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UK Guardian: Vote with your feet

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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:08 PM
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UK Guardian: Vote with your feet,3604,1187200,...

Now perhaps I'm entirely alone in feeling this, but I really don't think an inability to vote is our problem. If anything you could say we have voter fatigue. In any given week I can vote myself into a coma. I can vote to make sure that an exponentially increasing number of plasticised teenagers will be able to squeal and wobble their way through cover versions of almost-good songs. I can vote to have boring strangers removed from houses, islands, jungles, DIY calamities and a number of daytime formats none of which, sadly, involves packs of rabid dogs. I can vote for books, records, movies, comedy shows, imperilled sites of historical interest, chances to revisit favourite repeats, Holby City close-ups involving saliva, soap series patio murder options and the ranking of UK Top 100 List Shows in the Channel 4 Best of 100 List Shows Ultimate Compilation Special. I mean, British citizens (and many resident refugees) are hardly without voting experience. We don't even need a simplified Westminster format. There would be no point compressing the Houses of Parliament into a huge, Ikea bedsit and broadcasting endless hours of Charlie K arguing with the carpet, or Micky H nibbling raw liver, or Tony B keeping everyone awake with his guitar. We get it - they're politicians, we can vote to evict them, it's a political process type thing.

There are just these two, tiny problems. First, we can't evict all of them - there has to be one left behind to screw up the country, and picking between them is like being threatened with three syringes of competing Ebola strains and then asked which you would most like to contract.

Second, irrespective of what it says, writes, promises, swears and otherwise affirms, our current government hasn't a particle of interest in our views. We made it as clear as we could that we didn't want to evaporate Iraqi civilians or irradiate Afghan infants, but our government made sure we still did. Despite stern accusations of apathy and a near-total media blackout on most political campaigns, voters all over the country are constantly writing letters, holding vigils, marching, making speeches, putting up posters, sitting outside nuclear bases, emailing, phoning and generally being actively democratic until it hurts.

Beyond coughing up a scrap of hush money for overly feisty pensioners they hope will die before the next general election, what response to protest has our government offered us? We haven't yet reached the US event horizon, beyond which demonstrators are corralled in abandoned car parks, miles from any public representative or simply tied up with plastic strips and taken away. But what exactly would we have to do out here to get our government's attention? We've tried asking nicely; what's left? Getting 2 million pizzas they didn't order delivered to Portcullis House? Jumping into wood chippers 10 at a time and then pumping ourselves as slurry into the Members' Bar?
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