Today is an Election Day. Many of you don’t vote in local elections, I certainly didn’t. You might not think it’s important, but this is the only language politicians understand.
You might not think that who sits on your local council doesn’t matter. You might even think who sits in your mayoral office isn’t important. If you do, then whoever sits in those offices of power thinks you are inconsequential too. You play no part in the democratic process, so you have no voice. So what’s important to you doesn’t matter to them, your concerns, dreams, fears for the future, are not theirs. They will only care about a future built on votes, should only make decisions based on their voters.
I’ll freely admit, it’s closer to broken than perfection. Churchill called democracy the ‘least worst form of government’.
During the last junior doctor strike the BBC and right wing press ran a story saying the BMA were planning to ‘topple the government.‘ This hilarious piece was quoted as from a ‘government source’. It was quite rightly dismissed as bollocks by all doctors. This dispute isn’t about politics, it’s about patients. As soon as the government realise that we might be able to start again.
But what if it was? What if, the 58% of the public that support the junior doctor strikes, made a decision about the local and national government they want to run their NHS. To run their schools, to train their nurses. What if they made that decision manifest in their vote?
At some point in our collective national past every single one of us, shamefully, would not have been eligible to vote. From the days of King and Pope, to the common vote, to the suffragettes, to race equality, people have suffered, struggled and died for your right to vote today. Don’t waste it.
I’m not advocating any party. I believe every individual has the capacity to make a decision about the democracy we live in. Whether you wish to ‘topple the government’ or support it, your vote today is the single most important determining factor you have in the direction our society goes.
Whatever you decide today, go and VOTE.
Polling is open 7am-10pm.