Saturday, 24 April 2010

The tide of inevitability

I'm so, so glad that elections happen but once every four/five (ish) years. Normal conversation at University outside of a tight-knit circle of similarly mental physicists is becoming nearly impossible without dialogue inevitably turning to voting, politicians, and how super-trendy it has suddenly become to support the Lib Dems.

I realise in advance that a blog about not-talking about the election might come across as self-defeating. If you feel the urge to point out to me that this is true, I recommend you scribble down your sentiments on some paper, roll it into a tube, and insert it forcefully into your left eye. This is mainly because I don't care, but also because if you think about it, suggesting why people should stop talking about something necessarily involves mentioning the subject itself; and hell, if people were more thoughtful in the first place none of this would be required.

The thing that bothers me more than herpes bothering a hooker, is that people (specifically students) seem to think that their opinion of which political party is best, is somehow more sound than anyone else's. That, in of itself, is perfectly normal of any rational opinion we hold. What's not so normal is doing your absolute hardest to tell everyone around you what you think.

What, in the name of buggery, possesses people to puke political signage onto their front lawn? Huge garish splashes of blue and orange (and very rarely red!) are showered over the country as if the people responsible think "Hey! I know what'll swing a floating-voter's opinions into line with my own! A large and hideous sign with nothing more than a party name and a slogan on it!".

I can't believe this would ever work. I imagine if it did, it would appeal to someone who needs physical help picking their own nose and dribbles a lot. In other words, they've come up with a campaign idea to appeal purely to idiots and people who cave under peer-pressure from their neighbours.

Exactly the same is true of Facebook groups proclaiming loudly that you will/won't vote for someone/some party. What you've thus achieved is alienating all the people who's opinions differ from your own. That's not generally regarded as a good way of keeping friends. Sure it's good to 'encourage discussion', but again (no offence to anyone I know) your own opinion is about as likely to change my mind about which party to support as it is likely to convince me to sell all my belongings and live under a bridge for the rest of my life, eating pigeons. I certainly don't base my political orientation on my friends (except for any sort of subconscious connections) and I know full well that me ranting full on at someone else will probably not swing their views either. So why bother? The upshot is arguments, frustration, and strained relationships: or at the very least a constant niggling fear that a casual pub-chat will steer dangerously close to that impassable ravine of electoral discussion which leads to a 500m drop into a pool of misery.

Anyone who does 'swing' depending on what particular colour sign they spot on the way to the polling station should have their voting rights (and probably breeding rights) revoked and be demoted to working as some form of building material for the rest of their life.

*deep breath*

I know I'm being extreme here- but the point remains. I don't doubt that of the few people who read this fewer still will take anything away from it, but if there's the tiniest modicum of chance that this has somehow made sense to you, then please, PLEASE keep your political opinions to yourself, show your support by voting, and keep hold of your friends long after we've selected who the next berk to run the country will be.


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