It’s that time again: with elections looming for the UK and being a strong advocate for making one’s voice heard at election time or shutting-yer-yap-because-you-didn’t-help (the general you… chill, Jo, I don’t mean you personally), I’m reminding people to get out there and VOTE.
And help others get out there and vote while you’re at it – have neighbours that don’t drive? Offer a lift. Have family that hums and haws about going but forgets? Hook ’em up. The more people that turn up to vote the better reflection of the people the representatives will be; it’s pretty basic and important.
Simply put: one cannot rely on others to vote for them. Not figuratively and definitely not literally.
But what do you know about the parties or those running for said parties in your area?
…Not much, huh? Well, here at Transplant Monologues, we’ve got your back. And while the manifestos aren’t finalised yet, there are plenty of policies up already for all of the parties to read and review.
Otherwise, my recommendation is to go to each party’s respective website and take a look around there for information. Do mind the spin-doctoring, however.
In alphabetical order (because, for some reason, that irritates some people that I am not bothered at all about irritating):
Plaid Cymru http://www.plaid.cymru and http://www.partyof.wales for english readers
Looking at those addresses does remind me that, at some point, I may want to go into the logic of web addresses in the UK – because, let’s face it, there are some of these that just stand out and it isn’t because of the parties proper.
Know what you’re voting for and know who you are voting for; these are key points that cannot be stressed enough in UK Politics. Which takes us to the topic of Leader Debates:
Much like how presidential candidates will debate on a stage, sponsored by a TV company, in the USA, the party leaders will do the same here. This isn’t a long standing tradition in the UK – in fact, it’s only five years old. That said, the last time they restricted it to just the “major/main” parties (the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib-Dems) in the first debate.
People can hoo-and-haa about how David Cameron has been moving the goalposts on him participating in these debates this time around as much as they like, but the fact that he initially said he wouldn’t take part unless the Greens were in it (which was then extended to other parties – originally it was Conservatives, Labour, Lib-Dems and UKIP) is the reason we will now HAVE so many others taking part this year (at least in one of the debates. So it isn’t all, but still that’s progress).
There is at this point in time still some question on whether or not the Conservatives will be debating with the rest or (and this annoys me on a personal level, but we’ll set that aside for now) have a personal broadcast for themselves on at a different date and/or time before the election.
I’m not allowed to vote in the UK, nonetheless, I and many other migrants like me will likely be glued to the TV when the debates go live. No one will argue that people in the UK find Immigration to be an important topic to discuss (there is no way these debates will not have it mentioned at least once, sorry; but them’s the breaks) – what they fail to tell us is HOW it is important. Obviously, it’s important for different reasons for different people (some more xenophobic than others, but I digress…).
But yay! Another chance to at least vote for a group of people who aren’t (in your own opinion) scum of the earth (we hope). Read the manifestos when they come out but keep in mind that politicians are under no obligation to make good on any promises they give in said manifesto or in any of their speeches once elected. All too often polices are written for the sake of those that contributed to the party’s campaign coffers (don’t I sound cynical), so also keep that in mind.
More than half of those promises will be forgotten the day after election. The ones that are remembered are directly linked to how passionate the people are about making the politicians honour them. And that, folks, is democracy.