So we are in Election mode! Here, our member Catherine Minnis explains why it’s vital that you both register to vote and get out and place your vote on December 12th.
It’s understandable that many of us are suffering from voter fatigue. Since 2015, we’ve had two General Elections, one Referendum, European Parliament Elections and various local council elections. As Brenda from Bristol would say, ‘Not another one!’
The teenagers and young adults in my life (both at home and in the classroom) are fond of moaning that there’s no point in voting. What good does it do? How can my one vote make a difference? No-one listens to me! Unfortunately, by staying at home on polling day, these sentiments become self-fulfilling prophecies.
So here are some reasons why we should vote:
- We have the power to choose the candidate that suits our own views and values. To help us to decide if our current MP really does represent us, we can look at theyworkforyou.com We can see how our MP is voting in our name and if we feel they are not representing us, we can research the other candidates until we find one who would.
- Our vote can make a difference. In recent years, many so-called safe seats have been overturned, including Canterbury, Kensington, Oxford West and Abingdon, and Stirling. If everyone simply gave up, change would never happen.
- There have been many campaigns throughout history that have given each one of us the right to vote. I’ve heard people say, ‘We owe it to those who fought for us, to vote.’ I say, we owe it to ourselves. It’s one power that we do have. Even if we don’t like any of the candidates, we can register our disaffection by leaving the ballot paper blank or spoiling it. Blank and spoiled papers are still counted and reported so the protest will be noted: our voices will be heard.
If you’ve read this far, I hope that you are now convinced. If you are not already registered to vote, or if you need to apply for a postal vote, you can do so at www.gov.uk or at East Riding County Council, County Hall, Beverley HU17 9ZT.
Please don’t leave it too late and don’t miss out, just in case a snap election is on its way. Find out who the candidates are, use your vote and you really will make a difference.
Don’t be an armchair politician, sitting at home, shouting at the television or radio: go out, put your cross in a box on the paper and make your voice heard.
Then, make sure your MP really does work for you.
(This article was previously published in Pocklington Post, Bridlington Free Press and Driffield local paper)