June 4, 2009
Posted: 1955 GMT
I love elections ... all elections. Big ones, small ones, national ones, local ones. It is the simple Majesty of the Process – the People speaking for better or worse. A chance to change. So this morning on my way to work I made sure I stopped off to cast my ballot in the European Elections. Even though the polling booth was deserted – there is nothing quite like getting the ballot paper, reading all the names, putting your cross and casting your vote.
The UK and the Netherlands maybe the first countries to vote, but between now and Sunday all 27 EU countries will cast votes for the European parliament. In past EU parliamentary elections The turnout has been low (in 1999 it was 49.5 % and in 2005 it fell to 45.4%) This doesn’t say much about what people think of the parliament, the parties and the process.
But I say firmly – the numbers as such shouldn’t matter.
Casting a vote is one of the greatest civic duties I can perform. It And whether I love or loathe the insitutions involved …..the day itself – the moment of voting – is a moment to celebrate and relish. In the next few days we have voting in the EU and in Lebanon. The people are speaking!
Voting is easy when the choice is between good and bad, strong versus weak.
It’s those elections when you hate all the candidates that really matter. you have to hold your nose from the stench of disgust as you cast your ballot –The true test of democracy is not the result – it is taking part.
So I can never quite understand those people who say, why bother? Nothing changes. What do you think? Is voting a civic duty or a waste of time? And do you always vote even if you are probably going to be on the losing side?