Wednesday, 14 April 2010

An Open Letter to all those standing in the General Election

Every day since the Prime Minister called the General Election, I’ve arrived home from work to find my door mat littered with leaflets from all the leading parties and many of the minor ones, letters addressed to me personally from prominent members of the leading parties, and other election related bumpf.

I would ask, very politely, to please stop it. I don’t want or require your propaganda literature. I am an educated, thirty-five year old man. I am perfectly capable of listening to the political arguments, seeking out and reading your manifestos and weighing everything I hear, read and see against my own views, morals and beliefs, and then making an informed choice about my vote.

I understand that you think the majority of the Great British Public are not capable of this, but I must inform you that I very much am. As, I suspect, are most of the rest of us.

Frankly, the only election related item I want posted through my door arrived today, and that is my polling card.

So do yourselves a favour. Save yourselves some money. Save some paper – hell, you’re all always going on about saving the planet, here’s your chance to do just a little bit towards that goal. Stop pushing crap through my door!

Yes, I have been saying for many, many months that the country needs the renewal that an election would bring. That we need the debate it would bring. But tacky leaflets and letters telling me how the other parties would only make things worse are not debate. They are a waste of my time. All that happens to them is they go in the bin. Sorry, in the recycling.

If you want my vote, knock on my door and convince me. I’ll listen. I might not agree with you. We might actually enter into a debate. But I’ll listen.

I have been eligible to vote since 1997. That’s the last three elections. I have yet to have a conversation with a candidate, or even an ‘activist’. Why? I don’t know. You tell me. Perhaps my vote isn’t valuable enough.

Or maybe it’s because I work 9 to 5 and the canvassing stops just about when I get home. My vote clearly isn’t worth missing your dinner for.

If you want my vote, tell me what YOU would do to make things better, not how the others will only make it worse. I’m sorry, but the Labour Party’s argument for re-election seems to be “Sorry we stuffed up, but they’ll only make it worse.” At least the Tories and the Liberals seems to be saying “Give us a chance, we can’t be any worse than they were,” which is sort of optimistic in a pessimistic kind of way.

So, to all those standing in this election – in my constituency of Northampton North and beyond – come talk to me. Convince me you’re worthy of my cross in your box. I’m easy to reach. Knock on my door after six or tweet me at @marcnobbs. Let’s discuss. Let’s argue. Let’s talk about it over a nice cup of hot chocolate. But don’t ignore me. Don’t take me for granted. And don’t treat me like some idiotic half-breed incapable of rational thought.

Thank you for listening.

Yours faithfully

Marc Nobbs – registered voter.

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