They're not voting because...
- Postal vote problem and who's apathetic?
1. POSTAL VOTE SNARL-UP. i thought long and loud about my vote, but I couldn't vote on the day. At registration time, if I remember rightly, I ticked a box on the registration form (from Leicester City Council) to ask for a postal vote. The postal vote did not arrive. A poll card arrived including a postal vote request, which in my hectic life I failed to fill in on time. I didn't know, of course, that this was really necessary. I was away from home on May 5th, so it was no go.
Party Apathy! - over the last 5 months, media people and politicians have been trotting out that unthinking cliché, "Voter apathy",, which I find frankly offensive and smug. It is nearer the truth to say that the parties can't be bothered to earn my vote. Only 2 out of the 7 parties fighting Leicester East (Labour and Veritas) could be bothered even to deliver an election leaflet, and as usual in my uninteresting non-marginal area, nobody bothered to call on me and I saw no politicos in the streets talking to people. This isn't a deciding factor in my not voting but it certainly doesn't help.
POLITICAL CULTURE - another off-put is the "yah-boo politics" factor. Did people die in wars so that Blair and Howard can clown their way through PM's Question Time, bitch away on the media for months, or accuse us of voter apathy? Su8ch goings-on are a betrayal of a basically sound democratic system.
POOR CANDIDATES - I had to search the Web to find out who my local candidates actually were, but I was none the wiser afterwards. I had thoughts of voting Lib Dem, but as always seems to happen I could find out nothing about the candidate. For a long string of reasons I certainly didn't want to vote Labour in my locality, because I have serious concerns about the Labour candidate.
In short, more needs to be done to engage people like me who are willing to be more engaged.
As it happens, I believe that the overall result was what I wanted - a Labour government with a reduced majority could be pretty intesting!written 10th May 2005