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Will you vote?

To vote or not to vote, that is the vote

Published on April 6th 2010.

Will you vote?

It's that time again.

Now that the General Election has been called for Thursday 6 May, Manchester residents have only until 5pm on Tuesday 20 April, to ensure they are on the electoral register. Local Elections are also taking place on May 6, but you will not be able to vote in either election unless you're on the electoral register.

That is of course if you want to vote.

Perhaps you're one of the 38.6 per cent of people who didn't vote in the last general election. You might be so disillusioned with all of our political parties that you refuse to support any of them. Abstinence from voting in this situation can be seen as a protest vote – it's a refusal to back a party that doesn't speak for you or address your concerns. A no-vote may be an invisible vote but at least you know you haven't compromised your beliefs, right?

Or maybe, you're one of those uninterested types who readily admits that they know naff-all about politics. You don't know the issues, you don't know the manifestos, so why contribute your uninformed opinion to the argument? In a way, you're doing everyone a favour by not saying something silly in the middle of a hugely important discussion.

Or perhaps you're just disorganised. You forgot to register. You registered but you're on holiday and haven't arranged a postal vote. You registered, you're in the country, but when it came to it, you'd rather go home and have your dinner than make that trek to the polling station after work. You know who you are.

Sir Howard Bernstein, (Acting) Returning Officer for Manchester, begs to differ to the no-vote approach. After all, it's your city, your job, your country, your taxes.

He said: “Elections are a vital opportunity to influence important decisions on issues which affect their everyday lives. We don’t want anybody to lose their democratic voice.”

Voting ensures that your opinion is taken into account when it comes to health care, roads, jobs, taxes, food, leisure, environment and more. We're quick to exercise our right to vote the winner of X Factor so why not for some of the more vital issues in our lives? Voting is one of the fundamental processes in the development of a healthy democracy and we're lucky that we're able to have our say.

Ignorance is no excuse either. If you don't know who to vote for, do some research.

No matter how insignificant you feel your vote is, think of the power of the collective. Better still, think of people around the world who are silenced by tyrannical dictatorships. They would if they could, but they can't. You can.

To register, please visit www.manchester.gov.uk or email esu@manchester.gov.uk

Anyone who is on the electoral register can also apply for a postal vote. The deadline by which to make a request is also 5pm on 20 April. Will you be voting this year?

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7 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

TichApril 6th 2010.

Which vile cynical horrible swine - 27% so far on here - won't be voting.

BoultonApril 6th 2010.

Cowards don't vote. And idiots. And those with no feeling for other places in the world which have no representation. They are cop-outs, spineless and clearly don't give a damn for anyone but themselves.

Paul MastersApril 6th 2010.

If you dont vote you have no right to moan about the way the country is run

Smyth HarperApril 7th 2010.

I didn't vote a few years back as a protest about something or other (can't remember now - I live in Labour's safest seat in Manchester so it doesn't really make much difference anyway), but I made the effort to get my backside down to the polling station and spoil my ballot. If you don't want to vote, but just can't be bothered, then Paul's bob on.
<br><br>On the other hand, when there were referendums on the Good Friday Agreement in Ireland, I voted twice (quite legally) - once in the north and once in the republic!

RumpelstiltskinApril 14th 2010.

The biggest wind up for me personally and I have seen this first hand, is of all of my friends, the ones that didn't bother voting are the ones with the biggest opinions. As far as I'm concerned, if you don't vote, you're not entitled to it so shut up.

Stephanie11313April 16th 2010.

I'm with you Smitty - if you can't bring yourself to vote for any of them, spoil your ballot paper. Women in particular must vote. A lot of women went through hell to get us the vote - led by women from this are - and we shouldn't let them down. I live in Salford and the turn out for my constituency at the last General Election was around 34% - and look what we ended up with? The ginger smirker herself.

Lorraine MitchellMay 6th 2010.

i agree if you don't vote don't moan

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