I don’t feel particularly ’empowered’ by voting or the thought of it, in fact I feel powerless, and have done for a long time now.
Why? Influence of the very rich, powerful, bankers and business trumps mine, and your vote, every time.
Not only that but also the political system has no repercussions for politicians if they don’t deliver what they promised or if they’re corrupt. Some people, politicians included, would argue that our vote (support too) would be the repercussion, but we’ve seen time after time that one fuck up after another and these bastards get away with things that a normal person would go to prison for. They walk away free with fortunes, gold-plated pensions and assured jobs elsewhere.
I would advocate connecting wages with the success that they’re making, or not making.
I would advocate politicians who don’t deliver what they promise in their manifestos (or are corrupt) have ALL their earnings taken from them (including homes and any other assets) and are barred from entering politics again.
If they stand to lose everything, their money and freedom, just like a normal person would, we would see a change.
However, this isn’t going to happen because not one party out there is offering this sort of answer up, not one. Until this is offered and a valid political system that is put in place that makes our elected officials work for us, then I can’t vote.
Some people and politicians would say people should get involved more often at the local level, to hold our elected officials to account that way. There’s two things wrong with this:
1) The majority of people in this country are politically uneducated or ignorant, holding MP’s and Councillors to account will be difficult without the country’s and local communities support. And let’s face it, the attitude of people in this country, what I’ve seen and heard first hand about work as well as politics is: “I can’t be arsed/bothered!”.
2) Just as in politics at the national level, so it will be at the local level, those with more money and influence will get to the front of the Que first and more or less dictate policy.
So in brief we need a political system where politicians will be held to account and an electorate who is educated enough to demand it. We’re currently lacking both.
The old system isn’t working anymore, we can see it throughout the western world, less and less people are voting, though this doesn’t mean they’re not interested in politics. Some people are trying to influence government by joining pressure and lobbying groups, which works to a degree, but there’s still not enough people engaged in politics. And besides, that would still make voting infective.
We need an actively and engaged citizenry with a proper system that punishes non-deliver of promises and corruption; and awards delivery. And I just can’t see it happening.
Oh, and before I go, the ‘If you don’t vote then don’t complain‘ bullshit is a cop out. If that’s the case then all my democratic right to vote means is I get to complain when the people I voted for don’t deliver what they said they were or are corrupt. Is that what a democratic vote really stands for in this country? People have thought and died for that right and it’s a smack in their faces that all it guarantees me is the right to complain and not have my right influence the course of a democracy. So please, don’t lay that on me.