Watching the Election

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If you have been abroad for over 15 years then it is a strong possibility that you cannot vote in the UK elections. If you live in countries where the local postal service is either dire or non-existent then it is practically impossible regardless. In China I would receive my Christmas cards sometime in March, about 50% would turn up and the rest just disappeared into the ether. This was nothing personal, the same delay and success rate was achieved across the country.

 

Just because you can't vote in an election does not mean that it becomes less interesting and it is possible to follow the debate with a slightly less biased opinion. This year the entertainment was exceptional, press bias, comments regarding letterboxes, ice sculptures and Facebook friends accusing each other of being stupid if they had an opposing view, then apologising as they had no-one to play with. A third of the country did not vote siting reasons of apathy, lack of knowledge and disillusionment. By the time the country went to the polls the result was already a foregone conclusion, this was reflected in poll trackers and betting odds in the run-up to the election. What caught me by complete surprise was that so many people (especially those on the losing sides) appears to be shocked by the result. There were shocks “ The Iconic Arty-Pole” increased the monster raving loony parties share of the vote to 2% in Louth & Horncastle only 6% short of the Liberal democratic party, clearly a target seat for the next time.

What caught me by complete surprise was that so many people (especially those on the losing sides) appears to be shocked by the result. There were shocks “ The Iconic Arty-Pole” increased the monster raving loony parties share of the vote to 2% in Louth & Horncastle only 6% short of the Liberal democratic party, clearly a target seat for the next time.

The day after the election my own social media page was flooded with comments that either the electorate were idiots or allowed their common scene to prevail, or were just personal attacks my favourite read something like

 

“If you voted Conservative at this election, this is the nature of what you personally chose. You chose it on my behalf, against my wishes, yet you dare to call yourself my friend.” wow !

A few days later it was the media’s bias, Brexit, leadership, some even went as far as to suggest it might have been policy. A study by Loughborough University concluded that every positive comment made by the press for the winners was complemented by three negative comments for the other parties, the majority aimed at the opposition. It seems that this is indisputable, however, another suggestion is that targeted social media deluded parts of the electorate as the views they read were biased to their preference and excluded alternative positions. Maybe both are correct across different age ranges, but clearly the stories either positive or negative are insufficient to motivate the third of the country that chooses not to vote. Do newspapers subconsciously bias our opinion or do we select them according to our preference, after all, they are businesses that rely on circulation in print or online?

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Next time I will probably be in a position to vote and I do hope that there are choices other than the extremes. If not maybe I should register in Louth & Horncastle and lend my support to “The Iconic Arty-Pole”