Well, today is the day. And yes, sorry, I am going to be another one of those people who add to the noise on social media and write about today’s General Election.
I haven’t posted anything online up until this point. In all honesty, as much as I try and stay educated on the matter as much as possible, I don’t know enough about politics and parties to start a debate in person or on social media, much less would I want to, as 9 times out of 10 you are arguing with a person that isn’t going to change their mind and suddenly vote a different way because you gave them a statistic. I also hold very strongly, that people should make their own minds up, look at the evidence, and vote for a party they truly believe in.
And so this is not a ‘vote for this person’ sort of post. This is a ‘whoever you want to vote for, just make sure you go out and vote’ post. Today is an opportunity to exercise your right to have your voice heard, and even if it ends in a result you didn’t wish for, you can have comfort in the fact you DID vote and that your vote DID matter. It has been a bit of a mental year for the world, and I know that the last few months have been a terrifying time for all of us, and while sometimes we feel so helpless in situations such as these, the one thing you can do that is guaranteed to make a difference, is vote.
So wether you’re voting for ‘the many, not the few’, a ‘strong and stable leadership’ or anything in-between, make sure along with that decision, you also make the decision to actually vote.
I realise this might be a bit like white-noise to all of you at the minute, with everyone and their dog shouting politics at you over the last few months, so to lighten the mood a little, here are some General Election ‘facts’ for your entertainment.
Ladies, June 8th is important
104 years ago, on the 8th of June 1913, Emily Wilding Davidson died. She was an active suffragette who spent her life fighting for women to have the right to vote. She went to prison, endured horrific force-feeding and even hid in a cupboard in the Palace of Westminster during the 1911 census so she could list her place of residence as the ‘House of Commons’. On the 4th of June she stepped out in front of the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby holding a suffragette scarf, was struck down, and died 4 days later. Emily Davidson died fighting for my right to vote, for the women of future generations right to vote. Voting is a right that thousands of other women had to struggle to obtain and today, the 8th of June marks the anniversary of Emily’s death. So ladies, honour the fight that these women had, and make your voice heard, it was only 89 years ago that universal suffrage was even made law!
Turns out, that until 2011, voting on a Thursday was not law, it was just a customary tradition. Many have claimed that Thursday was chosen to try and reduce the numbers of drunk and disorderly voters, since pay-day was traditionally Friday. This was also to avoid voters from becoming influenced by ‘conservative-leaning brewers’, the same as a Sunday was off the cards due to a possible influence from a ‘liberal clergy’. Regardless, the last General Election not to be held on a Thursday was way back in 1931, and unless there are particular special circumstances, it is now law that they are held on a Thursday.
Following on from ‘drunk and disorderly’, it is actually acceptable to have a few pints before voting, and polling staff can’t actually turn inebriated voters away. However, it isn’t the best idea to get Saturday-night blackout drunk, as if you appear incapable to vote you will have to answer a series of questions to prove you are capable, fail, and you get sent away to sober up.
Can I bring a friend?
So guess what, dogs are allowed to come along to the polling station with you! Well, so long as they don’t disrupt the vote. Look out for the hashtag #dogsatpollingstations to get your fix of politically active furry friends.
X marks the box
So it turns out, although your voting slip will ask you to put an ‘X’ in the box of your chosen candidate, you can actually put pretty much anything. As long as your voting intention is clear, your vote will still be counted, even if its a tick or a smily face. So you could get creative this year, but it might be better to be safe than sorry.
So whatever you do today, spare 5 minutes to get down to your polling station and make your voice heard!
Much Love x