I don’t often make public political statements, and saying “please vote on may 6th” probably isn’t one really. However, it is vitally important that you, the enfranchised public, get off your apathetic arses and make it to the polling station this coming May 6th.
According to this information almost 4 people in 10 eligible to vote chose not to bother to do so. Oh there will be a few spoiled ballots in there but most of that 40% will simply have not bothered. That’s shocking.
I do feel Australia has this nearly right. It’s compulsory to vote there. You can turn up and spoil your ballot, I understand drawing pictures of penises on the form is common, but the point is that you do show up, or you get a fine. It’s not much, personally I’d be quite happy with the penalty for not voting without good reason is having your right to vote removed thus making my vote worth that tiny bit more, but it’s better than what we have now.
Why turn up just to spoil your ballot? Well if the result of the election show that 40% voted “none of the above” then that’s a clear message to the politicians that their policies and performance are not appealing to a significant proportion of voters. Maybe it’ll make them wonder why we’re not interested in supporting them.
Another reason you should vote is not to get a candidate in, but to keep a candidate out. The BNP got power not so much because people voted them in, but because people didn’t vote against them. We do not need the BNP in this country. Where you have a BNP candidate standing, and you have no preference, voting for anyone else is better than you not voting at all.
Me? I’ll be voting Liberal Democrat this year, as I have done in every election I have been able to take part in. I don’t think Nick Clegg is the best LibDem leader ever, I also do think him doing well in the leadership debate was nearly inevitable. Only a complete cock-up could have done anything but boost the LibDem’s cause. If I felt either a Labour or Conservative government were really able to sort things out, I’d be voting them in. I have lived my entire life under either a Conservative or Labour government, things are not going all that well. No-one voted for our current Prime Minister. Can the LibDems really do any worse?
You may not think it matters who you vote for, I would disagree. But really, really, it does matter that you do vote.
Please vote on May 6th.