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Elena Croft

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On the 7th of May we get a vote. Albeit a vote marred by disillusion with our MPs, media manipulation, an unserviceable electoral system and a disengaged youth; it’s still a vote – something many have fought for, something people have died for and… something people are still denied.

Nothing I say is new. We all know the importance of our future, but why do so few of us strive to take control of it?

It’s easy to identify the reasons why one would not vote. Uttered again and again are phrases like: “They are all the same”, “Nothing changes” and “I wouldn’t know who to vote for”. Currently the possessors of these thoughts have quite the spokesperson in Russell Brand; “DON’T VOTE” he cries “ILLICIT CHANGE THROUGH REVOLUTION”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am all for a bit of revolution. Admittedly, I read through the teachings of Marx with a lot of agreeing nods but, this isn’t 19th Century Prussia. Change, although small, often starts from within the system. Our systems are flawed, but they are present. The NHS, social housing, forums for international accountability, enshrined free(ish) speech; it’s all there.

When you don’t turn up to vote, who reports on this? What do they say? Who even cares? If you don’t vote, you don’t hold your government accountable to your beliefs and situation – what a wonderful thing for them! Action without accountability is AWESOME. They can blame you not turning up to vote on all sorts. An ignorant population, a lazy generation, it was raining that day, but they certainly won’t be blaming it on themselves. And how could you dispute these reports? You decided to not have a voice, so you can’t.

You are mute.

If you don’t like our systems, our politicians, our government, or “politics”, that is FINE. If anything, I’d say it is rather perceptive of you, but make your voice heard. Go to the ballot box and spoil your vote. Scribble all over it, draw a picture of a cat, write a poem; whatever you do, make your action noted. Your disagreeance will become an important tangible action. It will be reported on, data studied and suddenly they can’t blame your disillusion on the weather! Yes they will try and explain away your action with some of the classic low turnout excuses, but it sends a knowing message; you aren’t lazy and you aren’t pacified.

As I said before, nothing I say is new or revolutionary, but if for some reason someone reads my blog and thinks twice about “not bothering”, then I guess it did its job? Remember, those who seek to be in power, SEEK to be in power. Inevitably they create policies to win votes and obtain that power. If you leave it up to the baby boomers to vote, the policies are theirs for the taking.
Free blue rinses for all? No thanks.