Today is the General Election and while you may have had enough of all the backbiting and bitching that goes with the interminable run up to it, I would urge you to vote.
I see myself as apolitical. What I mean though, is that I don’t have a staunch allegiance to any political party. I grew up with Tory parents but quickly rejected the Conservative manifesto once I entered the real world of university and working life.
Politics infect everything we do, so it is an untruth to claim to be apolitical. If you have an opinion, whether it’s about the state of the roads you drive on, how much you pay for a drink, if you believe breastfeeding in public is your right, or how your child’s school is run, you are interested in politics. The people at the top decide how to prioritise almost everything in our lives. They have a virtual pot of money and can spend it on the things they believe matter. I say virtual because most people know our country has had some very real financial problems which has seen them ‘create’ money just to survive.
You may be a bit like me and not really know the names of the people you’re voting for on your ballot card when you turn up, although it’s likely that the recent campaigning has succeeded in making a few stand out as familiar. Some for the wrong reasons. If this is true, then try one of the many ‘who should I vote for quizzes’ on Facebook to give yourself a bit of an idea of how your personal ideologies fit with the various party manifestos. It will at least give you a bigger picture of where your allegiance might lie.
Here in South Thanet, our vote has become the focus of the media with Nigel Farage choosing the area as his battleground. It has ignited the election to the point of feverpitch and while I can’t stand the man and his crones, I don’t dislike the fact that he’s got us all talking about this election and some of the bigger issues.
My vote will count today more than it ever has before so while I’m still undecided about where to put my cross, I certainly know where it won’t be going. And know that I will be making one.
Please, please make sure you do too.
If it’s your first time, then I found this BBC guide to what to do when you get to the polling station helpful.