Thursday, May 07, 2015

Vote, Vote, Vote 2015

I know that by the time anyone reads this it will be too late, but you really need to get off of your arses and go and vote, if you haven't done so already.  I've gone on at length here as to why not voting simply isn't any kind of protest but, to reiterate, the fact is that the system isn't just going to grind to a halt if you don't vote.  Come tomorrow, a new Parliament will have been elected, regardless, (although, if the opinion polls are in any way accurate, it might take some time for a viable new government to emerge), so you might as well have your say.  Damn it, even just spoiling the ballot paper is better than not voting at all - spoiled papers are counted, so at least constitute some form of protest, (or simple idiocy in some cases).  I also don't hold with all the nonsense about the parties 'all being the same' or that 'none of them represent me'.  I know that the Labour Party, for instance, hasn't done great job of articulating a clear alternative to the Tories, but the fact remains that there are fundamental differences in the underlying philosophies of the parties.  No single political party will ever represent the exact opinions and ideals of individual voters, but it's a case of finding the best fit.  Sometimes it comes down to trying to decide which is the least worst.  But even that represents a positive decision.  Certainly more positive than doing nothing to effect change, which is what not voting amounts to.

We live in an age when it has become fashionable to vilify politicians and dismiss them all as being venal and self serving.  Whilst they often don't do a great deal to dispel this characterisation, it is grossly unfair.  Moreover, if you don't like the way they behave, you always have opportunity to register your disapproval via the ballot box.  Indeed, if you really feel that they are all corrupt, then you always have the option of seeking election yourself.  Whether we like it or not, the way we effect change, for good or bad, is through politics.  Ultimately, in a democracy, only by engaging with the existing system will you ever be able to change it. (Unless you want to start a revolution, but despite my continued calls foe people to rise up and get out on those streets, I haven't seen a lot of enthusiasm for this option).  The bottom line is that if you actually bother to vote then, in the weeks, months and years to come, at least you'll be in a position to moan about the government.  You can tell anyone who will listen: 'Don't blame me, I didn't vote for these buggers, I voted for the other lot', or 'Don't blame, when I voted for these buggers, I didn't know they were going to do this - it wasn't in their manifesto' - delete as applicable.  Anyway, polemics over (I think allowed to get sanctimonious about politics once every five years or so), hopefully we can start getting back to normal tomorrow...  

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