10 Minute Blog: Use your votePosted: May 6, 2015
Tomorrow is the general election, and I’m going to wander over and exercise my democrat rights by casting my ballot. Who I’m voting for is still a little undecided in my head, but I’m sure that by the time it comes to leave my mark I’ll have chosen someone.
I was going to write a Buzzfeed thing today about how people should vote, but it’s all been said before (others don’t have the right so it’s disrespectful not to use it, every vote counts, you have to show how you feel etc.) and so I decided not to.
Hopefully most cats know why it’s important to use your vote.
Even if the party you want loses, at least you’ve had your say and that’s what matters. People know just how many people feel about certain things. What I find especially sad is that people are fine to Tweet and update their political gripes, but some still refuse to vote. Nobody cares about your Facebook status, regardless of how many people have liked it, what matters is your vote.
Years ago, back in 2010, which was a different time I was kinda excited to vote in my second general election. Things had got interesting after the TV debates and like a lot of folks at the time I agreed with Nick. I was optimistic that the Lib Dems would be part of a more progressive move into the future.
I asked one of my coworkers, who was never backwards in coming forwards with an opinion who she intended to vote for.
“I don’t vote. Pointless, isn’t it?” She replied.
I was a bit stunned and asked what she meant.
“Well, look at Margaret Thatcher, almost everybody hated her but she kept getting reelected. So why bother?”
As we were at work I just let it slide, but part of me wanted to shake her and set her straight.
“Do you not think that part of the reason Maggie kept getting back in was because your opposition only went as far as whinging in the pub?”
Voter turnout in the 80s was higher than in recent years, but a massive number of people didn’t vote (there hasn’t been a turnout of above 80% since 1951). Let’s say half of them were anti-Tory, they could have swung at least a couple of seats, and who knows what could have happened.
Political “what ifs?” are extremely pointless, would we really have been better under Neil Kinnock? Some might jump in right away with “yes”, but we’ll never know, for all we know he could have been a disaster.
The point is that even if you vote for a losing party you’ve made your voice heard. You’ve shown that there’s an opposition. You’ve shown what you want to happen, and that’s important. If one party gets a lot of votes but still loses, it’ll hopefully make the winners think about how they’re going to proceed.
Even if you vote for a joke candidate, you’re still sending a message. A message that you don’t care for the major parties, that none of the represent you, but you still want to use your democratic voice.
That’s far better than not voting, because all that tells people is that you don’t care enough to walk to the polling station. And if you don’t care now, you can’t complain if some douche gets voted to represent you, because your vote and those of others might actually have made a difference.
Would you look at that, I wound up writing a why you should vote thing anyway.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.