Written by: Shani Fowler
During the run up to the election we were bombarded with news of politicians and their fight for power; almost to the exclusion of other news – it felt like there was nothing else going on! We were immersed with images of party leaders stepping from their tour buses all smiley faced, promptly planting their obligatory kisses on random babies; we also endured their never ending party political broadcasts. Then there was the election itself and the results came in – surely now it was all over! Not likely – quite a stir erupted as the conservatives marched back into number ten with a majority government, the likes of which had not been seen for almost a quarter of a century. There was to follow a social media backlash – be afraid be very afraid if you dared vote conservative.
Not so neck and neck
If the polls prior to the election were to be believed, it was running pretty much neck and neck and we were in for either another coalition government, or a hung parliament, so I suppose – granted – there was an element of surprise come the day; but the people had voted and the outcome was declared – it happens. What was more surprising than the result was the political outpouring witnessed on social media following the result. Many voters (who were clearly not happy with the outcome) endeavoured to “out” those who had voted the Tories back in.
Outing the culprits
Prior to the election I can recall seeing many postings from Face bookers sharing their “stats” and slur campaigns saying unpleasant things about politicians, but this paled into insignificance in the face of what was to come after the result. Comments such as “come on who are you?” “Sly voters” “shy Tories”, “reveal yourselves” etc were endless. What these people need to realise is that we live in a democracy, where we have the right to vote for whoever we want and that should be respected. Didn’t these people have the luxury of voting for who they wanted? Many people who express such fierceness with their opinions are often those who “always” vote a certain way, but there are many voters who are “floating voters”, who exercise the right to swap and change their vote during different election campaigns. Without such people there would be little competition between political parties and it would stifle positive growth and change.
Non-voters to blame
Not happy with just “outing” any Tory voters, next in the firing line were those who had not voted at all! Why? – Because they would have gotten rid of the Tories. So the outers were clearly of the opinion that of all those who didn’t vote – none of them would have voted for the conservative government. Not true – the votes would likely be spread amongst the parties and would have likely made little or no difference to the overall result. It is brilliant that we have the right to vote; indeed people have fought and died for that right, that’s what it is – a right – it is not mandatory. If people don’t want to get involved they simply don’t have to, it is not a dictatorship.
It’s a conspiracy
Then conspiracy theories flew around – it was fixed – because this couldn’t possibly have really happened! Clutching at those straws – Purlease – enough!
Most of us voters, including these vocal dictators, generally have an actual limited knowledge of the full workings of political parties and policies; but it is put to the people and we all try to make a decision based on what we feel, who we believe to be most competent at the wheel and what we believe is best for us. We then place our mark on the ballot paper, the papers counted and thereupon an election result is made. We have to accept that. We should not vent anger at our friends or anyone who made their vote.
Funny though how as voters our livelihoods are made by being plumbers, electricians, lawyers, taxi drivers yet we would have all made such good politicians, right? It’s a bit like watching a football match, we would have all made better managers or referees that those currently doing the job.
Luxury of democracy
We are lucky to live in a democracy with the luxury of being able to select our own government, whether we agree with all their policies or not. We all have to respect each other’s opinion not force and “out” people for theirs.