Right to Vote?


No prompts today. Just me.

It’s voting time here. After a veeeerrrry long day at work I did a quick shop, got home, brought the bins in, and the last job before allowing myself to collapse in a heap was to walk the couple of hundred yards down our road to the temporary polling booth and cast my votes for the local and European elections.

Walking down the road I felt an oddly strong sense of being part of something much bigger than me. I also felt proud to be in a country where I have the right to vote.

I felt quite different in the booth with the ballot papers in front of me.

In fact it was depressing. So many parties overtly standing for the oppression of certain groups of people. And even when considering those who don’t necessarily fit into that category, I felt like I was trying to figure out which was the best of a bad bunch. I’ve never been especially politically savvy but I try to make an informed choice each time I have the privilege of voting. Increasingly I wonder what kind of a choice I’m actually being given.

People fought, and people died, so that I and many like me would get a say in who governs our country. And they listen to our votes. But do they listen to our voices? When the votes are in do the people we give the power to make or break our country, continue to listen to those who put them there? Do they listen to those who didn’t put them there but whose lives are still affected by the decisions they make?

Our leaders past, present, future, don’t have an easy job. I wouldn’t want it. But too often it seems like we’re let down. Left screaming our objections whilst those in charge carry on against our will.

Are there any leaders out there willing to listen? Willing to take a step back when the wishes of the country don’t align with their own?

We give you power. You have to earn our trust. So far none are doing very well with that.

I sincerely and idealistically hope that our leaders, whoever they are, whoever they may be, will recognise the voices of the people who give them their power. Don’t make empty promises. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear, tell us straight. Tell us what you actually stand for, what you’ll actually fight for, what you will maintain integrity for. Don’t ignore us when we disagree with you and barrel forward with your own agendas. Don’t manipulate data for your own means, use it to genuinely inform decisions and policy. Don’t blame the other guy. You are not children. And neither are we.

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