To vote or not to vote?

As you’ll know, because you’ve obviously read my last post about my prediction, the people of Northern Ireland are about to go to the polls. This will, as all big votes do, cause a flurry of “You’d better vote” statuses and tweets, which I find infuriating. This is just a short post to point out a couple of things.

I’m a big advocate of voting, and voting for what you think is right, not what somebody else tells you. Gather what facts you can and make your mind up. If you can come to a decision then you should go out and have your say. If you can’t make a choice then don’t vote, simple as that, don’t give a “this’ll do” vote, just don’t vote.

Don’t feel pressured into voting by anyone. There is a very popular way of thinking that always rears its head at times like this. Ever heard someone say something along the lines of, “Your great-grandparents fought and died for your right to vote!” or “Do you know how many women suffered for your right to vote?”? At first glance, there is a lot of merit in those statements, but they’re mistaken.

Women, it seems, are especially targeted with things like this. I think I literally hear the Suffragettes mentioned only when an election is round the corner. The Suffragettes didn’t sacrifice themselves so that women could have the right to vote, they sacrificed themselves so that women could have the right to choose whether or not to vote. So ladies/women/girls/lasses, don’t let yourself feel pressured into making a misplaced vote. Only vote if you feel there is a good enough choice for you.

In closing, just so I’m not misunderstood, voting is very important. Get out and vote, if there is a candidate worth voting for. But, if you can’t make a choice, do the wise thing, and stay at home.

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