And so we come to the day of decision: the opinion polls have stopped coming, the campaigning is over, and all that remains is the exercising of the democratic process.
Although many like to think of the UK as some historic bastion of democracy, votes for all over 21 years of age did not arrive until as late as 1930. The present lower age limit of 18 did not come until 1969. There had, back in the 19th Century, been the hurdle of property ownership to jump before men could be allowed to vote, with women barred from the process until well into the 20th.
It’s been a long and difficult process to get everyone over 18 the right to vote, and this memory is part of why I make the effort to cast my ballot in Parliamentary elections, at least. Today there are also local polls in many parts of the country, and so if you’re turning out to vote for an MP, there’s no excuse for avoiding the local election. These, too, can make a difference.
In preparation of casting my vote, the Official Poll Card has been dug out, and in a few minutes it will accompany me to the Polling Station. I urge anyone and everyone similarly entitled to do the same at some time today. Because this is when the people make their choice, and have their say.So, as they say in the USA, let’s get our vote on!