Monthly Musing – June 2017 – Have your say
It’s an exciting time in our household as the General Election
approaches. This will be the first one
that big daughter is old enough to vote in and she’s determined to have her
say. We’re delighted that she’s taking
such an interest in it – I don’t think I was so politically astute at her age
and even until a few years ago would have told you that I wasn’t really
interested in politics … but I do care about the NHS, my children’s education, the
state of the roads, whether a fire engine will reach a burning house and that people have somewhere decent to live rather than shop doorways … it turns out
that I am more politically minded than I had given myself credit for.
We are all affected by politics whether we like it or not. You may well be sick of the electioneering,
of politicians’ promises that may or may not carry any weight and of people
telling you that you must vote because past generations chained themselves to
railings and put their lives at risk so that you could so. You may feel that you don’t like any of the
political parties’ leaders enough to vote for them and you can’t wait until
it’s all over. I don’t blame you. But when it is all over and someone that you
didn’t choose is living in Downing Street, you can’t blame anyone but yourself
if you didn’t put your mark on the voting paper, and this is what we have told
big daughter. If you want to have your
say in how the country is run, then use your privilege (being able to vote in a
democratic society is always a privilege, not a right) and vote.
“What difference is my one vote going to make?” you might ask. On it’s own, perhaps no difference at all –
but joined with millions of votes from around the country your small voice becomes
a roar. Think of it as a car stuck on a
level crossing with a train speeding towards it. On your own, pushing will make no difference
but once a few people join you, that car is safely off the tracks in no time and
the effort required by each person was no greater than the effort for you
alone. Why would you choose not to push
that car, or to write an X on a voting paper?
I’m not interested in turning my blog into a political debate. I have my views and you have yours and that’s
fine. What I am interested in is that
you don’t miss out on your chance to help steer the country in a direction that
will benefit everybody. If you can’t
choose the party you like the best, choose the one you dislike the least. Look at who is helping your local community,
standing up for you, being your voice.
Apathy helps no one. If you don’t
do anything else tomorrow, make sure that you have your say.