It’s been happening for months now. Everywhere I turn is politics. I have been receiving letters from David Cameron through the post urging me to vote Conservative because if SNP put Ed Miliband in Downing Street we are, to put it bluntly, all screwed. Other leaflets I have received from the Conservatives have also told me that voting Labour is bad news because they will undo all the hard work they have achieved over the past five years. I have been receiving emails from Ed Miliband asking me to donate money to the Labour party as the Conservatives are using their right wing values in their favour to generate revenue from the upper classes. I have even seen Labour candidates in town urging me to vote for them as a Conservative government could mean the end of the NHS. I have seen various Green posters around Bath telling me that… well I’m not really sure to be honest. The Green posters just say VOTE GREEN, they don’t really tell me why. The point which I am trying to make is that with all of this propaganda (is propaganda too strong a word to use?) it is hard to be sure of what one truly believes in. And with election day tomorrow, time is running out to make a decision. What should we let sway our opinion and what is irrelevant while making a decision?
Every news source is distorting our judgements spinning good press and exploiting candidates opponents. It seems that each party is playing one another off against each other. These days we aren’t voting for a party, we are voting for an individual and it shouldn’t be this way. Frankly I don’t care if a candidate had an affair several years ago, how on earth will that effect me now? I don’t care if a candidate supports a certain football team and I surely don’t give a tiny little rats ass if a candidate shares my birthday. It seems politics is no longer about politics. It is literally about picking someone we like and not about the parties intentions. When did politics become all about image? I don’t care what the leader of the party looks like as long as they stand for what I believe in. And this is my main point, why are we voting for someone who we like the look of instead of someone who we think will do the country good? Don’t let public image impact your vote tomorrow.
Another factor which often steers us towards a certain party is our family and friends. I’ve been thinking about who to vote for for a while now and it’s tempting to vote for the same party as my family because that is the party I have been raised to believe in. At a young age I was told that one party was good while another was bad and for years this influenced my opinion. Should we really just go with the flow and vote blindly because we want to follow the crowd? No. Make sure you are voting for someone because you believe they can make a difference to you and your interests. Why not read through all the parties manifestos and make an informed decision? There is nothing wrong with having an open mind.
Don’t be afraid to vote for a less established party. Every party starts out with a small number of seats (if any) and your vote could mean that over time they become well known. I have always been a little bit frightened of voting Green as I worry that my vote will get lost in the midst of more popular parties and won’t mean anything. See, the thing is I’m not too sure who to vote for, but I sure as hell know who I don’t want in the government and so I feel that I need to vote strategically. If I vote with the masses then the party I don’t want won’t get elected. However, chances are very high that it will be another coalition government and so my reasoning behind this logic can be seen as slightly crazy. By voting for a smaller party could make the difference between another Conservative/Liberal government and a Labour/Green government, so don’t rule out voting for a party because they are less known.
I guess I have spent a lot of time telling you not what to let influence your decision tomorrow, but there are many things which you should consider. While making a decision about who to vote for you should be thinking about policy such as: the economy, the health service, standard of living, our environment, animals, equality, housing, transport, culture, our communities, education and welfare. Most importantly you should be thinking about what a party could do for you personally. Do you want a better minimum wage? Do you want to leave the EU? Do you want to stop fox hunting? Whoever you vote for, you should vote for on your own terms. Be pragmatic and use your vote to make a difference. Oh and for any of you planning on not voting, think again. Voting for what you believe in is much more rewarding than not voting for anyone and not standing for anything.
P.s Party Logos are on this post purely for decoration purposes.