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Apathy Effects Your Life

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Apathy affects your life

We have a power that not enough of us use. People have died for this power, something nearly everyone can use. It changes lives, gives you a voice, keeps this country fair. But what am I talking about? A freedom to vote. Be it in the local elections where you get the chance to choose a local government who control your everyday services. Right up to the General Election where you can help decide who will shape your country's future.

"Oh but my vote won't make any difference" you say, but it does! In March 2004 80% of Taiwan's electorate cast votes in their General Election. In Spain 77%, Greece 76% and the Russians 64%, (The Guardian online, 25th March 2004). The percentages maybe different but the overall picture is the same. In democracies around the world people are committed to their right to vote. They understand the power of the vote, especially in countries who have seen repression and couldn't previously vote.

Voting is not the be all and end all of politics as you well know but it's something we should know the power of. Your vote is important to your way of life. In 2004 the turnout for the British General Election was famously only 59% but these days political parties would see this as a triumph.

Do you know your local councillor or Member of Parliament? Did you vote them in? For most people, politics is something done by and for others. You can change this, don't let apathy give damaging minor political parties power. I could name some but would not give any publicity to racist and bigoted people.

This far right political party won seats in the European parliament in 2009 because the Labour party were slow to address the apathy of voters. A once nearly unknown party took 41% of the votes, proving some parties can take advantage of the lack of interest in voting.(Morris, 21 February 2009. The independent online). Some people argue it could be the changing political climate, not so. We have not all of a sudden started being prejudice and racist to that degree. It is a clever move by a minor party to take advantage of the apathetic attitude towards politics in this country.

Soon there will be an election for the new position of Police commissioner in Devon and Cornwall. I will be voting because I know the importance of that vote and how it affects us. From the Bobbies on the beat to safety in your own homes. Next time you are standing on your soapbox complaining about the litter on the streets or the state of the country's national debt, think did I vote? If not you have no right to complain. Get out there and find out more. Use your power, use your right to vote!

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