So this is it. Election day is finally upon us. Maybe I’m naïve, but I can’t help feeling a buzz of excitement about it all, despite the fact I’m also feeling election coverage overload. Our newspapers, TV and radio stations have gone on about nothing else for weeks now. But it does feel as though it’s going to be one of the most important elections for years, so it’s exciting to be part of history, I suppose, if that’s not making too much of it all.
A few weeks ago on the blog we were pondering what effect the TV debates might have on the election, if any. Like many people, I thought they were a good idea but was concerned that they might become a kind of political X-Factor, and perhaps they have been to a degree. It’s all about who performs the best in front of the camera, after all. (What a shame they didn’t get them to sing a few songs for us while they were there. A friend of mine suggested an Abba tribute featuring ‘Money, money money’ or ‘Winner takes it all’. What a cracking idea that would have been! Make ‘em sing for their supper!)
But I think it’s given us an interesting insight into how the political leaders perform under pressure and how well they are able to defend their policies. And I’ve been amazed by how the debates have captured viewers’ interest and got people talking about politics again. DJ and I rarely have political discussions – or in fact conversations that don’t revolve around vegetables, as I’ve told you before, or his latest obsession, which is running. Yet the debates have even got us talking about the big issues and the pros and cons of the various leaders.
I’ve had several lengthy discussions, too, with my neighbours about the state of the economy and who they think is best placed to fix it. We have never, ever talked about these kinds of things before. Maybe it won’t change our country overnight or at all, but it’s great to see that people are taking an interest in these things once again. Apathy is all very well – I’ve been guilty of it myself for years, although I have always voted. But I worry it may have been this apathy that partly led us into the mess we’ve had with MPs expenses etc. Perhaps we took our eyes off the ball and we ended up with the MPs we deserved. I hope not.
The TV debates have also made me more sceptical about what I read in the newspapers because I’ve watched them, decided who I thought was the most convincing leader and then been shocked at who some of the newspapers have insisted was the winner the next day! Mmm…I’m also pretty fed-up with some of the heavy-handed articles in some of the newspapers instructing me who I should vote for. Have they forgotten that my vote is supposed to be between my conscience and the ballot box? I have stopped buying one paper because of this, but someone reminded me yesterday that it’s probably a good thing from an environmental point of view!
Over the past three years here on the blog, you and I have discussed many important issues affecting our finances, from the MPs’ expenses scandal, to the plight of pensioners struggling on the state pension, the difficulties facing jobseekers, families and disabled people etc..
So, whatever happens today, for goodness sake, get out there, use your vote and do your democratic stuff. If you don’t like the choices on offer, then say so and spoil your ballot paper. Just promise me that, after all the strong, intelligent opinions you have all voiced here on the blog or have emailed me with over the past few years, you won’t be sitting at home on your hands today doing nothing!
What did you make of the TV leader debates? Have they helped you decide who is best placed to fix our economy or not? Will you be voting today? Leave a message and let me know.
|StumbleUpon||Technorati||Yahoo! My Web|