Wednesday, 7 April 2010

And they're off...

Well, the starting gun has been fired - there will be an election on the 6th May. At last, after months of phony electioneering, the parties can set about it in earnest. Indeed, they already have - the Tories were even out in force leafleting commuters at Bristol Temple Meads last night!

I love elections. Ever since I was a teenager, I've been interested in politics. Ever since I could vote, I've voted in every election and referendum I could. There is something about the voting process that I find almost magical. Presenting the polling card, getting ticked off, receiving the ballot paper, going into the booth, reading it through, marking my X next to my chosen candidate and then posting it in the box.

It's a solemn and responsible undertaking and I don't understand the majority of people who won't or don't vote. I respect people who don't vote for religious reasons and those who "actively abstain", e.g. deliberately spoil their ballot. It's apathy I don't get - it's just so defeatist and a form of self-fulfilling prophecy: my vote won't change anything, so I won't vote.

All that said, I'm not going to be going to a polling station this year. I'm not going to be entering the surreal world of canvassers and sealed boxes.

Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not throwing away my democratic franchise - it's just that as I will have just moved house, I'll be voting by post. I will reserve my judgment but don't believe sealing and posting an envelope will have quite the same resonance as going to the polling place.


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