I am indebted to the lovely Brian, who sent me this little flow chart to help me make up my mind.
Voting 2010 is the first general election for my teenager, who has decreed that my advice is mandatory regarding which candidate/party is deserving of that valuable new ‘X’ in the box.
Back in 1979, I was in a similar position, facing my first visit to the polling station and the ballot box.
But the decision then was so much easier to make. After a series of winters of discontent, strikes, power cuts, crippling inflation and high unemployment, Mrs. Thatcher’s Conservative Party was the only choice for the new voter who wanted to see a complete change of direction from the Union-driven politics of the past.
Of course, the fact that she was the first woman to be in the running may also have had a small influence on my choice as well.
I kept thinking of all those woman who had given their lives and their liberty just so that women like me would have the right to suffrage and Mrs. Thatcher’s victory was the culmination of their efforts.
In the three decades since those heady days, the decision on who to vote for became harder and harder, both locally and nationally.
And I am reminded of Mrs. Pankhurst and her brave comrades again today when I feel as if there is not much point in voting because all the people involved are a similar shade of grey. But, worse, so many are only there to line their own pockets and ensure their own future – both financially and in terms of fame. Everyone who has any power in this country seems to be involved in either a desperate bid for eternal fame or some form of reciprocal back scratching, where votes cast in Parliament seem to be rewarded with jobs for life once involvement in political life has finished.
Some people have suggested that we should go to the polls and spoil our ballot papers to register our disgust at their behaviour and their politics. However, the memory of those Suffragettes haunts me and I cannot, in good conscience, just throw away a right that they fought so hard to secure.
We seem to be following the path of you Americans with televised debates between the three main political combatants, the prospective Prime Ministers. But they’re all pretty much of a muchness. And, having watched our comedies ‘Yes, Minister’ and ‘Yes, Prime Minister’, I can’t help but wonder if policies will change whoever we vote for since it is the civil servants in the background who may well be pulling the strings.
But, back to politics and teenagers, obviously I can’t and won’t tell her for whom she should vote. All I can do is guide her and I guess the question that is at the forefront of both our minds is:
What do we want for the future?
A safe, self-sustaining world with employment for everyone and a basic level of subsistence available to all.
But, whilst there is money to be made, there is always going to be the worry of nefarious shenanigans behind the scenes.
Originally posted 2010-04-26 09:25:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter