Why engineers should use the pragmatic vote at the election

This will be one of the last Eureka blogs before the General Election on May 7th 2015, after which, it is fairly safe to assume, we are in for some form of administration change – even if it is another coalition. Are we likely to see the Conservatives and Lib Dems partnering again? Probably not, but in a political climate in which principles seem secondary to pragmatism, you can't rule anything out, nor anything in.

Even if principles seem to have gone out the window, there still needs to be that pragmatic reason for someone to claim your vote, no matter how cynical you might be about modern politics. Undoubtedly, this will be labelled on several occasions as 'the most important General Election in a generation'. This will be because, at some point in the campaign, we will only have 24 hours to save the NHS, the Armed Forces, the police, the education system – in fact most things except overseas aid, which is ring-fenced.

No matter which politician says such things, it is obviously not true. Irrespective of who is at the helm on May 8th, all main departments will continue with their current counter-balancing mix of inefficiency, dedication and hard work, and they will continue to lumber on.

So who should you vote for? Perhaps the place to start is closer to home, with the products that you are designing at the moment. Ask yourself what impact each of your parliamentary candidates might have over the next four or five years. As a consequence of that candidate's actions, are you more likely to see your product being manufactured in your constituency. Or to be manufactured in greater numbers? Or will a wider range of your designs be made? Or maybe an offspring recruited as an apprentice to work on such projects?

If the answer to any of the above is positive – in this age of vanilla politics from magnolia politicians with beige policies – then maybe that is differentiation enough to earn your vote.

Tim Fryer

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