Thursday 4 June 2009

And a Bit of the Other

Not that sort of other! Tuh what are you like?

Went to vote today. My 4 year old grandson, Lachlan, asked me why I was voting and what it was for. I was having difficulty explaining so Grandad said it for me, “We are choosing who we want to steal all our money!”

For the first time in my life I didn’t know who I was going to vote for until I was in the booth – and I came away feeling I hadn’t used my X wisely. That was a first too.

There weren't many people there. The man who gave me my voting forms helped me poke mine in the box (it was rather full by the time I got round there) then he looked embarrassed and got a stick and used that to push it in. And a lady sitting at the table opposite (for roads from H to Z) asked what a judge's hammer is called . . . for her crossword.

I still felt a certain sense of satisfaction that I'd had the opportunity to have my say, even if it was just a cross in a box.


  1. I'm so glad you posted this because I felt exactly the same. For the first time in years I turned up at the polling station not knowing who to vote for. I thought for ages before I put my cross on the paper - aware of a queue gathering behind me - and came away feeling a bit sick.

    By the way - I absolutely love the name Lachlan.

  2. I think many people felt the same. Won't start ranting or I'll be on my soapbox for hours, but I think Lachlan's Grandad spoke for a good number of us.

  3. I think it's really sad that we all feel the same cynicism about politicians right now. My grandmother was a suffragette and I was brought up to believe that voting was a privilege as well as a right - particularly if you're a woman, as our votes were so hard won. For many years I taught teenagers and tried to impress upon them this sentiment. "What's the point, Miss?" one of my students said. "They're all a load of ---(rude word)"
    "I know," I said, but you have to vote for the one you think is the least ---(rude word)!"

  4. Thanks, Helen, I'm glad it wasn't just me! Lachlan's a lovely name isn't it.

    I can imagine us all, Suzanne, lining up our soapboxes . . .

    Spot on Lydia. We owe it to people like your grandmother to use our votes. As you told your students, we have to vote for the ones we think will do the least damage!!

  5. Another identical experience - but I'm still glad I voted. I'm not sure what difference it will make, but no vote is a definite no difference.

    I am plannning to try and make one other tiny difference as a result of voting. The infant school which was used as the polling station had a sign on the outside wall listing all the playground rules - play nicely etc. It was a proper permanent sign, which unfortunately had a spelling mistake in it. Call me a pedant, but this is a school and the teachers have either not noticed or don't care enough to correct it. (I'm not sure which is worse.) I'm planning to give them a call. Is that wrong?

  6. I did mine by postal vote last week, so I had a bit more time to ponder over it, and no worry of a queue behind me! It was hard, though, as I think all political parties are essentially the same band of money grabbing (many rude words)! But we shall see!

  7. I like to think that the suffragettes made it possible for me to chose whether I vote or not - just like men do. I use my right carefully but it is difficult times that we live in. If you don't vote, you can't complain about who is in there.

  8. Hello Teresa. Just been blogging around and came across yours - can't remember the route I took to get here now, but really I should have been getting on with my writing. You know how it is!!
    Anyway, just wanted to say how much I agree with your 'voting' post. I think many of us had the same kind of difficulties yesterday. I was saying this to my (very) elderly auntie yesterday - she's housebound and so gets a postal vote, and said she was determined not to 'refuse' to vote, even though she thinks all today's politicians are as bad as each other. She actually used to be a presiding officer at elections back in the 1940s and 1950s and is so proud of it: has some good stories to tell. It's so sad, for her, that things have come to this. (And for us all!)
    OK - got that off my chest (thank you!) - better get back to work. Will visit again!

  9. It worries me that because of recent events all politicians are now being tarred with the same brush. I really don't believe that "they are all as bad as each other". There are still a great many people going into politics for the right reasons, but these are the ones who haven't got into the papers. It's a shame because it just breeds this cynical idea that there is no point voting because there's no difference between the parties, when there definitely is.

  10. I don't blame you, Bernadette. That would bug me too!

    I wish I'd voted postally, Julie!! (Is postally a word?)

    I quite agree, MOB - it's as much a right not to vote as to vote and up to the individual. I needn't have bothered as it happened since my Council vote didn't make any difference at all!

    Thanks, Olivia. I agree, it's a sad state of affairs. Like your auntie, my mum used to feel very let down by politicians. Your auntie sounds like a lovely lady!

    You're right, Geri. The media have paid scant attention to the MPs who haven't been milking the gravy train (oh god, I can't believe I said that!)but they do seem to be few and far between and it seems that far too many of them on all sides have forgotten why they're there, in that they are as bad as each other.

  11. I think it's wonderful that we're all discussing the fundamental role of a politician at long last and whether we're getting value for money. The 'scoops' in the papers over the last few weeks have actually proved that the pen is mightier than the sword.

  12. Quite right, Helen. I think they should have to clock in and out and be paid for what they do not what they should be doing!
    I don't think our MP has ever even visited our town.