Friday, July 19, 2013

Sheeple need not apply

Voting. It's one of those things that we don't think about all that much, except for that frenzy that comes upon us when a general election looms. And even then many people choose still not to think about it.

But it's important. Really important, and for more than the obvious reasons. 

When we choose people to govern our land, from a community perspective it matters that everyone take part. Community is a concept that many people really fail to grasp (sadly I think particularly our politicians fail to grasp this). Society is held together by community. The sharing of skills and ideas, the shared responsibility to uphold laws, raise contributing adults and to care for the vulnerable. Choosing who governs us is another shared responsibility.

Please don't imagine that my writing about the importance of casting your vote is going to be 'vote for who I said'. I don't work that way. Whomever you choose to vote for, the act of voting is important. Every vote counts, even if the team you chose don't win. Not to mention that it's massively hypocritical to whine about the current government if you didn't actually cast a vote. Even if the vote you cast was FOR those numpties, you have granted yourself the privilege to reasonably say, "well you dickbags haven't lived up to my expectations then, have you?" 

So, let's assume for the sake of my sanity that you have now decided that maybe voting is a good plan. What now? Pick your favourite party and go for it? That depends on the situation, there are things to consider. What outcome do you want and realistically could it happen? Sometimes there's a gap between what you want to do and what you should do to achieve the best possible result. Last time I cast my vote not to get a party to win, but to try to stop another party from winning. 

Last time around people abandoned the Labour Party in droves, huge terrifying droves. Not surprising really, the reds have been a ship adrift for some while now, even staunch Labour supporters began to wonder if they were actually up to the job. Wishy-washy leadership, incoherent and minimalist policies. So there was a large shift (mostly to the Greens, who lets face it didn't have a hope (of doing more than getting a couple of seats)) Sometimes you have to kind of 'do the math' to figure out where you vote is best used. And who can be bothered with that much thinking amiright? Thinking. It's so important. 

I posit this: These people, once chosen, will govern the country for a significant period, in a position to do immense damage if they are no good at it (or just no good) perhaps putting a little thought into it is not such a big ask.

So: CAN your party win? If they can't is your vote still best cast with them, or is it worth voting for someone else who MIGHT be able to win with a bit of a push - if it will prevent someone you actually DON'T want getting in, this is worth considering. Is a coalition a reasonable idea? Or would it be a good thing to try and push for another seat for a minor party? The trouble with answering questions like this is that you have to have some idea of what the current political climate is like and some idea of the policies and candidates for each party. If you just make assumptions about each one based on nothing more than their party name or that the local candidate is cute or some other facile reason, you'll do some of them a disservice (not to mention the country). And potentially vote for a madman. 

You don't need to become a sociopolitical genius, just take a look at the options and judge for yourself. Form an opinion. I'm full of them.

Peace. Out.

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