Thursday, May 01, 2008

Why Voting in Person Is Fun


I love this sign, seen outside my local polling station this morning at 7:45am when I went in to vote. It seems to sum up the combination of great earnestness and very slight incompetence which has always been the hallmark of the British polling station... I was slightly disappointed that the rickety plywood booths had been replaced by some rather smart modular ones; but the pencils were as awful as ever, so that was all right...

The contest in my home area is somewhat overshadowed by the contest in the area where I work. Only a Boris supporter has actually attempted to sticker me against my will, but I've had all the leaflets, and do hope that the people who do actually have a vote have got out there and used it. I'm going to follow my usual practice and ask any Londoner who whinges in the last four years who they voted for; anyone who didn't put a cross in any box (or indeed, two, if they felt like it... or voted for RON*, or drew a picture of a starfish...) has no voice afterwards, as far as I'm concerned...

I have all sorts of other things to blog including some fabulous yarn; but I get a bit irrational when it comes to elections. If I ruled the world and were to make anything at all compulsory, it'd be voting. If only to save the irritation of listening to non-voters droning on and on about the awfulness of "the system"...

Here endeth the rantette...

*I'm not sure how widespred RON is - but it used to stand for Re-Open Nominations in student elections. Occasionally RON would win...

Edited to add: Another reason elections are fun is the tremor of excitement in the voice of James Naughtie as he contemplates three hours of speculation and local results, and calculation of whether the results in Sunderland South or Little Snoring, if transposed to a General Election, would mean a landslide victory for the Mackem Party or Residents against the Eco-Town... he is the David Attenborough of election coverage, endlessly fascinated, endlessly amused, totally gobsmacked to be doing this job...

10 comments:

Mary deB said...

Things have changed recently in Canada, but with leventy-million time zones (actually 6, but Newfoundland has a half-hour later time zone) the reporters of a national election would have been at it for hours before the people on the west coast tuned in, and an exhausted Peter Mansbridge would greet them. We in Ontario always now stay up to see the handsome Ian Hanomansing reporting from BC.

Well, that's more than you needed to know, I'm sure.

stash haus said...

I share your view in politics - everyone has a stake in this so there's no excuse for not voting.

kate said...

I'm with you 100% on the voting thing and James Naughtie too. If he were your (or rather one's) father Sunday lunches would be fabulous.

Rosie said...

Wonder how many people are going to turn up on Saturday expecting to be able to vote then? I didn't vote until about 8.15pm last night, and noticed that I was only the 6th person from our road to have voted (there are about 40 houses, and one of the other people who ahd alrady voted was my husband). why do people waste their votes, especially, women. Think of the lengths the suffragettes went to to scure those votes for us.

Liz said...

Thanks all for comments! Mary, with a name like Hanomansing, I'd be staying up till the early hours, too...

Our incumbent increased his vote; so my record of never voting for a winning candidate in a district council election (I've been doing this every couple of years since 1985) stands. I voted twice for a winning candidate in the county elections (we're twinned with a less rural area nearer Cambridge) until she was hounded out of politics by... our incumbent district councillor. So, double yay...

For the record, I've only voted for a winning candidate once in a General Election (Diane Abbott in Hackney in 1992)...

It's the going down there, smelling the floor-cleaner, feeling the tatty pencil in your fingers and putting the cross in the box that counts though - and catching up with the neighbours while you're down there... Damn electronic voting and give everyone a day off once a year to vote (and close all the roads so they can't just go on holiday...), that'd be my manifesto...

Knitman said...

reminds me of a sign in Singapore which stated: no overtaking for the next 200 yrs' !!

Daisy said...

I'm really annoyed - Windsor didn't have local elections and i LOVE going to vote (ever since my scary school history teacher peered over her glasses at us and said "Women died to get you the vote, girls, USE it!")

E-J said...

Thank you for the visit to my blog (hadn't heard a peep from you in ages, and was becoming concerned) and for identifying "Choisya" ... I'm now convinced that's what it is. Our neighbours have some, and it looks identical to ours except that it's also flowering like the examples I've seen online - whereas ours is giving no sign of flowerage.
Xx

littlelixie said...

Afraid I've tagged you. Details on my blog...

littlelixie said...
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