Diary of a first-time non-voter
'As things stand, I have absolutely no idea when I am supposed to be not voting, what I am not voting for, or why I now have to not vote on a different date from the one I was previously not voting on.'
The big question this week – just what is 2001 all about? Is anybody else as confused as I am?
I thought that as a ‘young person’ I would have to spend 2001, The Year of the General Election, proving my worth against allegations of ‘voter apathy’. Apparently not. Even the government can’t be bothered to have an election any more.
After weeks of umming and aahing about the date, prime minister Tony Blair has finally decided to put the whole thing off until June due to the foot-and-mouth problem. Cue jokes about when the cows come home.
They do say the first time is usually an anti-climax for a girl – but I had expected a little more from my first official non-vote. At least Tony could have called me when he promised he would. Instead, as things stand, I have absolutely no idea when I am supposed to be not voting, what I am not voting for, or why I now have to not vote on a different date from the one I was previously not voting on.
The only thing that is vaguely certain is that I will have to keep on writing this column for as long as it takes the government to get its act together. It’s a hard life, trying to squeeze out several hundred words a week on the latest parliamentary non-happenings at a time when even politicians are not much interested in politics.
But perhaps there is relief at the end of the tunnel. Blair has told his party members to come up with lots of exciting ‘eye-catching announcements’ to fill the headlines and hoardings throughout April and drag us out of the political void created by the postponement of the election.
Although I can’t help being a little cynical about this endeavour, at least it reassures me that I am not alone with my misery. Obviously I share one thing in common with the government and the opposition parties: a recognition that the general election mess is an irritating reminder of the lack of politics around us, and how nice it would be if the whole voting debacle quietly went away.
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