Friday

That annoying man in the voting booth

So I went a-voting, and it was a council election.

I know that our national democracy is a deliberately-broken sham, but I went in not even knowing what system the local elections use. Often, different elections even in the same country use different systems. Even the political parties don't use first past the post to elect their own leaders.

So then I faced the voting slip: put down two crosses. Each party except the TUSC had two candidates, meaning you could vote for the Sam England party twice.

I backed out of the booth and asked for the system to be explained to me.

How hard can it be, they must have thought - you put two crosses down with the same party. Then these crosses are counted up. Why are you finding this so difficult?

So many questions I had about how this stupid voting system works, and it came across as 'how do I vote?'
I wanted to know if the votes for different councillors from the same party would be counted separately or together. I wanted to know if we were voting in blocks or as a single city. I wanted to know why such an obviously flawed system was being used for a city-wise election, when counting. Why were there two options for the main parties, when this meant I ran the risk of splitting my own vote and having neither vote count for anything.

I had so many questions, but i was answered s someone who'd simply asked 'where do I put a cross' or 'who do I vote for?'

If I came across as stupid, it's because the system was so warped that I couldn't even begin to ask. Or maybe just that the voting help people only ran on certain lines and weren't ready for a discussion about why the whole thing was futile.

Either way, it made me look stupid and annoying and like I was making a fuss out of nothing.

Bear that in mind next time you see someone like that. Maybe they're not the problem.

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