In the previous General Election in 2010, the turn out was 65.1%. One in every three people who were able to vote didn't do so.
One common reason for not voting is "they're all the same". They're not. Each individual candidate has different qualities, and can bring different things to local and national government. To argue that "they're all the same" is to argue that, for example, a Conservative/UKIP coalition would be the same as a Labour/SNP coalition. Whatever your opinion on the policies etc of those parties, it would be difficult to argue that they would be "all the same".
Another oft-quoted reason is "they're only in it for themselves". Whilst it is undeniable that some elected representatives at all levels have taken the opportunity to feather their nests, please don't confuse them with the majority of hard working councillors and MPs in all parties who want to do the best by the people.
The Christians In Politics group have launched the Show Up campaign - encouraging Christians to take part in the elections, not just by voting, although it is important that we all use our votes, but to get involved in campaigning, taking part in hustings etc.
There are many ways to get involved:
- Is there a local candidate that espouses Christian values you'd like to see get elected? Contact them, and offer your help - believe me, you will be gratefully received!
- Is there a hustings meeting arranged in your area? If there is, turn up, and ask the candidates any questions. If there isn't, see if one can be arranged.
- When candidates knock on your door, challenge them. (In a nice way, of course!!) Ask them what they stand for, what their values are, and how they would demonstrate those values if elected.
- Sign up to the Show Up campaign - there's lots of resources on the website - encourage your church to get involved - maybe host a hustings meeting?
- Pray. Pray for the candidates. Ask for discernment when casting your vote.
- And on that subject - VOTE! You can contact your local council to register for a postal vote if you're not going to be around on May 7th (Polling Day).
I'll post bits and pieces from the Show Up website as we go through the campaign, so we can see how things are progressing.