Voting | Views by Jo

One of the amazing things about living in the UK is that we have a right to choose. We have the right to choose whether or not to vote, whether to express our opinion or not through the formal system, but better than this, we all know that if we vote our vote will be taken at face value for what it is. It won’t be altered. It won’t be ignored. It will be counted.

I saw an article in The Telegraph yesterday about today potentially being the highest electoral turnout in 18 years due to no other reason than the weather! They are predicting that with a bit of sunshine due today there may be a turnout of over 70%. Which would be good, right? It seems to me that the more people that turn out to vote then the more representative of the current UK population the electoral outcome will be, but some people choose not to vote.

The most notable non-voter advocate would have to be Russell Brand, like or dislike him and ignoring all other factors about him he was a non-voter. Was being the operative word there, he recently interviewed Ed Miliband and has since decided to vote. Why? Is that through education? Persuasion? Pride? Was it all for publicity? To be honest I have absolutely no idea and I’m not really sure anyone else does. All we can do is speculate.

I read an article with interest titled “If you care about politics, don't vote”. It argued that non-voters should not be labelled as apolitical or be patronised, that in fact many non-voters have decided to not vote in order to affect politics. Whilst it didn’t manage to persuade me to not vote, it painted a good argument. The UK has developed and implements the system of voting because it gives everyone a choice. You can choose whom to vote for but you can also choose not to vote. That is your decision.

From all the build up and through all the articles I have read, I have learnt that we should all exercise our right to choose and consequently we should strive to refrain from judging people based on what they have chosen. Whatever you choose to do this will be one of the closest elections for decades and the outcome will be incredibly hard to call!