Have to admit that I’ve been getting more and more engaged with this election. To the point of expressing views on Facebook.
I can’t believe in either of the likely winning sides. I can’t believe that if they win, we’ll be out of the Brexit extravaganza within a year, and comfortably carbon-neutral within ten/twenty years.
I can’t believe that a set of individuals, newly (re)installed in government offices, will pull the levers of power in such a way that their intended (promised) consequences come to pass. Nor can I quite believe that one lot are saints while the other lot are, well, self-interested sinners.
But I’ve decided how I’m going to vote and it would take a lot to make me change my mind. So at some level - the level of faith, perhaps, or the level of believing more strongly in one side’s good intentions - I’m seeing a difference.
It isn’t the issues. I get that [insert issue here] is important, but I can’t see that voting for one party rather than the other is the way to fix it. The NHS, for example, may need more money, more doctors, more nurses, but I can’t believe it needs more politicians.
More interventions by politicians, I mean.
I haven’t quite reached the belief that if an issue is important, it should be taken out of politics, but I suspect that I’m getting there.
Extinction Rebellion wants a Citizens’ Assembly to address climate change - not a government, nor a political party - and the campaign for a so-called People’s Vote (second referendum) on Brexit was a campaign to take the issue away from the politicians (again).
Citizens’ Assemblies have been used to address complex and emotive issues, and they are a valid alternative to the present arrangement.
Back to the election. Despite the media, I am far more interested in the local candidates than the national leaders. There would never be any point in bothering [insert national leader] about [insert local issue], but somebody local might - yeah. Might listen. Might have the time. Might get it.
Finally, after all these years, I get an inkling of what’s meant by “representative democracy”.
Blanket coverage of the leaders gets in the way of understanding, doesn’t it? As though this is a three-way contest between Boris, Jeremy and Jo, with various familiar secondary characters capering around the fringes. It’s a TV drama, isn’t it?
I might be knocked out of my current voting intention between now and the 12th of December, but I doubt it. The media narrative gives each leader an implausibly consistent personality, while social media delivers a daily blast of intemperate ranting about Jeremy’s sweet and gentle nature.
I am interested, but it’s hard to get past the fog to anything real.
I’m sure Jeremy’s a very nice person, but do you have to shout so loud about it?
Yes, I know Boris is a pantomime villain, but I’ve known that for a while now. Could you keep it down?
Behind all that - I have a choice of four locals, familiar faces actually, none of whom have made it to my door yet (although that could be because I close all the blinds, turn off all the lights and keep very quiet in the evenings).
Turns out that this is a marginal constituency, so I expect there’ll be a knock on the door before too long.
And maybe I just will vote for the person I like best on the doorstep.