With one day to go until the general election, you’re probably all sick of people telling you to vote.
I’ve come across a lot of people who still have no idea who to vote for. Some want to vote but don’t like any of the parties. Others are confused about whether they should ‘tactically’ vote or go with their heart. Some people are quite frankly bored to tears by the election coverage, don’t see the point in voting, and would quite like for this whole politics malarkey to just stay in Westminster, out of their way.
I’ve already voted, because I had a postal vote. I struggled to make up my mind and was undecided right up until the last day I could post it. So in my attempt to make some sense of politics and attempt to explain that to you, here’s my brief guide to deciding who to vote for (based entirely on my own experience…)
- Should I vote? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes because it’s important. More people didn’t vote in the last election then voted for any single party. Politics matters, however boring it may seem; it matters. It affects your life, from how much tax you pay to how safe your street is. You can try telling me it won’t affect your life in any way but quite frankly I won’t believe you. You can tell me that your ‘vote doesn’t count’, but the nice thing is, your vote counts just as much as Jeremy Paxman’s or Joey Essex’s. If you absolutely do not want to vote for any of the parties, go and spoil your ballot. At least that shows that you’re not entirely apathetic, and shows the government that you’re not happy with how things are.
- Should I vote tactically? Some people would say absolutely (the amount of times I’ve heard ‘a vote for the Greens is a vote for the Tories’ is unreal). Personally, I decided to go with my heart. If everyone votes for the party they think will get in, rather than the one they want to get in, smaller parties will never have a chance. I decided that I’d rather vote with my heart, for the party that I most believe in, then vote for one I didn’t really believe in but was the best of a bad bunch.
- Who should I vote for? I can’t tell you this one! What I can tell you, is that if you don’t want to read through the catalogue of manifestos, most parties have shortened versions on their websites. If you’re completely unsure, things like vote match can help (you vote on policies and they tell you which party you most align with). If you’re wanting a more issue-based, down-to-earth approach, check out swing the vote from vInspired. All of these things are there to help you choose who to vote for.
Please make sure you vote tomorrow. Parliament is there to work for us and to represent us. We are their bosses. Most of the time, it’s tricky for us to influence what they do, but the election is the one time we have complete say over who represents us. Make sure you inform yourself before voting so you’re confident with your choices.
Most of all have fun and enjoy it! Go to an election party tomorrow night (there are tonnes on Facebook). Join in the social media debate on Twitter (I’ll be joining #WeAreSpirit for most of the evening; you’re welcome to join us!). Eat all the free cake offered to you as an incentive to vote. Make the most of this opportunity to have your say on what happens in your country.