I read somewhere the other day that 50% of the population don’t know who they will be voting for this Thursday in the General Election. And as shocking as that statistic is, I’d have to lump myself in there too. For the first time ever, I don’t know who I am going to be voting for. I only know that I will be voting.
However disillusioned I might be, not voting isn’t even an option. The thought of the fate of our country being effectively decided by those who don’t want to vote for anyone so don’t bother at all makes me want to weep for the society that we are living in. You don’t make changes within a democracy by not exercising your right to vote. But actually if any of those undecided voters are anything like me, it’s not simply a case of not caring about politics. In fact it’s quite the opposite and they probably care a little too much and find themselves going round in circles trying to make sense of it all.
All parties are much of a muchness. Apart from the raving loony ones that I’ve written off of course. But at this point I’ve had enough of trying to make sense of the sound bites. Don’t tell me what the opposition are going wrong, tell me what you are going to do right. And don’t give me that wishy washy ‘vote for us we’re going to take care of hard working families’ nonsense. Actually I would hope that an elected government would look after anyone whether they are hardworking or not. What about those who can’t work? Never mind the fact that we have more single households than ever. Don’t they count because they are not a family? Besides which, what actually defines a hardworking family anyway? It’s utter nonsense. To be honest, the government telling me that my relationship of twenty years in meaningless because we’re not married and that I’m creating an unstable upbringing for my four children without that extra ring on my finger doesn’t sit too well. And then of course we had Cameron’s promise this time 5 years ago not to touch Child Benefit before swiftly taking it away in the unfairest way possible. So basically the traditional family where one parent goes out to work while the other stays at home to raise the children isn’t valued one jot then? A family where one of us pays more than enough tax for the pair of us loses their Child Benefit but their neighbours who both go out to work potentially earning double the household income still get to keep theirs? Sorry I digress but I can’t help but think that actually so many people are disengaged because nobody believes a word that any party says!
By this point of an election campaign, we’ve gone from the empty promises without any solid facts to back them up, to full on mud slinging of the opposition and right about now we’ve reached the desperate shows of passion which basically means rolling their sleeves up (literally) and trying to shout the loudest. To be honest, it might take more than a loosening of a tie to convince me of their passion. Talk to me about your policies! Make me believe your promises!
Talk around our dinner table often turns to politics at the moment and voting is something that I’ve spoke to my teens about at length. At 15 and 17 their time to vote is yet to come but even they don’t understand why somebody wouldn’t vote. Maybe living with political parents has rubbed off on them but even my son said, well surely you just vote for the party you hate the least if you can’t vote for the one you like the most. From the mouth of babes, eh? He’s quite right of course and that’s exactly what I will do come Thursday but I can’t help but deliberate in the meantime.
Our local MP (who I did vote for in the last election) is fortunately for our constituency one of the good guys. He cares passionately about our village and doesn’t just appear come election time he actually works tirelessly year in, year out for our community. It looks like he is set to lose his seat this time around which makes me think that my vote for him is more important than ever. But I can’t help but feel so conflicted when I strongly disagree with so much that his party stands for right now. I feel so let down by this government. Thinking about the bigger picture quite frankly makes my head hurt. So here I am, still going around in circles trying to make sense of it all. Sigh.