Thursday, 4 June 2009

'Vote Early and Often!'

Random thoughts on polling day:

I meant to vote first thing this morning but didn't get up in time so I had to wait until this evening. When I arrived at the polling station I had to queue to cast my ballot. Unheard of! I also met three sets of friends on the way in.

I live just around the corner from the my polling station and one of my favourite sights is the stream of people making their way along the road to cast their vote. Elderly couples, mums with their children, young people on their way to or from work. Democracy in practice is a wonderful thing.

I well remember listening to the Today programme on the morning of the first elections in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Brian Redfern's humbling interview with an elderly woman who had walked miles to vote for the very first time moved me to tears.

I have voted in every election since my 18th birthday, with one unforgettable exception. I was a student. It was a local election. I had other things to do. When I returned to the family I was living with that evening and admitted to not having made it to the polling station I was left in no doubt that I had betrayed the sacrifices made by the brave suffragettes. Thanks to Irene I have never missed an election since.

I voted Scottish Nationalist on the first occasion and Labour ever since - until today when I voted Green.


  1. yep I've voted in every election since I was twenty (I was one of the ones caught in the midde of the change from voting at 21 to voting at 18), with one shameful exception when Steve and I actually FORGOT to vote in a local council election.

  2. voting its so important sint it? even if we think all the parties are a bit meh, we should vote simply because we can... so many around the world cant.

  3. Its funny a few people I have spoken to have said they have voted "Green" myself included.

  4. As a paid up member of the Labour Party it felt wrong to be voting Green but I don't think the major parties are taking climate change anywhere nearly as seriously as they should be, so I thought I'd give my vote to a party which does. Also, the fact that the European elections are decided by proportional representation means that my vote will go where it's intended and I won't run the risk of letting other less desirable parties in through the back door. We'll have to wait until Sunday to see whether there has been sufficient support for the Greens to win them a seat in the South West.

  5. Welcome Alice. My thoughts entirely.