It's a by-election week. Some say a critical by-election week, and most certainly they're significant. I've applied one of my usual tests. It's the 'what would I do?' test. In this case it's a 'how would I vote in Stoke / Copeland?' test. The answer is the same in both cases. I would vote Labour. In Stoke that would be to keep out UKIP. In Copeland to keep out a Tory. Neither is a vote for. Both would be a vote against.
And that's my point this morning. It irritates me that politicians think that people on the ground don't do compromise to secure what are overall least worse outcomes when it comes to voting. The rash assumption of most political parties - and most especially the two largest - is that people vote for them. I simply don't believe that in many cases. They vote for the least worst option, or against the worst. Most times I have voted in my life I have had to do that. First past the post has not given me any other effective choice. And yet still politicians will not cooperate to give me the positive choice I want.
I would like one candidate standing in my constituency next time who can reflect the broad interests of Labour, LibDems and Greens who might have a chance of changing the political narrative of this part of Cambridgeshire. I cannot be alone.
I would like that candidate to commit to PR so there is real choice thereafter.
I know full well that the candidate I'd get and the policies they would offer would not be all I want. But I get worse than that now. So I can live with suboptimal.
I just wish politicians could. Then we might get real change. Right now we don't. And I can tell you, I'd rather change with an occasional peg on my nose than no choice at all. I think all democrats would. It's why I wonder how many politicians are really committed to it.
And if we want to stop the decent into chaos I referred to yesterday this may be the first thing opposition politicians in the UK may need to agree upon: compromise to secure change is vital to deliver what the people of this country need.