Sunday, 9 May 2010

hung out to dry...

Yesterday ceremonies were held to commemorate VE Day.  In London, at the Cenotaph, GB, DC and NC walked together towards it and placed wreaths.
As I watched I wondered if, at some point in the near future, they might symbolically place wreaths in some dusty corridor of Westminster, as an acknowledgement that the old polling system had played its part in the nation's history. 
An acknowledgement that it had served its time, but had finally been replaced by a better, fairer, more representative system of voting.
As a way of avoiding the head/ heart dilemma of the current practice faced by those who vote.

Thursday was polling day.
I duly wandered off to the church hall - which had been transformed into a voting shop - received my ballot paper and walked across to the booth to make my x in a box.  Problem was, there with pencil poised in hand, staring at the wretched piece of paper, I was still undecided.
It's a tricky old thing.
I'm a person inclined to vote:

1/ women fought for that right, and in recognition of that alone, I vote

2/ plus, if I vote, I can then justifiably exercise my democratic right to whine, whinge, lambast and occasionally make disgruntled noises at those in positions of political power

But there I was, faced with making a decision regarding who I deemed worthy of being given that x in the box, feeling rather gloomy about the options. 
Would I vote with my heart? 
Would I vote tactically?
I opted, reluctantly, for the latter.

The current system is not working.  Voting when you have to make the heart/ head decision... voting for the person you don't most prefer, because they at least might stop someone else you'd really rather not come into power... is not the most positive way of approaching the matter. 
We need reform.

Seems a few folk in polling booths were faced with that same dilemma, as evidenced by the fact that we still don't have a government.  GB is still sitting in Downing St while Cameron's lot have not got a majority and Cleggy is suddenly in the position of being really rather interesting to both Labour and Conservatives. 
Hung parliament.
And the speculation rages:
Will Clegg make a deal, and if so, who with... and at what cost to the soul of the LibDems?
Will we all be back at the polling booths in the not too distant future trying to make our marks make some kind of mark on the political and national life? 
Does any of it make one jot of difference?
Just how much non-story political news can be created by the 24/7 broadcasting media?
On this latter I suspect to hear a piece at some point on the style of tie knotting as indicative of each leader's psychological state of mind - they've pretty much done everything else.

We are poised on the brink of a golden opportunity that could effect electoral change  -
to see political history made,
and to witness a system that is not truly representative of those marks made on ballot papers all over the lands of the UK consigned to history.
Will it happen?
Hung parliament: hung in suspense.
Will the system end up being hung, drawn and quartered and a new way found?
Will we all just be hung out to dry yet again?

Interesting times.


Freda said...

This post resonated with me - I've just finished reading a book about the suffragettes - sounds like you had the dilemma my husband had. Meanwhile we wait and wonder. Stumbled across your blog by a link from Rumours of Angels - have to tell you ginger beer is a lifeline to me. (I get nauseous from medication.) Every blessing

johni33 said...

Part of the problem is that some of the alternative voting systems, such as practiced by the Scottish government, are equally difficult.
Making voters list the candidates in order of preference (for a PR system) still leaves you trying to pick the devils you know.

Until the politicians can genuinely engage with the public and fire their imagination, then most people will continue voting the way their peers do.

I don't think the hung parliament will last long, too many differences between coalition members.

Nik said...

and yet, in the Scottish system, it at least 'feels' like you can vote a little more with your heart.... I think it works, in an odd kind of way, and at least it's something that's a little different and makes the parties have to work in a more cross-party way at times....
Yes, re the coalition: I'm almost tempted to start a book on how long it will last :)