Effort? I hear you say. How much effort does it take to walk home via the polling station and mark an X in a box?
This is the first time I've had to vote from afar and to get a postal vote first you have to register yourself as a postal voter and then they send you another form that someone else has to sign as well to confirm you are who you say you are and then you get sent your ballot paper a week before the election meaning you have to mark your X pretty damn quick in order to ensure that it's back in blighty to be counted.
You probably think I'm mad to be voting seeing as I freely admit to having only the vaguest ideas of what the parties say they'll do if/when they take power, and I don't even live in the country and so the result doesn't effect me, but believe me, I have my reasons;
- Suffragettes, women fought for the right to vote back in the early 1900's, one woman, Emily Davison even died for the cause, in 1918 women over the age of 30 were entitled to vote and in 1928 the age limit was lowered to 21. Men seem to take their right to vote for granted but I don't and therefore I vote.
- I can't vote here in Germany, because I'm not German, I can vote in the local elections but not for the national, governmental elections. It's a bit crazy really that I can't vote to influence how the country where I live and (in theory) pay taxes is run but this is another reason that I feel I ought to cast my vote back in England, at least I can get my voice heard somewhere!
The fact that most policitians are complete and utter tosspots is by the by, we can only vote for those who put themselves forward, those people who want the power and a seat on a hard bench in parliament and the chance to fiddle their expenses...it has always seemed to me that the people best suited to running the country are those that say 'no thanks' - but they've got more sense than that!
It will be an interesting few days/weeks I'm sure, as everyone is predicting a hung parliament and getting all stressed about it, completely overlooking the fact that countries like Germany make a success, election after election, of running a country with a similarly hung parliament.