The local elections roll around again in a month. I'm hoping that the prospective candidates from the party I've voted for all my life will make some form of appearance.
It doesn't need to be physical; I'd settle for each candidate going to the towns's independent local news site and briefly stating a few words; why they're standing for election.
I'd settle for a leaflet hurriedly pushed through the door by ninjas, stealth-delivered at silly o'clock; a document briefly outlining who they are, where they're from, why they consider themselves successful, and why I should vote for them.
Twitter worked for me a few years ago as the campaigning wound down towards its… what's the opposite of climax‽ I simply asked a thus-far silent candidate why, especially when there's the easy publicity from that local news site… and she added her pitch to the electorate.
And, as the number of votes declined each subsequent election, I asked again. And, faced with the inevitable, I gave up asking. They're not worth it. Really.
This year I'm looking at two important opportunities to exercise my right to vote (or to abstain):
- Local elections,
- The European Union Referendum: Do we stay or do we leave the EU?
Both are important. Important.
The first gives a small voice to us ordinary people at a local level; an opportunity to address concerns like poorly-phased traffic lights, repeated illegal parking on the estate, why we shouldn't have speed humps; important stuff.
Now, these are the sort of issues any party's elected representative should be addressing; it's irrelevant which party I vote for in these instances, as 'my' councillor it matters not how I voted.
The bigger picture is what really matters, but past local level we have no say in political matters. None. So it's pointless voting in National elections.
So, that established…
The second upcoming poll, a referendum, will eventually determine how successful Britain (England at least if everyone else removes themselves) can be when dealing with the rest of the world in trade. And stuff.
Europe seems to be a diminishing force in pretty much everything. Internal political idiocy and a resistance to reason dictates that nothing good will ever appear from the parliaments however many levels of beaurocracy are removed… but to be outside of it, unable to exert even the slightest of pressures to change the system, it's folly. Madness. 'Out' gets us a reduction in dues, a nationalistic feeling of pride (a 'we did it!' hubris) and nothing else - a phyrric victory for those who would…
Ok, I know which way I'm voting in the second poll, but in the first apathy is the order of the day. No not apathy, but it's not anger either…
Why should I vote for someone I don't know? I don't really know any of the people I've voted for in the past so it's an odd one, this. I vote for people who I don't know because they at least make an effort to tell me who they are and what they stand for. Merely belonging to a party I express an allegiance to just does not qualify them to gain my support.
No-one understands the referendum's issues, no-one. Everyone's guessing, dressing it up in hope or doom, analysts adding game theory to it in the hope something good will drop. So what will happen in or out? Everyone's got their own ideas, it'll keep the media busy for months. And we'll all be wrong in the detail.
The good thing about the second: were not voting for a person. It's for a system or an ideal, dependent on your views. It should be easy to choose a box to add my cross in. But thought, a process of reasoning, an inability to simply vote as my parents did. Hard, groundbreaking stuff, this.
One thing at a time then…
Dear local election candidates: I'm again ready for disappointment. Make me wrong.