Politics isn’t exactly everyone’s favourite subject, but much as I have avoided it as much as possible up to now I feel compelled to comment.
Be warned: I busted out the swears.
As you may know the UK government has called a snap general election for the 8th June. This has caused no amount of groaning from people in this country who are feeling the effect of election fatigue, one sympathizes. I must admit to being a bit of a geek, I find elections to be rather interesting, the run up can be entertaining as you see politicians jockeying for position to get their messages heard. Cue politicians attempting to appear hip and cool as they attempt to get the votes of people that couldn’t relate to even if given the benefit of a body swap for a day.
Frankly it’s embarrassing.
Then there’s election day itself when the results start rolling in and you begin to get a picture of how the election might be unfolding. I think it can all be rather dramatic as you start to see heads rolling. I know it’s a little sad, but I don’t care, I enjoy it.
Even with all that, even with the entertainment factor, the sense of comedy and drama; I’m beginning to grow tired of elections. We had a general election in May 2015, the EU referendum in June 2016 and now this in June. If you live in Scotland you also had to contend with the independence referendum in 2014 and the elections to the Scottish parliament in May 2016. Northern Ireland held elections to the assembly in May 2016 and March 2017. Wales held elections to the Welsh Assembly in May 2016 also. Throw in various local council elections, elections to the European and probably some other election that I’ve forgotten about and that’s a hell of a lot of voting.
I watched a news report just after the election had been announced, the reporter was speaking to a lovely old lady called Brenda and he was asking her what she thought of the announcement. To say Brenda was dismayed at the prospect of having to go to the polls again would be an understatement, she summed up the situation perfectly in one sentence.
“There’s just too much politics going on at the moment!”
Well said Brenda, well said.
I never thought I’d say this, but there is way too much politics going on right now. If things continue as they are then I do feel we could end up in double digits in terms of the number of elections before the end of next year. I do wonder what effect this might have on voter turnout at the election, it’s easy to understand how people might be turned off at the prospect of another election. It’s not even like things will change really, we’ll get the same sorts of people, telling the same lies and using the same meaningless soundbites in attempt to win our votes.
However, I would urge people to exercise their vote nonetheless. Vote for the party you’ve always voted for, vote for someone new, vote for an independent candidate or if none of the above appeals then spoil your ballot in a way that clearly states you are voting for none of the candidates. Whilst I get people might be tired of voting with absolutely no change whatsoever, not voting isn’t going to solve anything.
Nothing emboldens politicians and the powerful like the silence of the people, voting sends a message to our political class, whatever we choose that message to be. That’s not all there is to political engagement of course as voting is only part of being politically engaged, but this has been my longest blog post yet, so I’ll cover the rest some other time.
Whatever the case, once this election is done can our politicians please get their shit together and just fuck off for at least the next twelve months?