News & Updates

Been to the polls yet?

Posted on Thursday, May 07, 2015

After weeks and weeks of electioneering, the day has finally come to put your views on your ballot paper.

We've seen the meets and greets, the pressing of the flesh up and down the country, the visits specially picked out to shop floors and workers across the regions in the attempt to court favour and secure votes, the hustings and the TV debates.

Having been to the polls this morning I was encouraged by the number of people I saw clutching their white polling card in their hand as they headed towards the chosen destination to mark their cross in their selected box.

I saw a mixture of old and young, men and women, backgrounds and ethnicity, looking to make their mark on the destiny of the country today.

It made me think what a privilege it is to have the right to vote and how it is something that shouldn't be taken for granted. For past generations that right was not as easy.

Men and women were sacrificed for the right to vote. Looking back in history, numerous groups have been persecuted for trying to secure that right. Members of the London Corresponding Society in the 1700s were hung for seeking the right to vote; Luddites were tortured, reformers were massacred, Chartists were murdered and Suffragettes were force-fed.

You can complain about politicians and politics, and sometimes it's right to do so, and say you are not interested in politics, but we are still free to exercise the right to vote. It's a right that our ancestors back then fought for, and millions of people across the world, continue to fight for.

So don't take that right to vote for granted. Get your coat on and nip down to the polling station before 10pm tonight.

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