Today I did something I do not think I have ever done before – I cast a positive vote in an election. A local election – I really do not see my casting a positive vote in a European or General election any time soon – but still, a first is a first. By a positive vote I mean I am actually voting primarily for someone, rather than against someone or as a more general protest.
The guy I voted for in my area is an independent. What impressed me particularly was I have seen him twice in the village, pounding the pavement, talking to folks. He is the only candidate that I have seen. He has not come across as pushy or overbearing, but as interesting and committed. Most of all his focus is entirely local – no national party to be beholden to. It helps as well that I can support some of the things he is interesting in. Some things are not as important to me – but that is always how it is going to be. The real clue was when I got my ballot form, and went to make my mark, I had only the slightest pause. Usually I think about things for a few moments, but not today. Today I knew – and it was a great feeling to be voting positively.
I have no idea if he will win – I think he has a chance. In this ward UKIP are not standing, so it is a four-way contest between the independent and the main three. Labour will get nowhere – this is the semi-rural South-West, and I have yet to see any flying pigs. Usually therefore it is a contest between the Tories and the Lib Dems – but I am increasingly getting the feeling there is a “plague on both your houses” attitude in the air. If that persists until the General Election that could make things very interesting – but just right now I think it means my man has a chance to pick up voters disillusioned by the main parties, or people wishing to make a statement of protest. To be fair, I am in that first category.
Think a moment – I first voted in the European elections in 1999, and this is the first time I have primarily voted for someone. Although that is just me, and intensely personal, I think it serves as a small indictment of the main parties.