Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The importance of voting

I get so annoyed by people who decide not to vote. Both the "they're all rubbish" and the "I'm not interested" excuses are just a total cop-out. You're quite entitled to feel that no-one will do a good job, but surely you should pick the best of what's there to stop someone worse getting in, or stand yourself/form your own party as a better alternative. (I know this second option is rather extreme but it's surely better than not voting at all!) As for the not interested camp, I just have no respect for them whatsoever: politics affects everything from the amount of tax you pay to the way it's spent to house prices to the availability of abortions to the price of going to uni to public transport...I could go on for hours! I'm sure no-one would say they're not interested in any of this, therefore they should be making the effort to inform themselves about who represents their views best on these issues. One girl from work actually told me today that it didn't interest her at all, but she'd probably have views on it afterwards when they were messing it up! I could have screamed - you only have a right to complain afterwards if the party you voted for gets it wrong or breaks its promises, or if the party you voted for doesn't get in.

An interesting thought...should voting be compulsory? I strongly believe that it's the obligation of everyone who lives in a society that allows them to vote to do so, and that there can be no valid reason not to. If everyone was made to vote (don't ask me how this would work!) would we get a true picture of what people thought? I think there would have to be a "None of the above" option otherwise people would vote randomly, but at least it would be an accurate reflection of who feels unable to choose a party to represent them and who just hasn't previously been bothered. This would of course have to be coupled with a proper programme of political education in schools, so that people could learn about the views of all the parties and about the history of political representation both here and abroad. I'm sure if everyone was able to understand the joy of the black people of South Africa or the women of Britain at being able to vote for the first time they would make more effort.

This post is a bit of a departure from what I usually write about, but I just had to rant about this somewhere because I get so cross when intelligent people come up with rubbish excuses for not voting, or don't bother to inform themselves of the facts. Voting is your obligation to society and to the people of the world who have no voice. It's not too late to go online, read up on the policies of all the parties and make your mind up. Please vote tomorrow, make your voice heard and use the precious opportunity that you are so lucky to have.


Andy Inglis said...

Go Sarah!

I agree voting is very important. I have sympathy for those who are turned off by the childish behaviour you sometimes see from mainstream politicians, but still if you take an interest and look at what the parties offer you will probably find that they're not all such bad people!

Juicy said...

Well, it was a fairly predictable outcome wasn't it? At least Michael Howard didn't get in. I much prefer the Rory Bremner version.

p.s. election parties rule! I was up very late looking at Peter Snow's swingometer (ooh err!) and drinking wine.

Lu said...

...A whole bottle of wine, in fact! I blame Robert Kilroy-Silk. Not only did his name get mentioned a large amount, meaning that a large amount of wine had to be drunk, but I ended up laughing whilst drinking and almost choked.

Election parties rule, but boo to the BBC for not saying all the bingo words!

Anonymous said...

Hey i know this is crazy and you wrote this comment ages ago......BUT its freaking awesome.exactly how i feel everyday. i'm a 21 year old south african and people who just dont vote drive me up the wall.
at second year uni and i've decided to use your blog as a referance for a presentation i'm doing. hope you dont mind.