There used to be a time that whenever someone told me they didn’t vote, I’d think that it was a waste. How could you then complain about how the government acts if you did nothing to oppose it? A vote was a piece of paper that was your say, it gave you power. It’s a naive idea, ignoring the reality of the political system.
When you look at it realistically, what is a vote? Does it give you a say in government? No. It gives you the say in choosing a person to have their own say, or more often than not, to follow and vote for what the party leader says. So every six years, you’re electing who’s going gain power, rather than represent the will of the people. The reality is, you have very little say. There are many recent examples of politicians making promises to gain support in elections and then breaking them. The greatest one for a person my age, is what happened in the last general election regarding tuition fees. The pledge that tuition fees would not go up. Voters gave those MP’s their mandate over that promise. We legitimised their power by voting for the promise they made. Long behind, tuition fees went up to £9000, up from £3000. To say people were angry is an understatement.
It’s examples like these that make me now so cynical to power. My attitude? No one should have power over you. I’m recalling some obscure political philosophy by Locke and Hobbes. To paraphrase, once an assembly gives an individual sovereign power, you can’t take it away from them. We can’t throw politicians from power if they break pledges they make in election manifestos, we have to wait another six years before we have another chance to make a real impact on the political landscape. Whoever we vote in pretty much has license to do whatever they please for that term, often on a mandate they lied to gain.
So how does that vote reflect the will of the people? It doesn’t. So what if you don’t like that candidate, vote for someone else. It doesn’t stand up when the change you’re looking for is not being represented. Then whether you vote or not, you’re not getting your say. So you might as well not vote.
But my question is what do you think of politics? Is the word a synonym for liar to you, or do you believe it carries out the will of the people.