My right to vote is also my right to not vote. Or to spoil my paper. Or write on it none of the above (which amounts to spoiling and shouldn’t in my opinion.)
We don’t actually have elections in our local area this time. Or if we do they must be secret elections as we’ve received no notification or polling cards 😉 But all over the place, particularly on social networking sites I am being exhorted to vote, and told that I’m letting the side down and have no right to complain if I don’t.
Hm. I have voted in every election I’ve been entitled to vote in for my entire adult life, except one where there was some odd mix up with polling cards and I didn’t get the information in time. (Student days. Lots of things were confusing then.) Despite this stirling effort on my part I’ve never yet been part of a majority. In earlier years this could have been down to my rebellious habit of voting for joke candidates – is that also an abuse of my right to vote? Or does that somehow count more than staying home?
I am involved in my community in that I follow what is going on locally, my other half is part of the chamber of trade, I’ve written (probably rather more frequently than she likes) to my MP. I’m also still in touch with the other PPC for the area, who I really really wish had been elected but she wasn’t, and there you go.
The system we have at the moment is not, as far as I can tell, democratic. It depends on your understanding of the word. I’ve been told in the past by an MP that her duty is primarily to her party (not this MP, someone somewhere else) as without them she couldn’t have been elected. In which case what is the point of us having chosen individuals? We might as well just vote for a party, and let them send ppl to parliament.
Or why even bother with the ppl? Why not just do away with the individuals, who don’t appear to be able or willing to do much against the party line anyway, and they just cost us money.
It seems to me in this day and age that we ought to be able to be more representative. There are any number of ways to get ppl’s opinions, instantly. It’s farcical to just hold an election once every 5 years and then have the government of the day ignore the promises they made and carry on rough shod over the objections of the electorate.
Is that really what the suffragettes protested for? I don’t think so. So don’t tell me I have to vote. That’s my decision. Not yours.