the UK parties and their movement on these scales over the years. I and others don’t think their positioning is absolute and their questions don’t always make sense, but I think its okay to interpret them in a general vague sense. For example they show that in recent years Labour has been slightly to the left and slightly less authoritarian than the Conservative party, although both are far right authoritarians, and for the last couple of years at least Labour has been more authoritarian than their rivals. However I think the compass is too vague to say which of the two really is the most authoritarian when it comes down to it. Basically I distrust them both.
I feel that next spring/summer when the UK holds a general election, there is a real chance we could end up with a hung parliament. I like the idea of this happening as it increases the chance of political reform that would make it harder for any one political gang to assume control, and make it more likely that they will break up into their constituent factions. One reason this is happening is because those factions are already breaking off.
Instinctively I feel this could be good for anti-authoritarian politics, as I feel the first past the post system encourages an authoritarian agenda more than a proportionally representative system would.
Let me know what you think…