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That which hath gone before | That which followeth

Local elections

On Thursday we will be having our local elections. I'm very excited about this, as we were out of the country long enough to become disenfranchised, and now we have our vote back.

I consider it my duty and privilege to use my vote, even if I vote for a party that won't get elected. Who knows - my one vote might tip the balance one day.

I am miffed, therefore, that whichever parties are standing for election in this area, most are completely indifferent to the people who might support them. Campaigning in this area amounts to precisely one leaflet, this being from the Conservatives (I wouldn't be surprised if this area is staunchly Tory) and containing at least one lie. Anyone else out there? Labour? LibDems? Greens? Independents? *listens* *wind blows, tumbleweed rolls past*

Not impressed. How can I vote for someone who can't be arsed to tell me what their party's local policies are?

This entry was originally posted at http://dickgloucester.dreamwidth.org/475303.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
lady_rhian
Apr. 30th, 2012 10:48 am (UTC)
It seems that dropping the ball on local elections is a habit in my neck of the woods as well.

But yay for enfranchisement and getting out to vote! Totally hear you on duty and privilege.
dickgloucester
Apr. 30th, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
The older I get, the more important I think it is to take one's political duties seriously. If we shrug and turn away, then we deserve whatever is done to us.

I've also been actively supporting campaigns by 38degrees. http://www.38degrees.org.uk/
(Deleted comment)
dickgloucester
Apr. 30th, 2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
I'm assuming that you didn't intend the rather rude tone of this remark.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but, as I just said to Rhian, if we shrug and turn away, then we deserve whatever is done to us.
(Deleted comment)
dickgloucester
May. 2nd, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
It's fine. Sometimes things come across in writing as we didn't intend them.
persevero
Apr. 30th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
It was like that when we lived in Suffolk - a party worker delivered a John Gummer poster to us by default and was truly astonished when we handed it back. Our next-door-neighbout grumbled, 'They'd vote for a baboon around here, just because it had a blue arse'. I think that would be a mandrill, but I couldn't forget the sentiment!
dickgloucester
May. 2nd, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
*laughs*
aunty_marion
Apr. 30th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
All we've had here in London is a single official multi-candidate leaflet. It's got the main mayoral candidates at the front, with a double-page ad for each of them, followed by a list of the Constituency London Assembly Member candidates, and then the London-wide Assembly Member candidates. And a map of the 'constituencies' and a brief explanation of the slightly weird voting system for the Assembly members. I think I'm going to be very tempted to close my eyes, spin round three times, and jab down with the pencil, and vote for whoever's nearest the point. (Unless it's the UKIP or BNP.)
dickgloucester
May. 2nd, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
It sounds so complicated, I think I might do the same.
ayerf
Apr. 30th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Had a postal vote for local elections here. Voted for our long serving independent, because I know from parish councillor!step dad that she's done a good job. She's also the only one to bother with a leaflet.

I'm rather fed up with party politics in general. Far too much petty infighting, if it can be called that between different parties.
dickgloucester
May. 2nd, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
*nods*
missfloraposte
Apr. 30th, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
The Scottish system is horribly complicated.

The problem up here is that if you don't want independence, then you have to vote Labour. I have always voted Labour. Labour in Scotland,however, are corrupt, complacent and incompetent after years of no competition. It feels incredibly disenfranchising.
dickgloucester
May. 2nd, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
It must do. *sigh*
snapesbeatrice
May. 3rd, 2012 03:30 am (UTC)
Wow, your comment about being disenfranchised for being out of the country really caught my eye. Really? If you're gone X amount of time, they don't let you vote? What's the time limit? And why is that done? In this day and age, it's easy to keep up with the news, including campaigns, so it seems almost medieval to say, "Nope, you can't vote this time."
dickgloucester
May. 3rd, 2012 06:22 am (UTC)
It does rather, doesn't it? Just because you are out of the country doesn't mean you're not a citizen any more.

However, the British authorities in their wisdom decided at some point that the citizens of the UK would lose their vote after fifteen years of being non-resident. (US citizens keep their vote for ever, no matter where or for how long - am I right?) I don't know the reasoning behind this.

While we were living in France, we could have voted in European elections, I believe, but it never seemed worth the trouble of registering. All bureaucracy in France is arcane.

So today, polling day, despite the frankly nasty weather, I shall go and cast my vote and be glad about it.
snapesbeatrice
May. 7th, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
Thanks for that explanation. I've always been interested in British politics. The mechanics are very different than ours, especially with the many parties and possibility of coalitions. We have a hard enough time getting just two parties to cooperate!

So far as I know, yes, Americans can vote from overseas indefinitely.

Good for you, slogging out in the rain to do your duty. :-)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )