Ugh! Horrid awakening this morning to find out that our worst fears have been realised and UKIP have won substantial slices of yummy electoral cake. I’m sure 90% of it is a protest vote which won’t translate into winning at a general election but it’s not good all the same.
On the other hand, considering that Left Unity have only been going officially since November, they did pretty well where they stood. They got nearly 9% in Wigan and 3-4% of the vote in other places. That’s not bad for a party barely six months old.
But what really drives me crazy is apathy: the people who declare, often proudly, that they ‘can’t be bothered to vote’ or that they ‘aren’t going to vote because they’re all the same.’ The point is, whether or not politicians are all the same, or all out for themselves (and I don’t believe they all are) they are going to make decisions which will affect your life. Like Sartre said, whether or not you concern yourself with politics, ‘la politique, elle, s’occupe de vous’ – politics concerns itself with you. *
He’s right. Politicians will make decisions in your name whether or not you vote for them. And the one hold we have over them is the fact that if we don’t like them, they’re history. Thatcher made the mistake of thinking she could do whatever she liked: she pushed through the poll tax, and she paid the price.
It’s all we have – and it’s not negligible. Consider countries where people can’t elect their leaders – or, more importantly, get rid of them. Think about what kind of society we’d have then.** And then consider what others went through so that we could vote. This is particularly significant for me as a woman, and I often think about what the suffragettes suffered, just so that I could put that cross on a piece of paper.
And as for saying ‘my vote doesn’t count’ – what if everyone said that? What if everyone said, for example, ‘my money doesn’t count’ when they’re thinking of giving to charity or, say, buying fair trade goods? History has been changed by such actions. Journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, as they say – and frankly, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.
Bit of a rant today, I’m afraid – but if there’s one thing I would like to stamp out, it’s apathy and cynicism.
Hang on. If there are two things I would like to stamp out, they are apathy and cynicism. And greed.
The three things….
We could do this all day.
*I’m sure he said that – I quoted it in a number of essays, but I can’t find a reference to it.
**Although what concerns me more now is the selling off of public concerns and the amount of power global corporations have.
2 thoughts on “Ugh! Knackered In Paris? UKIP if you want to…”
But deliberately not voting is also sending a message to politicians (apathy or their lack of reaching the publics ears, either of which needs attending to), but also, one cannot say that UKIP gaining so much ground is a bad thing, if one truly believes in democracy. The people have voted, and chosen UKIP………..thats democracy…………now politicians have to ask themselves how could that have happened? maybe UKIP say what so many think whilst the other parties say what they think will upset the least amount of people…………they are in favour of immigration because its good for the UK, BUT they are going to stamp down on immigration………….its so much double speak, means nothing, and clearly no longer wins votes…………so, democracy……. you have to take the rough with the smooth or it isnt democracy.
Yes, you do have to take the rough with the smooth – ie you have to accept the result. Doesn’t mean you have to like it or agree with it. RE: deliberately not voting, the thing is there’s no way to tell the difference between someone deliberately not voting for well-thought-out reasons and someone who just can’t be arsed. That’s why I’m in favour of spoiling your ballot paper – at least you’ve made the effort