6 May 2010

Election day and the joy of voting

I've now voted in four different constituencies, three of which were such 'safe' seats that there wasn't even anything to be gained by voting 'tactically'.

But this is the fourth election in which I've been living in a marginal constituency, and it really does make a difference knowing that your vote can affect the result.

The fact that the result could go either way not only provides a powerful incentive to vote, but also makes the whole electoral process much more exciting.

That's why I'm glad I no longer live in a 'safe' constituency and feel sorry for those who do (i.e. the majority of voters).

It's also one reason why, since I first voted back in 1966, I've always been in favour of voting reform.

The other is that, as I pointed out the other day in What's wrong with a 'hung' parliament if that's what the electorate votes for?, I remain completely baffled as to why so many of our top politicians seem quite happy to spend decades in opposition - with minimal influence over the government - in exchange for a decade or two of exercising absolute power on their own behalf every now and then.

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