Friday, May 06, 2011

X marks the spot.

We took a walk to the polling station in the drizzle last night. It was a lovely night, and as old as this sounds I have to say it - we've been needing some rain.

Being a dirty foreigner, I didn't get to vote in the AV referendum. Which I suppose makes sense, as I can't vote in the general elections here - so obviously I couldn't possibly have an input on how these should be done. Luckily, Mike's views aren't a million miles from my own so I feel like I've had half a vote, at any rate. Kinda like I had half a vote in the general election last year, and that turned out to be a useful one... But anyway.

I do get to vote in the local council elections though, which I quite like doing. I had a strategy this time around: I decided not to vote for any party who has put reams of leaflets through my door. I wanted to put a sign on the door to that effect but wasn't allowed - but perhaps this blind approach is more effective?

So, that meant no Labour and no Lib Dems. One or two leaflets would have been ok, but... I really wish I'd saved them all, to be able to give an accurate picture of the ridiculous amount of paper wasted on rehashing the same information ('Tories can't win here!' seemed to be a favourite... not exactly telling me much about the party).

I can fully understand why they do it. Any vote they can sway by churning out leaflet after leaflet is another vote in their favour. And I fully support them distributing information materials. But when it's the same information over and over, when it's photos of the same guys in the exact same pose over and over, when it's trying to insinuate that more leaflets = more activity in the area = better party, or when they send us separate letters - one addressed to me, one to Mike, in separate envelopes, through the same door... I'm less inclined to give them my vote. Why? Waste of paper.

Ok, I know not everyone has easy access to the internet. And I know not everyone has the inclanataion to go look up what the different parties stand for (reading status updates on Facebook does not count, I'm sorry to say). And I know not everyone cares that this much paper is wasted (I'm not exactly the most environmentally conscious person but... seriously. Next time I'll save the leaflets and show you!). But what's wrong with producing one or two good quality (content-wise, I mean) leaflets, and trust that your party's policies are sound enough to persuade the doubters?

The party I ended up voting for didn't put anything through my door. Which was lucky, cos it was the party I was planning to vote for anyway. They won't win, but maybe they'll inspire some to be a tad greener.

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