Politics is a viciously divisive subject which we try to largely avoid over here on this little corner of the internet. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve started voting, or because of social media, or if maybe it’s always been this way but I feel like elections are a much bigger deal in the last few years. In this latest election, especially, I feel a few things have reared their ugly heads and that voting is no longer about what it’s meant to be about, and that’s what I want to address briefly in this post…
(lighthearted festive content will resume promptly after!)
People voting for who they want, not against who they don’t want.
Tactical voting is really getting on my nerves, to be quite honest, and it’s really time that people didn’t feel pressured into voting for one party because they’re vote will count more than voting for the party with the policies that they really believe in. I genuinely think the Green Party/Scottish Greens suffer most from this, because I know/have spoken to so many young people who say that they would use their vote for the Greens “but there’s not point”. Imagine the boost the green party (and other parties) could get if people just voted how they wanted? It could really diversify parliament, and would provide a much more honest look at our country and what the people living here want.
Stop guilt tripping women into voting.
Stop telling women that they have an obligation to vote because “people/women died so that we could have the right to vote”. Indeed they did, for the RIGHT to have a say, not a compulsive obligation to have a say. Women feel guilty and shamed about enough stuff as it is without you adding the fate of suffragettes into the mix.
Don’t put the weight of the world (or at least, the country) on young people’s shoulders.
#YouthQuake is great and all, but it’s not up to young people to save the country. Older people need to stop saying that it’s “up to young people”. Young people have enough to worry about without thinking that the fate of a whole country sits on their shoulders. It’s up to everybody in the country to work together to do what is best for as many people as possible (ideally everyone!). On a very similar note, we need to stop making politics/voting a them vs us. It’s not about young vs old, it’s about party vs party.
Don’t register to vote if you’re not going to turn up.
Why did you go to all that effort to register to vote if you weren’t going to bother showing up? Get up, show up. If you really must, spoil your ballot.
Promote your policies and stop bashing other parties.
Do you ever just look at the leaflets coming through the door and realise that most of the parties are so busy telling you what the other parties are speaking about that they kind of forget to tell you about what they are actually talking about? “Vote for us to stop independence/to save the NHS from the Tories/etc” okay cool but what are you saying about education, about crime, about minimum wage and zero hours contracts? If we only had elections for one thing at a time we would never be out of polling stations. Tell me about ALL of your key policies and leave the other parties out of it. I want to know what you plan to do, not what you don’t like the other party planning to do.
The return of #DogsAtPollingStations.
Pretty much the only thing bringing anybody any joy on heavy hearted election days.
Scrap the polls.
Seriously, the ‘polls’ that people refer to are ridiculous and they mess with people’s heads and hearts. Just get rid of them, let people do their thing and let everybody be equally surprised by the result.
For anybody interested, these were my results from www.voteforpolicies.org.uk, which was a super nifty and insightful website!