As you probably are all aware now we live in France but we are still entitled to vote in the UK general elections. So we applied for postal votes to ensure that our voices are still heard. We followed the process properly and eventually the council deigned to send out our postal voting slips so it will be a desperate race against time to ensure that the votes arrive on time seeing as they only arrived yesterday with only 5 days to get the slips back in time and one of those days is a Sunday!! Well done to our ex-council for not fully understanding that we need a decent time span to ensure that the post is delivered back to UK to meet the deadline.
Anyway apart from generally being unhappy with how the council has handled the postal voting system, my main issue stems from the lack of choice for voting. We lived in a staunch Tory constituency, I suspect it has never had any other party elected to government ever, and it seems that choice is not something we are offered by the the remaining two main parties as the options for my vote are: Tory, Green or (heaven forbid) UKIP.
I do remember one instance when a Labour candidate stood and up until this election a Liberal has stood but this year neither party are bothering to field candidates. Now this will not stop me voting. I strongly believe that it is everyone’s duty to put a cross against their chosen candidate at every election and quite honestly I am appalled when anyone doesn’t exercise that right. You have no right to voice opinions about your government if you fail to engage in the democratic process in my view.
I know I don’t vote for a candidate because of their personality, my vote goes to the party that shares my views and aspirations for government (or as close as possible in the case of our constituency). So why do we not just have a vote for a political party, not individual candidates? After all unless you are a party activist or part of the senior ranks of a political party, you have no choice on who the candidates are. Personalities are irrelevant in many aspects. I may not agree with our constituency current MP’s political leanings but I have seen he is proactive in his constituency but I cannot and will not vote for him based on his parties politics. I do not vote for someone because they are a good chap or good woman, I vote only on whether they will support the legislations and ethos that I believe in.
Why is it that not everyone has the right to vote for the same political parties across the country? Why should some people be denied the right to vote for the party that they believe in?
Proportional representation would be an excellent way forward, it is I am sure resisted by some parties who fear for their stronghold but it would at least ensure there are equal rights across the board for all the electorate and would also ensure that we get a government that is truly representative of the country. I do not believe that it would result in a rise in extremist members of parliament. The vast majority of those eligible to vote are sensible, level headed people who are quite capable of making a rational choice of where to put their X. It might also silence those who say ‘what’s the point in voting I know who’s going to get in’. They would no longer know for certain that that bloke who has held a comfortable seat for the last 30 years without any serious competition would retain a post as a representative for their party.
So as far as I am concerned this is the time for change; time that we had a government that was representative of the electorates views; time that there is real and equal choice for the electorate.
But until that option exists…VOTE. Don’t waste your rights.