Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The UK: One Vote! #GE2017

One vote
One vote; that is all it is, that one vote that you can only cast for yourself as one person, an individual, independent, inspired or instigated.
You cannot cast a vote on behalf of your household, when you enter the voting booth, you alone, persuaded by truth or lies, passion or indifference, concern or apathy, duty or routine to exercise a right that much blood has been shed for over centuries. That amazing right of self-determination.
Yet, you also can decide not to exercise that right to vote, leave it to others to decide your fate or fortune, where you have sight you can choose to be blind, where you have hearing you can choose to be deaf, where you have a voice you can choose to be silent.
It is just one vote, but each one vote taken together constitutes a majority for the person who wins against the other who might have won if others who chose not to vote did decide to vote.
A vote that changes things
It is one vote, the doorway to policy that can shape and alter the future for a country, for a people, for a lifetime and more pertinently for each and every citizen, the ones who voted, the ones who didn’t vote, the ones who cannot vote and the yet unborn who will access this world in the circumstances created by that vote.
We can choose to vote as informed people, checking out what is promised against what is possible, reviewing the record of incumbency and projecting that over the possibility that they might or might not have new ideas or we can choose to vote persuaded of soundbite and rhetoric, platitudes and talking points, mantras and slogans, empty boasts that tingle the ears but mean nothing in reality. We have the choice of ignorance and if we boldly embrace it, our folly lays before us.
A moral duty to vote
To vote is not only a civic duty, it is a moral duty, yet there has been no general election voter turnout above 80% since the elections of 1950 and 1951, on average since then, over 30% of possible voters have decided not to exercise the right to vote. [UKPoliticalInfo]
This cohort of ‘can vote – won’t vote’ people can make the difference in the kind of government we elect, clipping the wings of the tyrannical using the dividends of democracy to pursue an agenda that only serves the interest of the few. We are all affected when we vote and we are all affected when some of us do not vote.
Do everything in your power to vote
In the 2015 General Election, I was about to travel to South Africa when the election was called, I was fortunate enough to have ample time to plan to vote that I was able to avail myself of the opportunity of a postal vote, which I did.
I would have like to have a more streamlined process of applying for a postal vote, but the system appears to be a voter suppression scheme that does not lend itself easily to that option, this time around. Working out of Edinburgh I could have let my opportunity to vote pass, it is just one vote, but my one vote is valuable, it is my sight, my hearing, my voice and my full participation in our democracy – the government of the people, by the people, for the people.
My plan to vote
I will not let some people decide for me what I can also get involved in and decide for myself too. It comes at a cost of time, resources and strength, and if you believe in participatory democracy, you will support this view.
I am taking a train to Manchester tonight to arrive home just before midnight, I will be up first thing on Thursday, thankful for the people manning the polling stations from 7:00 AM to vote and then I will be catching a flight to Edinburgh to arrive at work just around 10:00 AM.
That is the plan and I am looking forward to being fully part of this democratic privilege.
It is one vote, one vote from me, one vote from you, all votes taken together become the key to our future, if we choose wisely, we would have a bright future ahead, if we don’t, the prospects are bleak and the pains we suffer today would just be the beginning of a future of more pain and agony. Have you seen nurses at food banks and the homeless on our streets? Those are results of failed policy.
If we are to have a United Kingdom that works for everyone, then it is our duty to go out and cast that vote. On Thursday the 8th of June 2017, the polling stations are open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, change the future by voting tomorrow.


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