Thursday 6th May 2010. D day. D for decision that is.
Having made the effort to rummage around the kitchen and find my polling card this morning, I came across a pile of election leaflets my mother had kindly not thrown out for me (I already kept the first copies, they were duplicates…) So I read through them (again) and then failed (yet again) to be inspired by any of them.
And as I cast my vote which really wasn’t a vote in the village hall at around 8pm, I failed somewhat in seeing the whole point at all.
British Politics has failed me. Not only in my home constituency of Buckingham, home of John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, but to us all. My eyes flickered down the stupidly long list of candidates and I was reminded of a picture I’d seen earlier of a spoilt ballot, which made me laugh. I sighed. For many of the first time (and indeed almost every one of the 65,000 people in Buckingham constituency) voters, we now are denies our right to vote for the candidate, or party that we wish.
It is traditional and a generally unwritten law that no one should oppose the Speaker, which is currently Mr Bercow. Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives all chose to uphold this tradition. However, this didn’t stop Nigel Farage (UKIP) John Stevens and countless other Independent candidates from running for MP and attempting to topple the speaker. I suppose I should be glad we had a choice at all…
Hypocritically, I am still unswayed by any specific party, though I am rather drawn to the Liberal Democrats (none of this Cleggmania thanks, I liked him before the first debate.) If only their asylum policy wasn’t ridiculous… I suppose I fail to see why most people can be bothered to vote really. All the parties are offering the same things, in slightly different ways. admittedly some are different, others are more drastic etc, but it’s still the same issue.
I stand as an 18-year-old student about to embark to university to read History and Politics. Of course I’m interested! But why so many people find the inspiration to even walk along to the polling station to vote… I actually cannot comprehend, especially in this constituency. Our vote does absolutely nothing for the country.
I have nothing against John Bercow, he’s a great MP and a good man, and some of his expenses were some of the lowest in terms of an overall amount of cash spent. Yet I feel my right to vote for the party of my choice has been taken from me, before it has ever been issues – this is my first ever vote. technically, I just voted Conservative…
And what shall I tell my fellow students next year as I embark on a journey of political and historical discovery? “Well, I voted Conservative. Technically. But it didn’t actually count for anything. I don’t support the Conservatives… it’s complicated.” Yes, I feel like a moron already too…
As I head off to mope around a little before watching the Election Coverage (flicking between BBC and Channel 4’s ‘Alternative Election’) I urge those of you who do have a ‘proper’ vote, to please, please use it. Vote for what you want to happen to Britain. Vote for our future, because it starts now. Vote for change, or for fairness, or for change that works for you, building a fairer Britain.
If you don’t vote, don’t you dare complain to me about the country, you filth.