In my view, this hasn’t been a particular good election campaign. I started the campaign as an undecided and I still am. I don’t think our current system works – I am not talking about the voting system although I do think PR is more representative of the votes cast – no I am talking about what happens when your local MP actually gets into Westminster.
It doesn’t matter what your candidate says or believes once the polls are closed the whips decide what way your MP should be voting and it takes a pretty strong individual to stand up to them and vote other than how they are told. Then there is that anarchic and undemocratic practice of filabusting, when an MP talks for hours about something, just about anything, to waste parliamentary time because they are aware that if the motion under debate goes forward it might mean a position other than theirs is adopted.
Copious leaflets, doorstep conversations, facebook posts by friends, TV and radio discussions, stuff online, have been interesting at times but mostly all about running down someone else, or a groups of people, or even whole nations. I do not want someone representing me who thinks that it is acceptable to treat others with contempt, as if they are somehow second class and don’t deserve an opinion never mind a vote.
So what to do, for the first time ever I find the temptation not to vote very strong indeed I wish we had the option some other countries have to vote for none of the above. I would happily vote that way and if others did too I think it would send a strong message to all parties to get their acts together and stop the nonsense. Yet we don’t and I will be voting and I wont be wasting my ballot paper – I do not believe in that – what I will vote I still do not know indeed that decision might not be made until I am standing in the booth. What I will be wearing today and when in the booth however is this:
I consider myself fortunate indeed to own this, I wish I knew something of the person who first wore it, but I don’t and probably never will. It is a Suffragette ring with green, white and violet stones and a chain on the shoulders. Green, White and Violet stones for Give Women Votes. We live in a democracy and regardless of how useless our vote sometimes feels for many that isn’t the case and for the Suffragettes of old and of now in other countries in the world I will be voting, and you dear reader, regardless of your political view should go and do likewise.