Today, being the first Thursday of May, was election day.
After a (long) day in Durham, I headed home on the Metro, got off one stop early, and went (accompanied by my flatmate, Susie) on a polling station hunt.
Usually, polling stations are schools, or churches, or libraries, but our polling cards informed us that our polling station was located at ”Temporary Station, Grassy Area, Newlands Road’. Very official sounding, eh?
It turned out to look about as dodgy as it sounded: basically, a couple of portakabins, by the side of the road, and, voter apathy being what it is, we didn’t have to queue at all. We gave our names, they handed over our ballot papers (one for the local election, and one for the referendum on whether or not we should have an elected mayor), we marked our papers, popped them in the box, and we were out of there. Democracy done.
However, I’m not sure if I took my duty seriously enough. I had thought a little about my decision with regards to the referendum, but when it comes to local elections I struggle to care.
4 parties were in play today, but only two of them actually did any campaigning (and I didn’t want to vote for either of them). I suppose that a part of it is that I’m not sure what (if any) power these people have – do they make any decisions that I should care about?
I basically only vote because I can hear the voice of my dear Mama ringing in my ears:
“Women died so you could have the right to vote!”
So, essentially, I vote because I feel guilty. Probably not the best motivation.
Perhaps a better tribute to the suffragettes would be to take advantage of the privilege of the good education I received, as well as the opportunity to vote, and make a project of finding out what’s really going on.
It would be nice to be a wee bit more informed this time next year.
In summary: votes for women.