#126 UK Election – ‘I Won’t Be Voting’

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So I’ll just come out and say it straight – I have never voted on anything ever. Well, that is not strictly true, I badgered my mum to get ‘Nasty Nick’ voted off Big Brother in the early 2000s. As for my for my political influence though – nothing. That means you can file me away in the category of ‘well you can’t complain about anything’, and that is fair. But in my defence there are some mitigating circumstances.

Firstly, I’m stupid growing up, I was never a politicised person. I was aware of politics and I always knew who the Prime Minster was, but quite frankly I just never understood it. People in suits awkwardly taking photos with unwitting factory workers or repeating soundbites until you want to bite your own face off – in a strong and stable way.

At the time I had the incorrect view that it wouldn’t really change anything regardless of who won. With centre parties you could argue that might have been the case, but with politics moving into divisive territory, a political loss or win could mean a lot.

My problem about 10 years ago and what I see as the problem now is, I think the UK, like the US, has significant political opinion, but relatively little political action among its populous. Everyone has an opinion but more people seem interested to vote for an X-factor winner than the next Prime Minister.

I never stooped this low, but I did have huge support for Hangus’ The Monkey, Hartlepool’s football mascot who jokingly ran for Mayor of Hartlepool on the promise of bananas for everyone, and won. He not only won but went on to be one of the longest holders of the post. When you start voting on entertainment value though, you know the political system has lost its merit.

So the long and short of it it is that I was never too motivated to vote, a tad disillusioned maybe, uneducated certainly, and well, Friends Finale was due on so…

The second excuse mitigating factor was that since I turned 18, we have had 3 elections, as well as 2 unelected prime ministers (Gordon Brown & Theresa May). But for each one of these elections (and a referendum), I have not been in the country. Although I was Initially not that motivated to vote, I would have voted had I been in the country, but in my naivety I didn’t realise you could vote abroad. I didn’t even know you had to register.

My view of voting was that I’d walk into my local leisure centre and it would be set up like the finale of ‘Get Your Own Back‘. All the politicians would be sat up on the seats and I’d get to ask them questions, each wrong answer would send them higher and higher until they fell in the gunk. The last politician standing would be my vote.

Being abroad, I wasn’t able to part take in this, so in the last election, the referendum and the election in a few weeks I attempted to register to vote from overseas. Unfortunately as I did not register before I left the country I am no longer entitled to vote – on anything, unless I become a resident again.

I do believe it was Steve Jobs who said; ‘if the process doesn’t allow it, then it is a bad process’*. Whatever the case, it is a very disappointing process especially as there are a few certainties here, I am a British citizen, and as such I have the right to vote and not vote. I’m also a European resident but in the 4, soon to be 5, European countries I’ve lived in, I’ve never lived there long enough to vote. So that means I am now more politically active, more motivated and more educated, but I am not allowed to vote in any election anywhere in the world on anything.

That leaves the fate of my rights as a European citizen/resident out of my hands, especially given that the Conservatives are likely to be re-elected. Which means I could potentially be stripped of my rights without ever being allowed to vote on them.

Given the relative lack of humour in this post I’m going to say the word Gastromancy* – and penis*.

Mindfump.

*I literally made that up. 

*It means to tell the fortunes of someone from the rumblings of their stomach.

*This is the male reproductive organ.

 

 

Read more, it’s good for you.

#125 Speaker – ‘Mental Health & Motivation’

#124 Morality – ‘How Do We Know What Is Right Or Wrong?’

#PersonifyME: Laura

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47 Comments

  1. Joss

    Ugh, politics. I don’t vote once, and my country elects an unstable businessman who was famous for yelling at people on the television. Lesson learned.
    It’s amazing to find out that co-current citizenship is a thing. I thought that only under special circumstances people could have dual.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      I wouldn’t dare step my toes into the toxic pond of American politics. As for me, I’m not a dual citizen but a resident in another country. Obviously being in the EU means we can live in any European country whenever we want – until my country decided they no longer like the sound of people getting along. Hence why my current right to free movement is up for grabs -_-

      Liked by 1 person

  2. desertcurmudgeon

    Granted, we’ve never had a calamity on the order of Trump in the US since I’ve been alive, but hopefully it will at the very least light a fire under our significant percentage of armchair political bloviators to get involved — in fact, it is doing that. But it’s too little, too late. I am certain that I cannot stay in my country of origin much longer, so my efforts from here on will be in taking steps to extricate myself from what is rapidly transforming into a dystopian nightmare. And gastomancy’s meaning was easy to decipher, but thank you for your help in demystifying the word penis.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mindfump

      I don’t blame you for wanting to leave, I lived in the US for a short while and I won’t be back until the floppy haired maniac is relieved of office. As for the vocab knowledge – I’ve always got your back.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. summerSHINES

    😂😂 You’re a very funny writer. You so don’t need the inclusion of male reproductive organs at the end to make the post entertaining 😂 Though maybe this is where I’m going wrong and there should be more talk of this on my blog 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Martha Chastney

    I’m going to try and write this without offending anyone… though I should probably stay off the internet if that’s my intention!

    Honestly, I saw red when the title of this post popped up in my feed. While, I think you have every right to your opinion and your political apathy, not voting to me is an absolutely awful thing to do, let alone encourage.

    Now, obviously reading this it looks like there’s some administrative reasons why you, yourself are not voting and that is fair enough. There does need to be some education in to how our voting system works, as lots of people I know seem to be unaware that they can apply for postal votes or proxy votes. The closing date for registering is Monday – so you’ve still got time if you want to at least attempt to register.

    But I think it’s awful for a few reasons. For starters, people have literally died for the right to vote. As a woman it’s even more personal for me, as this fight is still going on round the world. To not use this right is pretty insulting.

    Secondly, the attitude of ‘well the tories are going to get in anyway’ is a bit ridiculous. Of course they are with that attitude. I’m not saying I’m optimistic about Labour’s chances (though I’d like to be), but I’m still going to do my bit. Even winning by a smaller majority makes a statement.

    Even worse is the attitude that ‘they’re all the same anyway!’ It’s so clearly not true. I’m not saying our political system is perfect, it’s not. I don’t think that the Labour party – or any other party – are going to make things perfect overnight, but I believe they’re ideals are very different to our current government and they’re the ideals I want the people in power to hold. I truly hope that we’ll revolutionise our political system one day, but for now I’m going to what I can to make the current one work the best I can.

    Also – if you’re unsure of who to vote for, the Who Do I Side With quiz is excellent and very easy to do. Here’s a link if anyone needs it.
    https://uk.isidewith.com/political-quiz

    All of that being said, I totally respect your right to your own choices and your freedom of speech. It’s one of the things that makes our country, I don’t want to say great due to the current connotations of that phrase, but pretty good might work! But I believe that that right is protected by ensuring the right people are leading us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paul Green

      Hey Martha! What a wonderfully detailed comment. I do have to say though you seem to have missed the main point of the post. It is no way condoning not vote and far from discouraging it. The point of the post is to say that that I have not been able to register for the vote. I’m no longer a resident of the UK and didn’t register for the vote before I left which means I cannot register. This post was to vent at not being allowed to vote, apologies if that message was not shown clearly. Although you do seem to have misunderstood a lot of the more minor points. The tories are going to get in comment was intended to mean that it is even more important that we vote – something I am not able to do. Hence my frustration.

      The comment about all parties being the same is a riff on what people typically said in the past but in todays political landscape is less true than ever. So again, I think we are on the same page here.

      I’m not at all unsure who to vote for, I am just not allowed to register to vote. Hence my frustration.

      Hope that clears a few things up for you! To sum up, I was hoping people would read this and do something I can’ t do – vote.

      Like

        1. Paul Green

          No apology needed! If some doesn’t understand the point of the piece it is because I haven’t explained it very well. I’m glad we are on the same page, we need more politically active people, not just politically opinionated. Glad people are shouting about the vote, I wish I had it!

          Like

  5. Phil

    As a registered voter, I’ve voted in all the recent elections. I consider my right to vote too hard won in generations past to not do so… but I’m faced with a quandary this time around. I don’t want to vote for any of them.

    Do I vote for the Labour Party, whose leader is so desperate to be seen as a man of the people that he’d lie about being able to find a seat on a train with a plan to give the country back to the people… along with crippling national debt? Oh, and increased taxes on the working man, ultimately plunging my family below the poverty line.

    Or do I vote for the Conservative Party and enjoy the sideshow of privatisation, a loss of the NHS and my family plunged below the poverty line?

    It’s tricky. Poverty for my family or poverty for my family? I’d rather vote for a ham sandwich. Maybe with a slice of Emmental and some sweet gherkins.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Phil

        Unfortunately, that’s a somewhat incomplete picture.
        What Labour are also going to do is increase corporation tax – which will have a huge impact on freelancers such as myself that make significantly less than 80K (I’m lucky if I make a third of that).

        Like

    1. Paul Green

      It can seem like a tough choice for sure, but I think if you look at countries which have implemented Conservative style policies and countries which have implemented Labour style policies the picture becomes clearer. The person at the head of the party is less important when you look at it this way too.

      Like

  6. antidotesformodernlife

    I would always advocate voting for the reasons someone commented earlier – it’s been an incredibly hard-fought, and only relatively recently realised privilege in this country. However, I also feel that the UK’s electoral system has reached its current state of apathy because so many people feel that their vote doesn’t count. I don’t support UKIP, but neither do I support the idea that 4 million people voted for them in 2015 to return only one MP. The whole political system needs a radical overhaul to allow more nuanced parties to be able to contribute to the national conversation, instead of dominance by (mostly) one party, mostly voted for by a certain section of society. I would even go as far as to say that we’ve become quite undemocratic, and sadly the predicted landslide victory for T May next month will only makes things worse.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Paul Green

      I’m with you, voting is paramount. Let’s hope people turn up. I would if I could. You are right the system is tough at the moment but I think what we are seeing is the result of something not the cause, and quite frankly no one seems interested enough in the results let alone the cause. In a lot of ways I am very happy to not be living in the country anymore.

      Like

      1. antidotesformodernlife

        I have never in my life wanted to leave the UK, but in all honesty this year has been the first time I’ve actually really thought that the place is screwed and thought I might be better off elsewhere. I agree the situation we’re in is not the cause, sadly I know and speak to too few people actually wanting to question the times we are living in and how we got here. I am going to vote, but I’m trying my hardest to avoid all the political posturing that will precede it, it’s all shallow political spin and I have little faith than anyone can pull this country back from the abyss and make it a better place again. There are two few people in politics with any grasp of what real life is like for the majority of people who are in the words of Lyndsey Hanley ‘waiting for a bus that will never come’.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Paul Green

          I think that is something that I hope changes, people leaving the UK more. In a lot of European countries it is compulsory during education as it gives perspective. A lot of the policy being debated in the UK have already been put to use in other countries, we don’t need to look that far for the answers. Sadly the UK seems a little devoid or dare I say arrogant to look elsewhere. I suppose that was epitomised by the UK leaving the EU – ‘we know best’.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Phil

      The replies on this post have restored my faith in the electorate a little. I’ve become so saddened by the childish depictions of the leaders of the two main parties that it’s made me even less inclined to vote.

      antidotesformodernlife has eloquently voiced my concerns in a way I was unable to earlier. My wife and I have seriously discussed leaving the UK. It’s not on the cards for us but it was a topic for discussion.

      I am neither a Conservative nor a Labour fan. I’ve voted for both parties in different elections but now I don’t see the point. It’s just a pendulum anyway.

      The political machinations that deluded the voting public into rejecting an opportunity to change our voting system a few years ago sickened me to my stomach – the Labour Party and the Conservative Party both have a vested interest in maintaining our sham of a democracy. They both know that sooner or later they’ll be back in power under the current system.

      I particularly loved these words:
      “The whole political system needs a radical overhaul to allow more nuanced parties to be able to contribute to the national conversation, instead of dominance by (mostly) one party, mostly voted for by a certain section of society.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Paul Green

        After such a tongue in cheek article, I’m glad to see such thorough responses. It is great to see that there are people out there who are looking at these things for what they are in a rational and relatively balanced way. I’m with you, some faith has been restored and if you exist there will be more. As for me I’ve given up on the UK in principle, and as of yet have no plans to return. I sincerely hope there is a turn around somewhere though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. antidotesformodernlife

        What I find frustrating is that voter apathy is blamed on the people. In some cases that’s true, but as politically interested as I am I am still incredibly frustrated by an outdated and archaic system that leaves people feeling that their votes don’t count. Hence the success of Brexit. A lesson to be learned from that is that if you give people a simple vote with a simple outcome they will speak.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. antidotesformodernlife

    We do still have post-empire arrogance, hence our constant allegiance to the US and its way of life. We have a lot to learn from our European neighbours, lessons I doubt the UK government will have the vision to to take on board, and this is even less likely once we Brexit.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mikeandtiffblog

    I love how you had to explain the word “penis” at the end, it made the entire post that bit more light hearted. 😀

    As for me, I will be voting and it won’t be the Tories who get my vote. I am trying to encourage all my friends and family do the same as Theresa May is a vile, vicious woman who seeks to destroy our country and as a British citizen, I can’t stand and watch it happen.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Paul Green

        I’m with you all the way, I sincerely hope the vote goes that way and I’m gutted I am not able to vote. Even if it was just to show I dislike May’s approach. And I’m glad we all know what a penis is now.

        Liked by 1 person

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