Why vote when you can have a good complain

Doncaster Local Election 2012 count / results at The Dome. Sacks waiting to be unopened
Doncaster Local Election 2012 count / results at The Dome. Sacks waiting to be unopened

The council elections are over and the people have spoken.

Well about three men/women and a dog have.

The Labour Party has made gains and Doncaster has voted to keep the mayoral system.

But what about the two thirds of voters who decided to stay away from the ballot box altogether?

In Mexborough the turnout was around 25 per cent and in Conisbrough 27 per cent.

Why are people deserting the election process in droves?

In some Dearne and Don wards it is a foregone conclusion who will win, in others not so.

Yet we still had a turnout of around 30 per cent.

Some simply say voting is a waste of time.

The charge is that politicians are all the same.

Perhaps it’s because no matter who is elected locally they will all have to enact the austerity cuts which have been made nationally.

Nobody can actually offer a pleasant alternative whatever their political hue.

But I reckon most people who don’t vote don’t want to change the world and they aren’t looking for a new England or another girl, - they just can’t be bothered.

You can bet your bottom dollar that those who don’t vote through apathy will then spend the next five years moaning.

They will complain that their library has been axed, their dole has been reduced or their health centre has been converted into flats.

A hundred years ago there were mass protests to give the vote to every citizen over the age of 18.

Before that Chartists were charged by troops and transported off to Australia.

Suffragettes chained themselves to fences and threw themselves in front of racehorses to win the vote for women.

What would those trailblazers for democracy think of their disinterested descendents nowadays?

Or perhaps they too would become distracted by watching Jeremy Kyle.

Do people have to get dressed as monkeys or penguins to get people to vote for them?

It would help though if all voters had actually been sent their voting cards.

As we are discovering in Mexborough and other parts of the Doncaster Borough this isn’t the case.

The council say they have 220,000 to deliver and “some slip through the net sometimes”

But as I write this nobody knows how many of them disappeared into a big black hole.

We hear they were all printed and scanned but failed to materialise in the letter boxes.

It is too early to start pointing the finger of blame. And you don’t actually need a poll card to vote.

But not everybody knows the rules and so some people were effectively disenfranchised.