In a series of posts, Brighton Politics Blog is optimistically plying the anti-Tory tactical vote option to try and prevent the Tories taking power in 2010 - but he has one clear problem - he is asking people to vote Labour and the current awfulness of the Labour party makes that too much to ask for a lot of people.
The problem with tactical voting is that the party you are preferring over something worse (a inevitable situation with a system that allows no effective choice but Labour and Tory government) will never get the message about how unhappy you are with them until you vote elsewhere.
If it wasn't for those brave souls on the left risking a Tory MP by voting with their conscience we never would have anything other than Labour and Tory MPs and no chance of electing a Green in Brighton Pavilion.
I live in Hove - a 'super marginal' but no-one in the current anti-Labour climate could realistically expect Labour's Celia Barlow to hold on here with just a 500 vote majority. So which is the more wasted vote? Voting Labour in a forlorn attempt to stop the Tories or voting Green and building their base for a better chance of being in second place to challenge the Tory MP in 4 years?
BPB wants us to vote Labour in Hove and Brighton Kemptown, but both of these seats are already lost to the Tories. There is not a hope in hell that the awful Simon Burgess, who couldn't even hold his own council seat, can hold on with a 2,500 majority. A mass exodus of Labour voters to the Greens however could see them move into second place and be a real progressive challenger in 2014/15.
In Brighton Pavilion, a Green vote is the best way to stop the Tories, but this is only because a number of Labour voters switched to the Greens in 2005 despite risking a Tory MP.
The problem is the electoral system - we face another generation of Tory government - not because they are popular, but just because they are less unpopular than a despised Labour government.
People's memories are short - they cannot remember just how bad the Tory years were, or maybe they are not old enough to remember. But in 13 years the Tory brand is not as toxic as it once was, and Labour's has been destroyed by the stalinist leadership of the party denying ordinary members a say in the direction of policy.
The slow process of removing the duopoly of Labour and Tory from perpetual power is going to be very painful under this electoral system. It will involve maybe 60% of voters who want to see a left-of-centre government facing another decade or more of hard-right Tory rule.
If Labour is not going to offer electoral reform this time when it gave a categorical guarantee in its manifesto, then when will it ever?
Of course another left-of-centre party - be it the Greens or whoever will fall to the charlatans and sabateurs that have plenty of time to inviltrate any party that looks like achieving power and turning their policies into mush.
To win power under this system you need to appeal to the large section of the electorate that is politically ignorant, you need to have vague policies that 'all things to all people' and any party that has honest internal debate (like the Greens still do) will come a cropper under that system. Appointing a leader instead of dual speakers was a small step, but one which destroyed a key principle of being absolute in expressing equality over hierachy and was done in a search for the mass vote. Expect more key principles of the Greens to be dropped as their vote increases.
Only parties that suppress their internal democracy and present a vague superficial image and few real policies have a chance of winnning under this electoral farce of a system.
Look at the Tories, does anybody know what they are going to do after the election? They have not ruled out tax rises or public service cuts - but are totally vague about where, when and how these will be implemented. Ask any Tory voter for a clear policy of the Tories and most could not offer one.
And people have the wherewithall to say that PR does not let people vote for the government policies they want because two or more parties have to join a coalition.
At least under PR people can vote for the policies they want and their parties policies are more likely to be outlined in detail - the negotiation is open not decided amongst a few Tories or Labour leaders and their secret funders. Rather than a system where you have to vote for a party that won't tell you anything in detail until it is elected, PR gives you a real say over which detail of policy you would like to see argued for. Not perfect, but much better than the blind choice of two corrupt parties we have now.