I arrived home from work yesterday to find our polling cards on the mat. One month today I am going to have to put a cross beside a name. That I will go to the polling station to do that is not at issue, it would never even cross my mind not to go and vote. It always sounds a little cliched when I say it but women died in the fight to get the vote and I will not dishonour their memory by not exercising that hard won right.
In reality making up my mind is not between everything on offer – I do not get choice paralysis like I do sometimes when choosing a chocolate bar! There are parties I would never vote for as they have policies, attitudes or values inconsistent with my Christian values. I prefer voting for candidates who live in the constituency or nearby enough to know what the issues are and to share some of the frustrations us residents have. I appreciate anyone who would knock on the door and talk to me about the issues. I am frustrated when I send letters to politicians about issues I care about who don’t bother to reply. I am furious when a promise is broken over an issue I feel very strongly about. Very occasionally I have lived in a place where I need to think about voting tactically, but most of the time I have been on the winning or losing side by a big margin as I have lived in the sort of constituencies which tend to give a big majority to a particular party. So I have a decision to make and a month to make it!