I am a 29 year old mum of three and I have NEVER VOTED.  Am I ashamed of this fact? No. Am I proud of it? No.

I have happily lived in my little bubble of ignorance for all those years, so why am I bringing it up now? Well… as much as it pains me to word it like this, at my age… peer pressure!

Yes… I said it. Peer pressure is making me feel like I should at least consider voting. Yes, I appreciate that women in history gave up their lives so that modern women could vote, but I don’t think that necessarily means every woman should vote, for the sake of voting. I have always been a firm believer that you should only vote if you have a stable comprehension of what it is you are voting for. I learnt about people who “spoil” votes today and really can’t fathom out the point of that. Why bother voting if your vote doesn’t count?

The reason I don’t vote, is because I have no knowledge or understanding of politics. None whatsoever. Those of you who laughed at Nicole Scherzinger for thinking that Tony Blair is still Prime Minister… well I’m not far behind that in my knowledge of politics. It’s all jargon and may as well be written in Mandarin. I have no clue what the difference is between a chancellor, a commissioner, an MP or any of the people in power. I need an idiots guide to politics.

I read this article on left wing vs right wing, which was kindly tweeted to me by Nickie on Twitter, and from that I can just about decide which “wing” I’m on. I have tried Googling, but whatever page I land on, I either fall asleep, get so bored I have to re-read the page about ten times, or just quite simply can’t get my head round what’s what and who’s who. I have tried doing those quizzes which are supposed to tell you which party your beliefs align with… I had to guess on some of the questions, because again, I didn’t have a clue what half of it meant and the result brought up three different parties.

Before you launch into a “Oh my goodness, how thick is this woman?” type of thought process… I have a fairly high IQ, I had a good education. I have a degree, A-Levels and many other qualifications, so I’m honestly not as dumb as I probably come across. I’ve just quite simply never been told anything about politics, and until now, had absolutely no interest in it. I seriously think that politics should be taught in schools, because if it were, there would be a lot more young people voting and a lot less people like me, who don’t vote purely because we don’t understand it.

In fact, whilst on the subject of what should be taught in schools, I would like you to watch this video I found on YouTube by Boyinaband because it is absolutely legendary and every single word of it, echoes exactly what I think should be included in education. In fact the guy is a genius and I agree with nearly every video of his that I have watched so far. Can’t we just make Boyinaband the new Prime Minister because he seems pretty switched on to me?! If there’s a political party which aligns with his values… tell me who and I’ll vote.

For me, the priority is the NHS. I will never vote for a party which wants to scrap the NHS or reduce it’s funding, because without the NHS, I wouldn’t be alive today and my children would never have been born.

I’m not going to discuss the ins and outs of my other political beliefs, because everyone has such wildly different opinions on these and I don’t want to spark off any fights about immigration or crime or whatever else causes heavy debate. What I am going to say, is that thanks to Googling “politics for children” and finding this website, which explains all the terminology, I am of slightly more understanding than I was this morning (and off to read some more in a bit). However, I still cannot find a party which aligns completely with what I would want for our country. They all have policies I would back and policies I would protest against. Does that put me on the fence?

So what should I do? Go with the party which promises the one or two policies I most agree with and ignore the fact I disagree strongly with the others? Or do I continue to abstain from voting and leave it to the people who know what they are doing?

The only thing I was told about politics when I was younger was:
* All politicians lie *

So really, does it even matter who I vote for?

I’m not going to do eeny-meeny-miny-mo in a ballot box.

I’m not going to spoil a vote and waste peoples time.

I will either vote, based on what very little knowledge and opinion I have on politics.
or
I will continue to be the mum who gets shunned by her peers for never voting.

What do you think I should do? Do you fully understand politics? Do you understand who you are voting for and why? Please drop me a comment, but refrain from mentioning which party you are voting for, because I don’t want to feed the trolls!

  1. MummyandStrife says:

    Thank you for being so honest and publishing this post. I know just how you feel. The first time I voted was the last election and pretty much followed what my husband did. This time I want to vote for who I feel should lead our country but the whole thing overwhelms me and, like you, I don’t agree with any of them. I watched the debate so I could compare them against each other but they only show a few of the parties and why would I vote snp or the Welsh one when I live in England? They all have ‘promises’that sound promising to me but I don’t trust any of them and they all have said answers I don’t like. I have no idea who the parties are or who the mps are for my area or what they are promising. Some say vote tactfully if there is a party you definitely don’t want and there is one I don’t want but I won’t feel happy with my vote if any of the other mps get in.
    The reason I want to vote is that people say you can’t complain about the government if you didn’t use your vote and I get that but I’m genuinely starting to get stressed out about who is the right party to vote for.
    MummyandStrife recently posted..Drayton Manor Park & Thomas LandMy Profile

  2. justine meyer says:

    Well, I can beat you! I am 46 years old and have necer once voted and for all of the reasons stated in your post. I have not the slightest interest in politics or understand it either, much to the disgust of plenty of family and friends! I am happy in my “bubble” as well, as long as I am alive and am happy and my kids are happy and not being deprived of anything then I will continue to abstain. When and if I feel that my vote might be counted I will then vote but I very much doubt it. Also like you I am not “thick” have numerous qualifications and have had a good upbringing too. Just stick to what you want to do. x

  3. ClearlyBex says:

    Emma, I seriously could have written this post. I am really there with you. I have NO idea about politics, all I THINK I currently know is that two men are running our country at the moment and they spent most of the last debate shouting at each other… that really filled me with hope the last few years we just lived being run by these two. I know nothing on what each party is offering/promising or filling out heads with because nothing they say will be met, never is! I had our local MP knock at my door the other day talking to me about voting and I told him everything I said above. I dont feel bad about telling him that and he wasn’t upset by what I said either, I just DONT GET IT!

    Rant over!

  4. Sarah MumofThree World says:

    I’ve always voted – I think my dad would have killed me if I didn’t! My husband doesn’t always vote. My view is if a person doesn’t vote, they don’t have a say. If someone doesn’t agree with what the government say or do, they had a part in putting them there if they didn’t vote – by not voting against them, they got in because people voted for them and maybe everyone who disagreed with them didn’t bother voting.
    I worked in a political environment for 15 years, so I understand politics fairly well, but I don’t know the ins and outs of all the parties and everything they stand for. To be honest, the three main parties (and I am most definitely not counting UKIP!) are really not all that different from each other. I know which ‘wing’ I’m on too, but am not always exactly sure which colour of the wing I am.
    I won’t tell you that you must vote – that’s your decision!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted..To MRI or not to MRI?My Profile

  5. Joanne Brady says:

    I wanted to hate this post Emma but I didn’t. I think you stated your reasons for not voting and I fully agree with you. I vote because I know it will count. It won’t change anything in my constituency, which is strongly blue, and even if it did, I wouldn’t get a say in how things are done. I love the Lib Dems and the Green party, but like you say, I don’t agree with all their policies, and finding a perfect party is impossible. It doesn’t stop me voting for the one that fulfils most of the things I believe in. I don’t think you should vote because people died to make it happen because they fought to give women the right to vote. Men don’t have to vote if they don’t want to, so neither should women. Don’t bow to peer pressure, but if enough people like you voted for the party they most believed in, even if they’re not seen as having much of a chance, then they just might get in and we might be able to change it. You want my opinion? Go and vote. Vote green. Show them your support for wanting to do something different, and to be different. They probably won’t get in, but you never know. You just keep being you, my love. Not everyone is going to agree with you, but then not everyone agrees with me, and I don’t really care. We have a right to choose to vote. You should, but you don’t have to.
    Joanne Brady recently posted..Skidby Mill, Skidby, East YorkshireMy Profile

  6. Pinkoddy says:

    Spoiling the paper does count (and they are counted) as it gives the message that you are not happy and things need to change. It gives the parties something to aim for as they know you are a voter to win their vote.

    I can’t believe you did A-level and not taught about it all but then my 11 yr old has been taught a lot more than my 18 yr old at school.

    It is also about stopping a party getting seats that you really don’t want letting in.
    Pinkoddy recently posted..Poor SATs Results ResitsMy Profile

  7. jo says:

    Vote-wise, I was brought up in a Lib Dem household, where my dad got so fed up with each party depending on various policies he ended up voting for the Monster Raving Loony Party at one point!

    I wouldn’t say I’m the most experienced in politics, but then the things which matter to me, that’s what I look at. So where you say you wouldn’t vote for someone who would get rid of the NHS, look at the other parties and see if there are other policies that you agree with. Send them all emails asking their policies if you want to know more – I’ve emailed our Tories, Lib Dem and Labour candidates to ask what they think about housing (and it has made an interesting set of replies). I don’t know who I’m voting for yet, but I know who I’m not voting for – it gets easier when you can narrow it down a bit more!

    Good luck with whatever you do anyway.
    jo recently posted..What Does Family Mean To Me?My Profile

  8. (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

    Thanks for pointing me this way I’m sorry I missed this when it was first published! Such an honest piece and although I am the complete opposite and have voted in every single election since turning 18 I found this really interesting to read. The fact is that politics affects so much of our everyday life and I think it’s up to us to educate ourselves. I love that you’ve decided to find out more. Even though you might not have gone about it in a conventional way I don’t think that matters one bit. I do think that it matters that you vote though. Just don’t ask me who for! Ha!
    (Mostly) Yummy Mummy recently posted..The one where I don’t know who to vote forMy Profile

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