There’s been a flurry of political activity for the past couple of weeks in the UK. There were European and local elections last Thursday. Local election results are out, European election results are counted on Sunday.
In the ward where I live there was a local election and a by-election as one of the standing Councillors had resigned.
I was thinking about the theme of Unhurried Change and the power of one. How can one person make a difference in an election? One vote amid thousands of others, how can my one vote make a difference? Well, to be honest, I think one vote can’t, but when you add all those one votes up, they can make a massive difference.
There was a quote doing the rounds on Facebook last week, it went along the lines of ‘all it takes to get bad politicians elected is for good people not to vote.’ So, if I don’t vote and you don’t vote and none of our friends don’t vote, can we then complain when politicians start to do things we don’t like?
The turn out in my ward was 33%, say for example that there are 1,000 people in your ward that means that 330 people voted out of all the people who had the right to. In a first past the post system with several candidates taking votes out of a small pot of votes, it is possible for a candidate to be voted in with say 40% of the vote. Forty percent of 330 people is 132 votes. You now have a politician elected to office, making decisions for your community when only 132 people out of a possible 1,000 people voted for them.
Yes, your single vote can make a difference, especially if no-one else can be bothered to.