There's a General Election here in the UK next week. I will be voting Labour. However, in the last general election in 2005, 40% of those eligible to vote here in the UK just didn't bother.
Voter apathy or, as I prefer to call it, ignorance.
I am fiercely proud of the fact that I have the right to vote on how the country is Governed. I am acutely aware of the fact that there are still dictatorships in the world and that people in countries where there is no democracy would probably give anything to be able to do what I will do on Thursday 6th May. I will walk into the Town Hall in Manchester and I will exercise my right to have a say in who becomes the MP for my constituency, something which will in turn decide who the next Prime Minister of my country is.
Those who have no right to vote, those who live in a country where everything is decided for them, where there's no choice and where the voices of the people are simply ignored would give anything to do that.
Yet 40% of those with the right to do that here in the UK just don't bother.
What is with these people?? Voter apathy is nothing new, but it's just not disappearing. You would think with all the news coverage of nations where no such right exists, that the British would be grateful for the right.
Even if there was no party I cared to vote for, I would turn up and spoil my ballot paper. That is how you can still be heard. That says "None of you work for me. None of you deserve my vote, in my opinion." Simply not bothering to vote just says, "I can't be arsed. I don't care."
This election has seen televised debates between the leaders of the three biggest parties, however. They pulled in millions of viewers and it's hoped that this might spur the apathetic into voting. The social media hype around the election might do as well. But will it get everyone voting? I doubt it.
There will still be people who say, "Well the party I would vote for won't win anyway." What a stupid excuse not to vote? If everyone who said that actually got up and went out and voted for that party they might stand a bloody chance! But they'll certainly not win an election if you're all just moping on your couch about the state of affairs.
You know the annoying thing? It's these people who will continue to complain about the state of affairs, about high unemployment or uncontrollable immigration. It's these people who will whinge about the amount of tax they pay or NHS waiting lists. IF YOU DON'T VOTE, YOU LOSE YOUR RIGHT TO COMPLAIN, in my opinion.
Anyway, there's not really a point to this post. I'm just ranting.
Brits - get out there and VOTE VOTE VOTE!