Sharpen your wits as well as your pencil: voting time!


Like our American neighbours, we’re a year from our next national election.

And, again like the Americans, most of us don’t have a clue about the major issues of this nation-wide vote; (everyone hates this question:) we, like them, believe they are (or could be) voting on the future of hard work, personal honesty, or certain styles of clothing and other issues which we hear plenty about… oh, we certainly believe we know the issues… we’d say we just haven’t given them much thought “yet”… after all there’s so much to do these days… We’re sure we know the issues, and we’re sure we know who is on which side of these essentially non-political issues. We will likely never vote for “personal honesty”, yet we criticise our opponents for their lack of respect for honesty, and point to our own honesty as a reason for voting for our side. Strange world, that we think (without thinking) that we can vote for goodness, honesty, and sincerity.

So, it’s important to know something about the experience and personal history of our preferred candidate. What’s her (or his) actual experience? If we don’t agree with these points, too bad, I’m sorry to say. Our present MP, Mme Chatel, won her seat – here, by us – without any relevant political experience at all. What other profession allows a candidate to walk in and ask for a job, with no experience at all? Perhaps this is not a good idea – “hiring” inexperienced people to run the country . . . perhaps?

But the process is more complicated than this. We leave it to the two or three political parties we support to do their due diligence in selecting our country’s future leaders. Is this a wise policy? In our case, Mme Chatel has proven herself a capable MP – so we are fortunate. Suppose we had elected someone, also unproven, but one who could not rise to the challenge?

The safest and the most likely selection method rests with us, ordinary people… voters. This simplification method works, but only if we do our homework and construct our voting list with a lot of thought, and not knee-jerk or automatic support for any party or individuals.

Dear Reader, can you list your reasons for voting for one over another candidate? If you can’t, or if the list is pretty thin… this is how we get into trouble. And if our lists include voting for anyone without good, clear reasons for doing so… then we’re still in trouble. Such clear and simple questions (Who are you voting for? and Why?) – this should clarify the whole process…. but it doesn’t. It’s up to us to explain our preferences, make our lists, gather our reasons, construct our arguments – all the process of voting! The result – who we do vote for – is not simple. But it is essential and clear.

Isn’t this clear?