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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Remember Remember

Gunpowder, treason and plot... these things have not proven terribly effective at bringing about positive social change in the UK. We the general general public have demonstrated a lack of stomach for such a thing.

There is of course significant debate about what WOULD work. There's a large proportion of the populace that argues that not voting is a good way to influence an elected body, which is - in my not so humble opinion - misguided.

If Russel "Parklife" Brand had his way and most of the British public stopped voting, all it does is reduce the margin by which each party can win - because there's a slice of the populace who will ALWAYS vote.


My great aunt has never ever failed to vote. She's a nonagenarian. She's racist,  homophobic, antisemitic, believes the BBC are trying to brainwash us all into being Scottish, and has several theories involving The Scientists (ominous music) and their attempts to destroy our good honest way of life. She believes there are 200 million immigrants in this country (which has a population of 64.2 million) and is still legally allowed to vote.

She's a nutter, but she's passionate about what she believes, as many nutters are. No matter how many lank-haired twerps like Brand tell them not to vote, they will vote.

If nobody else in this town does, that means that the nutters have free reign. Nutters like my luddite bigoted great aunt. Nutters like the EDL and their ilk. Nutters that have opinions on immigrants and economics that aren't tempered by logic or reason.

There is no doubt that the current voting system is far from ideal. The fact is though, while right-thinking individuals seek electoral reform, it's still the way our leaders are picked.

Luckily one can fight a war on multiple fronts.

Voting in an election doesn't invalidate the hard work put in to raise awareness for better voting systems. It doesn't turn you into a slave. Ten minutes out of your day, to ensure that your voice is heard in the (admittedly unfair) way that actually determines government? Not a bad ten minutes.

Then you can go right back to the "they're all the same" rhetoric, safe in the knowledge that you've at least counterbalanced the nutters a little.

...and hey. Just maybe the low voter turnout that the government relies on each year is being kept low by idiots like Brand. Maybe they are doing the establishment's dirty work without even knowing it.

Of course that's just a theory.