There follows an election statement from the Jolly Pilgrim.
Everyone should vote. If you live in a country where you have the right to vote, you should exercise that right. If you choose not to vote, then you should never complain about anything the government ever does.
Some people choose not to vote because they’re outraged by the inadequacy and egocentricity of the political classes. I share that outrage. I’m also outraged by disease, absolute poverty and global injustice, but we have to engage with the world that we live in, rather than some made-up world we’ve thought up in our heads (where perfect politicians are found on ballot papers).
Some people choose not to vote because “nothing ever changes.” Today we live in a society which is radically different to every other society that has ever existed, based on just about every economic, demographic and social indicator it’s possible to measure; and almost every aspect of that society is in flux. Clearly, things change.
If you’re not sure who to vote for, go with your gut. If you don’t like any of the available choices, vote for the least offensive. If you really can’t decide, vote for the monster raving loony party. If you absolutely must, spoil your ballot – but beware of holding your breath for perfect politicians who are categorically not about to appear.
In an ‘ideal’ world, everyone would engage in political discourse and follow all the arguments. But in the real world, some people are obsessed by politics, some vaguely interested and others vote based on party-leader hair style, tea leaves, inherited prejudice or whim. It’s called life’s rich pageant. Remember: we’re all (including the politicians) at different stages of ignorance with respect to how to run a country. Political obsessives who believe they have all the answers are mistaken.
You should vote for whomever the hell you like, based on whichever criteria you choose. If everyone does that, then we can let the emotional, instinctual, unpredictable and fathomless collective unconscious pick the next government.
If you don’t vote then you’re encouraging a different system, called oligarchy: and that’s a shit system.
Forty-four million people are listed on the UK’s electoral register. Choosing a government is a big decision. Everyone gets one 44 millionth of the choice. Use it.