Who to vote for on 12th December

Politics, Autism and Brexit

Have you watched the leader’s debate or interviews?  I have and found myself screaming at the TV on several occasions.  Why am I shouting at them well because politics matters. The government has a huge impact on everyone’s day to day life from tax to transport and education to employment. While who you vote for is up to you, you need to vote based on good information.

Politics, Autism and Brexit

Although I regularly get very angry at our UK politicians for many reasons I know I should be more appreciative.  I am not happy with many aspects of society today but when we look at the political situation in most other countries we are very lucky in comparison. 

We live in a democracy and for the most part have good access to our MPs and it is easy to forget how difficult a politician’s job is.  I struggle to keep on top of everything I need to do to meet all the needs of our family and home.  I know I couldn’t keep on top of everything to manage a whole country. I certainly couldn’t keep everyone happy.

Every Election is really important as I explored in my post about the European Elections.  For this reason I wanted to share a little about how I plan to decide on my vote for the upcoming Election on Thursday 12th December and where to get the information you need.

I did a degree in Politics at University and later worked for a government agency for 7 years before leaving when I had my kids.  Politics is important to me and I have voted at every election. I have voted differently depending on my situation and beliefs at the time.  I think it is important to take into account both the party policies as well as the individuals you will be voting for. 

Are you registered to vote?

If not you only have until Tuesday 26th November to register. You can also register to vote by post or using a proxy if you will be unable to go to a polling station on the 12th yourself.

Party Policy

The person you vote for is likely to be affiliated to a political party and you need to understand what the party policies are.  Also keep in mind that many MPs will vote according to the party whip. Meaning they are expected to stay in line with the party position on many policies regardless of their own opinion.  The party manifestos set out what the party intends to do and where they stand in relation to key policy areas.

When reading any election related information try to ignore the slogans and jargon like ‘Stop Brexit’ to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and ‘Dither and Delay’.  Try to focus on what they are promising to deliver and how they intend to deliver on those promises.  It is easy to get swept up in big promises of hundreds more jobs but often when you look at the detail these may be things that are already underway or programmes that were promised at the last election.

The 2019 Election Manifestos:

Conservativehttps://vote.conservatives.com/our-priorities

Labourhttps://labour.org.uk/manifesto-2019/

Lib Demshttps://www.libdems.org.uk/plan

You can find links to additional parties in my previous post on European Elections.

You can also get a good analysis of what the parties stand for from the BBC.

Politics, Autism and Brexit

You are voting for your MP

You also need to consider the individual you are voting for, your MP is your representative in government.  They are also the person who you would go to for help if required.

You can enter your postcode here to find out who is standing in your constituency. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50459517

Take time to look at their websites, election leaflets and speak to the people knocking at your door.  Ask them questions make sure they hear your priorities.

What matters to you?

We all have different things that matter to us.  In my post relating to the European elections I asked the parties for their stance relating to autism, here is the top three:

Conservative: We have a specific task to improve standards of care for those with learning disabilities and autism.  We will work to reduce stigma and discrimination and implement in full the transforming care programme.

Labour: the next Labour government will sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into UK law. Labour will tackle discrimination, remove barriers and ensure social security delivers dignity and empowerment, not isolation and stigma.  Autism covers a wide range of conditions that reflect neurological differences among people.  We will work with employers, trade unions and public services to improve awareness of neurodiversity in the workplace and in society. To make sure that autistic people are able to access the whole of their community and to put an end to social isolation, Labour will set the ambition to make our country autism friendly.

It is worth noting that Labout do have a neurodiversity manifesto however it is not referenced from the main party manifesto or website.

Lib Dems: The Lib Dems believe it is unacceptable that 50% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) wait more than a year for appropriate support.  The Lib Dems believe a national autism strategy, a lower-stakes education system and proper funding for local councils can help ensure that children with ASD get the support they need.

As a mum to two young children who is married to a teacher Education is a key area for us.  Another is the NHS and health.  Where the parties stand in relation to these issues has a major impact on how I plan to vote. 

Others will be more interested in things like the environment, transport, tax and/ or benefits.  Whatever matters to you, take the time to find out where each party stands on those issues.

Politics, Autism and Brexit

Party Leaders Voting Records

For me it is important to understand someone’s track record.  You can look at the voting records of MPs on They Work for You.

While some local candidates will not have been an MP before you can check those that have been and see how they have voted in the past.  Keep in mind that often party members will have voted according to the party whip. 

I have had a look at the voting records for Boris Johnson, Jo Swinson and Jeremy Corbyn in areas that I care about.  The information below is taken from They work for you, here are the results:

How the candidates voted on Education –

  • Boris Johnson almost always voted for greater autonomy for schools
  • Jo Swinson generally voted for greater autonomy for schools
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted against greater autonomy for schools
  • Boris Johnson consistently voted for academy schools
  • Jo Swinson almost always voted for academy schools
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted against academy schools
  • Boris Johnson generally voted against university tuition fees
  • Jo Swinson consistently voted for university tuition fees
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted against university tuition fees
  • Jo Swinson voted for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
  • Jeremy Corbyn voted against raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
  • Jo Swinson consistently voted for ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted against ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education

How the candidates voted on Health –

  • Jo Swinson almost always voted against restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted for restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS
  • Boris Johnson voted for reforming the NHS so GPs buy services on behalf of their patients
  • Jo Swinson generally voted for reforming the NHS so GPs buy services on behalf of their patients
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted against reforming the NHS so GPs buy services on behalf of their patients

How the candidates voted on Equality & Human Rights –

  • Boris Johnson voted against largely retaining the EU “Charter of Fundamental Rights” as part of UK law following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
  • Jo Swinson generally voted for laws to promote equality and human rights
  • Jeremy Corbyn almost always voted for laws to promote equality and human rights

How the candidates voted on Welfare and Benefits –

  • Boris Johnson has never voted on reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the “bedroom tax”)
  • Jo Swinson almost always voted for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the “bedroom tax”)
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted against reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the “bedroom tax”)
  • Boris Johnson almost always voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
  • Jo Swinson consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted for raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
  • Jo Swinson consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted for paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
  • Jo Swinson consistently voted for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support
  • Boris Johnson and Jo Swinson almost always voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
  • Jeremy Corbyn consistently voted against a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
  • Jo Swinson almost always voted against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed
  • Jeremy Corbyn almost always voted for spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed

If you want to have a look at their voting record in relation to other topics take a look at the links below:

Boris Johnson

Jo Swinson

Jeremy Corbyn

Please vote and take the time to choose who you vote for based on factual information. The General Election is on 12 December 2019.

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