Thursday, 8 June 2017

Voting

I rather grumpily cast my vote first thing this morning. I went into Jackson's Lane Community Centre, half expecting to have been disenfranchised by Haringey Council for the third time, after we discovered last night that we hadn't been sent a polling card. I don't know how many times one can be expected to register oneself to vote at the same address before something officially sticks, but plainly it's more times than one would assume!

Anyway, as it happened I was on their list and the woman was able to get her ruler and pencil out and put a line through my name. I wasn't asked for ID. I could have looked over her shoulder and claimed to be the first name on her list that I could read without a line through it. Turn-out is likely to be so low on this election that I doubt anyone would actually have noticed. It demonstrates how genuinely easy it is to commit election fraud in this manner. It seems we spend all our time trying to prevent online fraud, and yet, when it comes to voting in person, there's a woman with a pencil asking for your address!

For the record, I voted Lib Dem, really as a thank you to Lynne Featherstone, who was a great constituency MP and was almost single-handedly responsible for the LGBT marriage act. I didn't much care for the campaign the Labour woman Catherine West ran to oust Lynne from office. It felt underhand and cynical and she's turned out to be a very crummy MP who hasn't bothered to respond to any emails I've sent her about either Brexit or Corbyn. So it was middle for diddle for me.

I was hugely unimpressed by both the Workers' Revolutionary Party and the Women's Equality Party for forwarding candidates who didn't even have addresses in the constituency. Also, my constituency has been exclusively represented by women MPs since Barbara Roche in 1992. I have to believe that they will be fighting for women's equality where they see it's necessary. The Lib Dem person I voted for was also a woman. Actually, so was the Tory!

As I came out of the polling station a woman was literally doing cartwheels. "I've voted for the first time!" She was yelling to a friend the other side of the street. "I've voted for the first time in this country!" She was so excited. One assumes she'd recent been granted full citizenship or something, because she didn't look far off my age. And at that moment I understood the importance of the vote.

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