Democracy seems to be a subject on most people's lips at the moment with the upcoming General Election. For the past five years I have been eager to cast my vote, secretly hoping to get out a government that punishes the working class. I am not really a person to discuss their political views as I think this is personal choice and a private matter, so doing this post is out of my comfort zone as neither my family or friends tend to know my political preferences.
The truth is I live in a town in which less than 60% turn out to vote, and for the past 10 years I haven't really found my MP effective, but I am sure he does work in ways that maybe I just don't understand. He promised to save our hospital, and it closed and this affected his popularity - however I don't think that just one man can be blamed for this. I do find it ironic that we start hearing more about MP's like mine in January of this year when compaigning for the general election. I didn't know whether to vote for him or not this year. I do think Labour policies are the ones that I relate to the most but I am concerned that people get too comfortable in their seat and should give someone else a go. However, anyone that gets an MP's wage isn't going to do that are they?
On reading policies, I must admit I favour the Green Party. Their policies on ending austerity and improving education are subjects that appeal to me greatly. It's something that will be good for my children's future. I haven't actually heard anything about the person who is running as a Green Candidate for the town which is a shame.
Part of me feels really inspired by Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP - oh how I long to move to Scotland and vote SNP! :(
The thought of voting UKIP makes me feel physically sick, but I am worried that the ignorant people who do not understand what they stand for, may vote for them as they are feel let down by both main parties. I've stopped reading their leaflets - they go straight in the bin. I have heard enough about their policies that create inequality amongst the people - the disabled, different cultures, and even women will suffer at the hands of their policies so surely this is the majority of the population they discriminate against. Surely, the people wont go here?
There are a few independent people standing for MP in the town, that state they will fight for our hospital services to be reinstated. I really love their enthusiasm and their passion - these people really care about the town, but I wonder what chance they would have in the big, wild world of politics. Anyone can see that ONE person cannot possibly save a hospital that has already closed and although an MP has status and can argue their case, there has to be:
A: Funding available to the NHS.
B: The NHS has to decide to spend the money in that area.
I ask myself, can one person, with no experience of politics do this? Do they really know what they are letting themselves in for?
I haven't made a decision who I am voting for as yet. I do know that for me, it can't be Conservative. That's why I didn't even discuss the Conservative candidate (or the Lib Dems), and neither of them actually live in the town!
The main reasons I can't vote Conservative is because I care about the NHS, tuition fees, the disabled, the mentally ill, and people on the brink who can't afford to survive. I've been there! The Lib Dems have no chance of getting anywhere but I do feel they have sheltered us from the true wrath of a true Tory rule, in which I am thankful.
So now I have talked through my own political issues, I want to stress the importance of a vote. Here are my five top reasons why you should use it!
1. Because you have a right to vote and in a democracy you should make your voice heard. There is no excuse - if you don't like your MP, then vote against him and give him less chance of getting in. No vote is a wasted vote.
2. It shows you care about your town and country. You're an adult, take an interest and vote for what is best for you!
3. The country needs your vote to get a representative idea of what all the people want. It doesn't matter if you are a Conservative constituent, a Labour consistent, or Lib Dem, vote for what you think.
4. Voting gives you a voice, even if it's a secret one. You feel good inside once you've voted! If you're a woman - don't forget that suffragettes fought hard for you to be equal, and have the right to vote.
5. It educates you and puts you in 'the know'! Your town/city/country are important, take the time to find out about some policies and see what you think is best, what do you want to see? You will find out what is in store for the future, so for instance, if you pay bedroom tax and Labour gets in, this will be abolished, so you can expect not to pay this soon!
I haven't fully decided what I will do. My family have always voted labour and I agree with the majority of their policies, but voting for no action for another five years pains me. Our local council is ran mainly by labour councillors, with a couple of exceptions, and all seem to bicker quite happily amongst themselves regularly. I fully appreciate why the people of my town are fed up of being led by these people and sometimes it isn't them, it's the councillors from other parties trying to damage their reputation, but do people see voting for them as 'the greater good'?
Do you know who you are voting for in the General Election? Are you voting for 'the greater good' or for what you believe in? What do you think is the best thing to do?