Despite being unable to ‘skip through my cuttings’ and congenitally unable to bring myself to trawl through arcane and usually partisan descriptions of our nauseating see-sawing political history, I find myself compelled to put metaphoric ‘pen to paper’ as the dreaded day of decision looms.
Looking at the offerings of various political parties I’m reminded of all their efforts to persuade me to vote this way or that for the Referendum on the strength of increasingly dubious ‘facts’. It soon became obvious that as each side desperately vied with their opposition to ramp up their reasons to sucker me into voting in or out, a rational decision based on truth was impossible. Today, for me, it’s deja vu as the same dreary pantomime is performed over the airways and terrestrial media.
What exactly is a pledge? Is it a promise or an aspiration or something they can earnestly offer us in return for a vote but can simply shrug off once they’ve got their hands on the controls?
In the forty-odd years I’ve been voting never once in that time has my vote had any impact on the outcome of the local or national elections. It is for this reason I shall be visiting my polling station on the day to register my interest by taking Alistair Webb’s mooted gambit and voting “none of the above”.
Twelve per cent of the votes in the recent French elections were spoiled with this sentiment and if you’re as disgusted as I am with the way we allow power-mad politicians to get away with these daily antics, please feel free to take this option. Maybe one day, our protest vote for a fairer system that doesn’t automatically disenfranchise 75 per cent of the electorate who weren’t on the side of the first-past-the-post winners will have some traction and a system that enables all to feel their voice is being heeded and there would be some genuine value in voting.
Steve Mackinder, Sluice Road, Denver