When I was a kid, I hated politics. To me, it was all just a bunch of old, rich, posh blokes arguing over who knew what was best for the country when, really, they had no clue.*
(*This was until I saw Blair in 1997 and thought things were about to change. And then he went ‘weird’, so that worked out well…)
And to some extent, it still is.
Because, in all honesty, do you think the middle-aged, podgy, balding men in Whitehall have any real notion of what life is like for the proletariat? I think I’m not really making any grand discoveries when I reveal the answer to be no.
So as David Cameron gets shinier and shinier, Gordon Brown reveals more teeth and Nick Clegg just… stands there being Nick Clegg, you have to ask yourself – what do these people stand for?
Because, at the end of the day, any of these could get hit by a bus or some volcano from Iceland, but their party – and their policies – will still be here making our lives better. We hope.
Interestingly, I got two different results when I tried Vote for Policies and Vote Match (two brilliant sites where you vote on policies blindly). Unsurprisingly, the Tories didn’t make one showing. Now that’s not to say I dislike them all; I have a very good friend who campaigns for them and whom I admire greatly.
We have great discussions on the whys and wherefores of supporting who we do – but that doesn’t mean we agree. And we don’t have to, that’s the great thing about democracy and freedom and all that jazz (the figure of speech, not the song made famous through Kander and Ebb’s ‘Chicago’).
For me, personally, the person I’d like to see overseeing our economic recovery is Vince Cable; a man who has worked in both industry and politics and seems to understand the right way to go about things. He even predicted the downfall (not that one) in some quiet, prophetic fashion that only he could. Unfortunately, the Lib Dems also saw fit to appoint Nick Clegg as their point man, and I’ve seen more leadership qualities in cake. But I digress…
And so it comes down to the Conservatives or Labour. Personally? I have never been a fan of style over substance and think slow and steady wins the race and… actually, if you can think of any other metaphors that mean the same thing, please feel free to leave them below.
But I don’t want to tell anyone who to vote for as that’s just silly; everyone’s own beliefs and morals play just as big a part in this as the media and the pundits and… oh yeah, the politicians and parties. I suppose they are important, too.
So… go read the manifestos, take the quizzes, watch the debates – don’t just think other equals better. Educate yourselves because, at the end of it all, we’re the ones who will benefit/suffer.
Don’t just sit back and do nothing.
Abstaining is for losers. So vote! Make a difference!
Or, if you don’t vote? Acknowledge you’ve signed away – by not signing – any right you had to complain about how the country is being run.