How I love election days. Seriously. I do.
Despite being a cynical old sod, and despite my dissatisfaction with the fare on offer, I do not blame the system. Certainly the system ain’t great, but it’s a damn sight better than the one they have in Saudi Arabia and North Korea. That doesn’t mean we should settle for how we do business, that we shouldn’t strive to make it more equitable, but by the same token I am grateful to live in a country where I can have tiny bit of influence.
There is no grand conspiracy. There’s monkey business with postal votes certainly, but we’re not talking about the 100%+ turnout you see in some Zimbabwean constituencies. The current malaise in the relationship between the politicians and the electorate is entirely of our own making. There are no giant space lizards rigging counts, the Illuminati are not beaming ballot papers into boxes, our prison is of our own construct.
The amazing thing is, we allow the established parties to pass us the construction materials and then we build the prison exactly to their specification. We do it. Not them. We have the chance to tell them to sod off, we just choose not to do it.
Already this morning I’ve heard the old ‘wasted vote’ line. You know the one, a vote for anyone but the LibLabCon is a waste. This is a line that is put forward by the LibLabCon. Well of course they say that, they would, wouldn’t they? Whichever one of the triturdvirate they represent, they want you to vote for them, but failing that, vote for one of the other two, because they play nicely, they’re part of the club.
What you are being told when you’re fed the old ‘wasted vote’ line is that your opinion and desires are irrelevant. Bad voter, naughty voter. You must vote for what you’re told to vote for. If you went out to the pub and the conversation turned to politics, you’d not be happy if someone told you ‘your opinion is worthless and you’re wasting your breath unless you agree with me and do as I tell you’, would you? So why put up with it in the polling station?
It may be that like Sadbutmadlad over at Anna’s, you look at the options on offer and decide you don’t like any of them. The sadlad cast a blank paper. Here in my town we had the locals alongside the general election, I was heartened to discover that the parade of only big 3 candidates gave exactly enough boxes to write the word CRETIN nice and neatly with a letter in each box.
Alternatively, stay at home. Is it your vote. Not their’s. It does not belong to them, they have no right to tell you how or for whom you should vote. I always choose to use mine, but that’s my decision, I’ve also got one of those toasted sandwich makers, but I rarely use it, that’s my decision too. They can campaign and ask for your vote, that’s fine – although I’m betting in the local council elections they’ve not even bothered to do that – but never let yourself be bullied into voting one way or the other.
If you want Labour, vote for them, if you want BNP then do the same, or for the indie who wants a badger underpass built. If you don’t like them, don’t vote for them, if you do, then do. I would ask that you don’t use your vote to vote against someone, really if the only argument someone can come up with is ‘vote for me, or the other guy will get in’, then I think that tells you all you need to know about that person’s ideas, character and integrity. When you vote against someone, you’re being played like a cheap violin.
But hey, it’s your vote. Nobody else’s. Only you can escape the prison of your own construct, but it is as easy as standing up and walking out. There are no bars or guards beyond the ones you allow to exist in your mind.