Opinion: You have the power to create and topple governments, don’t waste it, says Matt Gaw

Voting is the foundation of political engagement

Voting is the foundation of political engagement - Credit: Archant

If you really care about democracy, it’s time to make your voice heard

When you go down to the ballot box today, you will have real power in your hands.

It is the power to create and topple Governments, the power to bring about meaningful changes in the institutions that impact on our every waking moment – our health service, our education and crucial aspects of home and foreign policy.

There have been times over the last year where voting has been portrayed as pointless, an engagement with a non representational system that will bring the same parties to power again and again.

But to reject voting is not a radical act; it is a reactionary position that suits an element of our society that does not want to see change. Because change, political or otherwise, rarely comes about from the generosity of those entrenched within the establishment, those who benefit most from the status quo.

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No, it comes from tireless fighting and questioning and voting from those who are below.

Politics in this country is changing and it looks increasingly likely that the next Government will be another coalition rather than a single party with a majority.

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It is truly possible that your voice could help shape the balance of power for the next four years.

And remember, whatever happens after the dust settles, this vote is just the foundation of our political lives – an act of engagement that should be complemented with grass-roots action, community projects and local campaigns on issues we value.

So please, if you really care about democracy, make your voice heard.

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