I did... an I'll tell you why a bit later in this post. But if you were like me, you were looking at a long list of Councillor hopefuls, none, if any, whom I had heard of, let alone seen or met. The choice can quickly become one of, which national party do I like the look of most, or who is looking least in trouble with the press, or not involved in the next potential scandal. Local council elections are though, much more about what's happening locally, and to be honest I have been surprised by the apathy within the councillors themselves... I haven't seen a soul out there doing any work, and not a leaflet has dropped into my pigeon hole either...
Voting like a few other things is a very emotive subject. There are those that wheel out the fact that people died to obtain the vote, so you must respect those people go and make your presence felt otherwise what did they die for? I in no way want to denigrate that colossal achievement which has resulted in the current flavour of democracy that we enjoy. Some element of voting was essential to bring order to a very unequal world and to prevent those in power from getting away with pretty much anything they wanted. Yet although it all began in the 1800's it wasn't until 1969 that both Men and Women over the age of 18 (they had over the age of 21 before) could vote.
But we missed it folks... we were hoodwinked, we thought this was all about politics, it isn't, it's all about money. Those people battling (or not battling in today's vote) for our vote are part of a system, a thin veneer we label 'Democracy' to help us to believe we are living in one. I know, I know there are billions of people globally who would bite off their right arm to live under the 'privileges' that we enjoy here in the UK. Security, freedom of speech, affluence, jobs, fresh running water, shelter, electricity and all our needs met. Most of this though comes from having wealth not to be confused with democracy, and a population that knows their place.
Let us just examine the statement earlier 'Some element of voting was essential to bring order to a very unequal world and to prevent those in power from getting away with pretty much anything they wanted'.
I don't see much evidence that anything has really changed, do you? I read facebook comments every day about the inequality here in our country, about the dissolution of the NHS, about TTIP, about the squabble over Europe and I ask a very simple question... if the majority of us want to keep the national health service, how come it is being systematically dismantled before our very eyes. If the majority of parents are fed up with their kids being tested to misery and emerging from education with major issues how is it allowed to continue? ... and if the majority of us didn't want to go to war in the middle east, how come we went anyway? Money... it's all about money, and it always was!
So I voted tonight... not because I think that my vote has any chance of changing the existing system of democracy draped over our eyes, but because "when we do have a real choice to change to something that looks like the kind of future we want
", then at least I can say that I didn't do nothing, I voted. I voted in the only system that we had. How can we expect others to stand up and vote for something different if we did not vote ourselves when given the opportunity. To Lead is to demonstrate qualities that others respect and would follow. I voted in a system tonight for people I don't know, who will more than likely follow the leadership of their party when making decisions. Those people aren't bad people, they are just in a system which will protect itself, and is self serving... I vote we build something better, and make this unequal system based on money obsolete... that's worth something voting for, in my opinion. So when asked am I voting? ... my response is... I'm voting every day... and taking action every day... to create the kind of world we want.
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