Elections: The spine of democracy that really annoys us

Ask yourself whether the prospect of an election excites or annoys you, and see if the answer is obvious…because I’m not actually sure. Free and fair elections are quite accurately seen as being key to democracy – an opportunity to have our voices heard and to hold power to account. There is no question we love democracy (our country has gone to great lengths in order to spread it across the world)…so why the blatant voter apathy?

The common response to such questioning is that the options aren’t good enough, that “they’re all the same” and that nothing will ever actually change. If this is the case though then there really would be no point in elections and we should scrap them…although I’m sure the same people who think they don’t make a difference would be outraged if this was to happen.

Maybe I’m being a bit cynical. To tell the truth I have personally been knocked out by campaigning over the last few days for my homie Charlie Souter-Philips to be elected SUBU president #choosecharlie #nevermissachancetocampaign #sheplayspokeronfridaynightswithBillGates&VladamirPutin&ElChapoandwillpayoffallyourfees, and I cannot deny I’ve irritated a decent amount of people in doing so. My point is perhaps best personified by the two girls in Dorchester last night who as I approached their block scurried away whispering “shit he’s seen us, run” – but were unfortunate not to have their keys and so did duly face the inevitable burden of campaigning that comes with elections.

This fear of campaigners and their repetitive description as being annoying (not just me surely) can be seen across all elections: at the general election last year we got bombarded with leaflets and tweets, in America it is already getting difficult to watch TV because of all the attack ads, and even campaigning around the EU referendum is already starting to piss people off. But this is democracy – this is what supposedly makes our country great. For everyone’s sake I too wish all this campaigning wasn’t necessary, but I’m afraid it just is. The alternative is worse (unless you vote Charlie in which case we will push for long-term autocracy).

The good news for everyone at Bournemouth uni though is that campaigning ends today at 5pm when voting closes, and so there is just a few more hours for you to desperately try avoiding eye contact with the people like me, so I implore you to be brave and treat us like humans. After all, you’re paying £27,000 to be here – you ought to have high expectations and the SUBU team is there to voice your concerns at a higher level. Not to mention the fact that so many people have sacrificed their lives for your right to vote…

…so vote, and make sure you #choosecharlie (takes less than a minute at http://subu.studentvoting.co.uk/login.php …and if you’ve really felt inspired my words then check out what all of the candidates stand for here http://www.subu.org.uk/meetthecandidates and feel free to send me a message for more on what Charlie can do for you and how she can change you life forever.

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