| why it's okay to be confused by politics

Friday, 1 May 2015

Does anyone else feel utterly confused by politics? Election fever is becoming increasingly strong as only 6 days remain before the General Election on the 7th May in the UK. Suddenly, all conversation is peppered by "Who you going to vote for?" (none of their business anyway), and "Did you see question time/the leaders debate?". I will admit that I hardly give a thought to politics, and in an age where political parties have lost trust with large swathes of the population, it's not hard to understand why.

Many things confuse me about deciding who to vote for. This will be the first time that I have ever voted, and of course, I want my vote to count. However, I feel overwhelmed by watching all the debates on TV, overwhelmed by simple conversation among friends and family, which turn into heated and personal arguments, and overwhelmed by the seeming lack of choice. The leaders debate unravelled into a bitchy fight, with the majority of arguments bashing other parties over their own rather than stating what they were going to do. I have never enjoyed debating, despite being a humanities student and writing multitudes of essays having to assert my opinion. This is due to the fact that I do not feel swayed by any party, and having to debate/argue with friends who have their concrete choice in their mind makes it difficult to truly debate.

Having studied a politics module in first year, I learnt that democracy, in practice, is a compromise for all sections of society. This means accepting that all decisions will not resonate with all social groups, even if they do not benefit you specifically. I could only say I have been negatively affected by politics in a large scale through the rise of student fees, and of course this has had a negative impact. But democracy will never benefit all people, hopefully a majority, but not all. It only becomes an issue when democracy is benefiting a small proportion of people, a strong argument against the Conservatives. This is why, for example, UKIP's strong arguments in practice could not actually be implemented. Nigel Farage is populist - He simply states what his supporters want him to say, and we do not know how far he could really implement his promises.

I also learnt that all politicians are slick machines, they cannot give strong affirmations because they will be held liable in the future. A key example of this is Nick Clegg, who before the previous election argued that he would never allow a rise in student fees. When this happened, he was held ultimately responsible for letting it happen. That's why on live debates, you'll notice they never give straight answers, they dance around the questions in order to avoid problems in the future. However, the fact no politicians can give straight answers only confuses me more. If I cannot trust any words of the leaders, why on earth should I trust the party?

No one can tell you who you want to vote for, it's clearly your decision. I will never be truly happy with who I vote for in the end, but it's better than not voting at all. No single party has pulled me in, however I will need to decide which will help to improve my livelihood and others around me.

Do you feel confused by politics? Thanks for reading!

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1 comment

  1. That's a very interesting post!
    I'm Spanish and if you are aware of how our political system "works" (you know, corruption and cut packs in educaction and health care are not what i consider working...), you may understand how confused and angry I am with the whole election thing (we have two this year: one for major and president of Comunidad Autónoma in a couple of weeks, and the big one for President coming next November).
    And, not, i still don't know which party I'm voting. I know tha main things about politics but the only feeling I have is that I can't trust anyone, so I understand perfectly how you feel about false promises and so on.
    Democracy is a hard thing to get huh?


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