My friends list is almost unreadable today, something which I find both touching and irritating. It's genuinely bizarre to recognise how much voting means to people I care a great deal about, and how little it means to me, and to be aware that this is basically because they live in an entirely different England to the one in which I seem to live.
I don't really have a political stance. If I did, it would be right-wing, which already separates me from practically everyone I know. I don't feel that there's a party that represents my admittedly sketchy political views. (This is probably a good thing; my views are suspect in many ways.) If I spoil my ballot paper it sends a message of dissatisfaction with every political candidate, which is not the same thing as believing there's nobody that represents the way I think. The way I think is fundamentally flawed and in many ways a product of my upbringing and of reading too many fantasy books. In truth, a Labour or indeed Conservative government would be far more likely to do good things for this country than one which I felt impelled to support.
Of the three major parties - and this time I don't think anyone's seriously worried the BNP are going to take power over the country, which is nice, as last time we went through this people did appear to and I felt the need to hit them with the fish of sanity - I don't care who gets in. To an extent (and almost by definition) this is apathy, but it's not the dreaded 'voter apathy' that people talk about, it's just the certain knowledge that there is almost no way in which a difference in government would affect my day-to-day life. Yes, there are people whose lives it would affect; I don't understand, though, why I should feel pressured to vote on their behalf when for every benefit one group of people reap from a change in government, there's another group of people who suffer as a result of it. If you're going to be affected by the outcome of the election, then please, god, vote. If it matters to you, then please, vote. But - although it's a less overwhelming attitude today than it was a little while ago - don't try to make me feel like a second-class citizen because I haven't made a, to me, arbitrary decision on the vague behalf of people who'd be better off voting for themselves without my arbitrary decision getting in the way. Even I believe in people taking responsibility for their own situation, but I don't feel that there's anything I could do in terms of voting in order to do that.
I'll accept and listen to anything any of you want to say to me about this.