I am the archetypal floating voter. Child of the sixties who has seen it all, well a lot of it. Knowing that promises made in elections are soon broken; having lived the good and bad of many a government; lived in different parts of the country where different parties had the majority; having the privilege of getting to know some politicians and what they actually stand for. I have, in my time, voted for many different parties, because I believe in people and communities.
I believe passionately in voting. People suffered so that I could have the vote, and ultimately if I don’t vote I have no right to complain and no opportunity to change things.
Which brings me to this years General Election, but the same applies also to local elections, and the dilemma of how to vote.
I find myself living with the despair that a coalition didn’t bring a more measured and balance government, unlike my hope. I find myself living day by day with the repercussions of one of this governments policies. I am fed up of hearing ‘they will do this’, whilst never actually hearing what you are going to do – or how you are going to make your fanciful ideas work.
So the question remains, how to vote.
I’m not going to make any pontifications about that. But I am grateful to the Joint Public Issues Team for their strapline and logo, which at the end of the day is the only thing that makes any sense – and what we will all have to answer to.
I am called to love my neighbour – as much at the ballot box as anywhere else. My responsibility is to vote, not for my favourite, the one best before the cameras, the one with the sound-bites, or the party that will make my life better (or say they will) – but for the ones who truly work for the love of neighbour.
Now, if the politicians could just stop one upmanship and scaremongering and actually tell us what THEY are going to do, that would really help.
Oh and if you’re not registered to vote – do it, and if you are use it – for the love of your neighbour. Please.