Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or with earphones in, reading classic novels, and listening to rock, in which case I envy you) for the last few weeks/months (feels like forever), you’ll know that Britain had a rather important vote on 23rd June.
The European Union: stay (Bremain) or go (Brexit).
It’s quite a big deal, and lots of important people have waded in on the arguments for and against. To be honest I stopped listening a while ago, when I decided which way to go. It doesn’t really matter. As I put on my FB page earlier today, “In? Out? Whatever it’s all about, I feel honoured to have the right to vote.”
What’s even better is that I got to vote twice, as my sister applied for a proxy vote. She’s living in America now, and gutted she can’t take part in the presidential elections, so she applied to vote where she could. And thankfully we were on the same page, so I got to vote the same way twice.
I find it hugely empowering to vote. I don’t know if it’s because of my English Teacher, Miss Corby, who impressed upon me age thirteen that the vote is a sacred right, and it’s better to invalidate your ballot slip and be counted than not turn up at all. Or learning about the Suffragettes, or seeing what people endure in other countries to be counted.
Whatever the reasons, I think I’ve only missed a couple of votes in the last twenty one years. Local Council, MEP, MP, you name it, I’ve voted.
It’s frustrating, with the system that we have, that my vote often counts for very little. I live in an area where the majority (or at least the majority who vote, which is not the same thing here, with a miserable turnout usually) vote a different colour to me. Hey, even my husband votes a different colour to me.
That’s annoying. But that’s democracy. It’s better than nothing.
But the referendum? My vote counts! It’s a yes/no decision. I will make a difference.
Whatever you think about Bremain, Brexit, Politics, or anything else, when you consider what people have gone through – and still go through – to cast their vote, being able to do it safely and without prejudice is amazing.
I took my dog to the polling booth (so I could post a #DogsAtPollingStations post!). It was quiet, friendly, easy. No picketing people, no riots, no violence. No one turning me away for being a woman or voting for the wrong side.
I’ve deliberately written this post before the polling stations close. I don’t want to know the result. In some ways it doesn’t matter. There is no right answer to this, and whatever the decision, change will come.
In? Out? What if the hokey cokey really is what it’s all about? I still got to vote, and that’s pretty cool.