Politics was always an important issue in my childhood home. My father was a local councillor, lots of our family friends were local politicians and as soon as I turned eighteen it was insured that I was registered to vote. During my first General Election vote, I was marched to the Polling Station as soon as it opened.
I have voted in every election since, because I can. A hundred years ago, women fought and gave their lives so I could have the right to do so. I’m lucky to live in a democracy of sorts, and I truly believe that this is one of the only situations in life where my voice is considered to be as valued and as equal as everyone else’s, regardless of economic standing, race, religion and beliefs. Most importantly, I vote because the people that we elect do have the power to make a genuine difference to the lives that we lead, be it positive or negative, and I want to be able to have a say in that, however small my voice may be.
During the last election I unwittingly assisted the government in forming a coalition, the leader of the party that I voted for went back on everything that he had promised during his campaign, and during the last few years the Education Secretary for the coalition has single handedly been allowed to destroy the profession that I work in. The country is in a mess. Budget cuts has resulted in the closure of local councils, fewer police, NHS staff and resources, Bedroom Tax has forced thousands of people to leave their homes, there are hundreds of thousands of people living on the street while houses are left uninhabited, students are having to put themselves into thousands of pounds worth of debt to be able to go to university, and nearly a million people used food banks last year to support their families.
This year, I faced a dilemma. I want someone to represent me that has an understanding of what real life is actually like. I want my government to have extensive experience and knowledge in the area that they are responsible for. I want to be told the truth in simple, straightforward sentences. I want someone that is strong, who is trustworthy, competent, and who genuinely has the interest of the British public at the forefront of everything that they do. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there isn’t a single party leader that demonstrates these qualities. Of all of the candidates, there isn’t one of them that I have respect for, or a faith in any of them that they will make a positive difference. For me, politics is more about words, image and one – upmanship rather than action. No question is ever answered directly, sentences littered with buzz words and statistics that are designed to confuse the subject have replaced a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. Nobody ever accepts responsibility or wants to be accountable for their actions, instead preferring to blame the opposition (or unbelievably, immigrants in the case of one party) for the fact that they are incompetent at their job.
The question is, how do you vote for someone that you believe to be the best of a bad bunch?
I always put time into being as knowledgeable as I can about the different party manifestos, but this time I have looked a little more closely at my local candidates and made my decision based upon that, as well as the big picture. I may not have faith, but I have hope – hope that my vote won’t be wasted, hope that things will change for the better.
Ultimately, and most importantly, I hope that British public take note from the Scottish Independence Referendum last year with their 85% turnout, and exercise their right to vote today…
Hopeful for a better society can only be a good thing, can’t it? Let’s hope whoever gets in will try to make positive difference…
Well said! And how sad that many of us feel just like you, picking from among the best of a bad bunch. In the States, the highest turnout for a presidential election was back in 1876 at about 82%. Our last election was down to about 55%. I think people are without hope, but your post clearly encourages us not to give up our treasured right to vote!
As I wrote yesterday, when it comes to pond & politics, the scum seems to rise to the top. And as well all know, pond scum has no common sense. 🙂
It’s just as bad in the USA. They’re simply a different head that’s plopped on top of the same suit that people are trying to get rid of.
I am certain you will see change. Whether it will be for the better is in doubt.
Well… I’ve voted, although like yourself I’m not confident. I’m taking a chance on hoping I’ve done the right thing!
As we say in the United States: You don’t vote for the best candidate. You got against the worst candidate.
I voted but I don’t really know much about politics. I’m more interested in watching the swingometer on the results show. I wonder if it will go to deadlock?
My thoughts exactly… first past the post just isn’t the right method for us anymore. I literally voted for the person that I thought would be the most likely to kick Cameron out, even though my heart wanted to use my vote elsewhere. Fingers crossed the exit polls aren’t correct
I thought you guys had a Queen… 🙂
On both sides of the pond too many politicians make coalitions with all manner of groups to get elected and end up committed to terrible platforms, hateful programs, and greedy people.
Altruism may inform the youngest politicians but the grasp for power soon takes over and directs the more experienced ones. We citizens end up with rulers who know how to do the worst in their positions.
The best people don’t run for office, they do good things with their lives in other venues.
I love voting. I imagine it’s a national sporting event in which I get to score a point. If a candidate I vote for ever wins by one vote, it will of course be my vote.
It distresses me sometimes when I think about how little thought some people put into voting but there is also much disillusionment and a feeling that we’re in a lose-lose situation anyway. IN Australia, we have compulsory voting which makes things a bit different.From this, however, there is the “informal” vote where people express their frustration…or simply can’t work out how to fill out the form. Hope you’re pleased or at least satisfied with the outcome this time xx Rowena
It’s been an absolute blood bath today, with three of the party leaders resigning this morning. I don’t know the turnout yet, but it’s usually very poor… We need a compulsory system too!
I missed much of the news today. Just heard something in general about the elections. Must say though that there has been plenty of coverage of Prince Harry’s visit. He’s a very popular young man!
Haha! I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re a country of masochists… Must be why 50 Shades sold so many copies over here!
I think the turn out has been around 67%.
I agree with you that we need a compulsory system that requires people at least to turn up to the polling station. They don’t actually have to cast a vote, it’s a democracy after all, but I think they should formally make an ‘I’m not voting’ mark on the ballot paper. I think most people would vote that way and we’d end up with a more representative result, especially from the less privileged people of the country.
Unfortunatley though, it seems you and I have a different view of the state the country is in at the moment. I think compared to the way it was 5 years ago, it’s in a much better state and I can feel that in my pocket at least. However, that’s the wonderful thing about living in a democracy – everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, and more power to them 🙂
Absolutely! I think that working in the education system, I have seen the damage that has been done which is at the forefront of my negativity towards them. I agree about the not voting mark too!
That’s fair enough, my partner is a teacher and has also felt a lot of the negative impacts. At least Gove’s gone though!
Yeah, but this new one isn’t much better!
Yes, I did vote, although I always do a postal vote, and I’ve voted ever since I was able to.
I had no idea who to vote for and don’t live in a typical safe seat, so it was a very tough choice for me and I did not want to spoil my ballot paper. I did try and stay awake last night as the results came in, but I was fast asleep by 10:05pm 🙂
Today, it’s like the whole of the UK has changed, and I’ll be perfectly honest and say that I am not looking forward to what may be coming our way. However, I voted and I’m proud to say that I did so.
Exercising one’s right to vote is really something one should be proud of. We have no right to blame our politicians for their inability to solve problems if we don’t caste our vote for lazy reasons. But most of us find it easier to complain about the dirty home than picking up a broom. Just a couple of months back, I traveled about 2800 miles in 2 days to vote.
And the way you chose your local candidate and not the party is an example of a true democracy. There is no mention of the word ‘party’ in our constitution and since most of it is copied from yours, I think there is a similar case there? 😀
I’m happy to report that there were queues outside my local polling station every time I passed it on Thursday. As a fellow educator, I agree with your comments re the current bunch, but would say that the coalition was never going to give the Lib Dems what they wanted because by its nature, it involved compromise, negotiation and giving ground, and they were the minor party in the set up. They were actually on a hiding to nothing.
I love that photo, it tells the whole story, that man will kill your child one way or another, wether in 50 years by the loss of emergency services or by the underfunding of schools and loss of interest of the brightest child in her year because BOTH parents are now working AND claiming benefit to pay the mortgage and are too tired to ensure the enthusiasm, confidence and education of their child continues at home.
Oh and Suzie , its taking me an awfully long time to get through the medical research but Germany and France are outlawing Wi-Fi in schools. Simple reason, children’s heads have thinner skulls more likely to be affected by micro-radiation while the brain material is in full flux of development. HMG says will Wi-Fi schools. Ethernet will do thankyou.