Last year the Government threw over £4 million into a fund to try and do something to get more people to register to vote.
The initiative was to be targeted primarily at people who they believe ought to become more “engaged with the political process”.
Recent surveys suggest that this initiative has failed entirely and that our declining interest in the political scene continues unabated.
I find it hard to understand why everyone isn’t discussing the world of politics and the “political process” across the breakfast table, in the canteen and over dinner in the evening every day.
It’s the one thing that underpins every aspect of our lives and as such you would think we’d all know with absolute certainty that our individual input has value and meaning.
So what’s the problem?
It takes two minutes to fill out the paperwork, it costs you nothing and your reward is the chance to take part in the greatest show on earth ... a General Election!
Having established that you’re now definitely going to give it some thought, the next thing you have to think about is who you’re going to be voting for. It isn’t difficult. Basically there are two main parties. One lot represent the ‘posh’ people and the moneyed classes and the other party represents the working people.
As a rule, if you do something with your hands or wear overalls you’re going to side with Labour and if your job involves owning Gloucestershire or sitting down holding a pen you’re likely to be looking at the Conservatives. Not too complicated so far is it?
In addition to the two “grands fromages” there are other, smaller peripheral Parties, catering for niche markets like little-Englanders or even racists, or hippies or libertarians but essentially votes for these groups will effectively mean your efforts are wasted and could even undermine the outcome of an election if enough of you choose to step out of line and support these upstarts.
Having established where your loyalties ‘ought’ to lie it is probably best to actually read their manifestos, which are basically a list of solemn promises they put in writing in the run-up to the election. These promises should essentially concur with your own core beliefs and should form the basis of the reason you choose to vote for them.
There are some other things you might want to consider before you bestow your precious vote upon these people. As a rule, once elected, they will not be as devoted to your local needs as they will be to the needs of their political bosses.
Pledges and manifesto commitments are not legally binding and are subject to interpretation and finally you should be aware that many of them will not have as much time to devote to you as you might imagine because they either have other ‘moonlighting’ jobs aside from their parliamentary duties or they get promoted to Cabinet and are mostly tied up in London.
When you think about it....maybe registering isn’t so appealing.
n So what do you think? 20-20 vision or worth a poke in the Big Eye? Write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or at Letters, Lynn News, Limes House, Purfleet Street, King’s Lynn, PE30 1HL.