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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.
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…
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*.
*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.