On top of my mantelpiece my polling card sits where I can see it waiting to be used, I’m glad I’ve got the freedom to vote, but I also feel generally disillusioned with politics. Over the last few weeks I’ve observed and heard trends that are concerning to me.
A few weeks ago I saw one of the main leaders being approached by someone who made their voice heard but the response was atypical of many politicians, the response was the usual script that many leaders adhere to on their campaign trails, I wish the response was more personal and direct, I wish the leader concerned bore in mind the person they were dealing with that they were not just a potential voter but a human being. It struck me as distant and showed a lack of empathy. We’ve all heard the same thing trotted out of politicians mouths we just want that politicians to be real not sounding like robots. Yes I completely understand they have to sell their various manifestos, that’s fine when dealing with the media, but when dealing with potential voters, that same tactic shouldn’t be used. I like politicians to talk to people like they are one of us not above us but as us. just maybe that’s too much to ask.
My other concern is more troubling its something that erodes are democracy, that’s extremism, sometimes it’s obvious sometimes it’s very subtle and sneaky. It manifests itself through playing on people’s emotions, such as fear anger or desperation and pain, gives them false hope, they are often sold a vision without any substance, then swept along by emotion and encourage those with strong emotion to take action. Now I don’t see anything wrong with activism as such but one thing I’ve noticed is they become so narrow in their thinking that anyone who is outside of their bubble is a threat to them and they resort to tactics such as intimidation to deal with that threat, ultimately they will try and shut down any real debate or anyone with a different opinion, which I believe is undemocratic. I believe everyone has a right to a voice but not at the expense of everyone else’s voice. Minority groups are often targeted by these extreme groups, seemingly giving people the power to get their voices heard over everyone else’s, because they haven’t been heard, yes those who are minority’s should be heard but not be encouraged to go to extreme lengths to make that happen. Ultimately they will probably lose because whoever shouts the loudest will not necessarily be heard, because they don’t want to listen to anyone else, so completely defeating the purpose. Nothing wrong with being passionate about what you believe in but not when you become intimidating.
Thank God for secret voting, I can shut the door on both these concerns as well as the noise of the confusing and muddling media. for as I walk into the peace and quiet of the polling booth tomorrow with my ballot paper, knowing that I can vote with a clear conscience knowing who I’m voting for and why. I hope others entering the polling station will be able to do the same. I can then walk out with a smile on my face because I’ve used and allowed my democratic freedom to choose for myself without any fear or intimidation or frustration.