Extract

As I write this, we are a mere 12 days away from our general election and I still don’t know who I’m going to vote for.

I know, I know; it’s becoming a little wearying, my constant carping about the difficulty of choosing where to put my cross.

For a very short while, I thought that everyone in the country, except for the party-faithful stalwarts, had the same difficulty that I have.

I assumed that people were reading manifestos, studying lists, weighing up options, carefully examining the various parties and candidates and — excruciatingly — wringing their hands and shaking their heads as they worked through the quagmire. I was wrong. We’re going to have a very crowded, ballot paper, I said rather mournfully to an intimidatingly smart young African colleague. But, there’s absolutely nobody to vote for. This young black woman, who will have global influence in the PR and communications field in the years to come, looked confused. People will, she said, vote exactly as they have always voted. It’s what people do. It’s an intriguing thought. Disturbing too. Are people’s loyalties locked in from the very start of the process? If you voted for one party at the beginning of our democracy in 1994, is that how you will vote for life? Is there no room for change? What, then, is the purpose of democracy if we can’t change our minds and vote out people who are not fulfill...

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