Spoiled votes send a message
Column by Matt Taylor
‘My vote is useless.’ An often-heard excuse used by people who refuse to have their say at the ballot box.
You may feel that your vote is futile, but now, more than ever, it is of the upmost importance to exercise your democratic right. With the nation in such a pivotal yet divisive point in its history, and a critical General Election on the horizon, every vote counts.
If none of your local candidates appeal in the slightest to you, at least turn up and spoil your vote. It is an action that may seem pointless, but it sends a message to wannabe-MPs that you were satisfied with none of their policies.
Although, I can certainly empathise with the people who are reluctant to vote for any of the current leadership options. With every General Election, it often feels as though you are picking the best of a bad, self-serving bunch.
It also seems that, despite the world becoming more and more aware of ‘fake news’, falsified information appears to have intensified in the wake of the latest General Election. Or maybe we have just got better at spotting the lies.
However, notoriously, honesty is never the best policy in politics. Smear campaigns, grand promises and rhetoric all have far higher success rates. You only have to cast your eyes across the Atlantic to see how successful that can be.
Unfortunately, whenever a politician actually seems to be giving an honest answer, rare and refreshing as it is, they are immediately bashed for it.
As strange as it sounds, Gary Neville gave a really interesting opinion on the matter: “How do so many politicians get themselves into a pickle when interviewed? The biggest problem I can see is that they feel under pressure to know the answer to every question. It is fine to say I don’t know the answer to that particular question as it’s not my area of expertise.”
Can you imagine, firstly, a politician actually doing this? And secondly, not get constantly targeted by the opposition from that point onwards, as a result?
In short, think what you want about politicians, I probably agree with you, but nothing will change if you don’t take the necessary steps. Take a stand – turn up on election day and do what you like with the ballot paper.