Sad About Many Things – But Not My Lib Dem Vote
However you look at it, it’s a pretty sad day for many people. I’m sad that despite the high profile nature of this election campaign voter turnout was only 65%. The 35% of people who chose not to vote could have brought around a very different result – and future – for the country. I’m also sad about the stories of people being turned away from polling stations. Whilst there’s no doubt some did turn up very late in the day, there are stories of people queuing for hours. To try and exercise your right to vote and be refused feels very wrong. I’m sad that 49% of people polled by You Gov said they would vote Lib Dem if there was a chance they would win but only 23% of people had the courage to push for the Lib Dems. I’m sad that people are already accusing Nick Clegg of betraying them by standing by his words that the party with most seats and most votes should seek to form a government. I rather feel Nick Clegg – and the Liberal Democrat party – feel very betrayed themselves by the support they received, which – sadly – turned out to be rather hollow in many cases.
I am, however, proud for many reasons. I’m proud to say that I voted Liberal Democrat and that I would do exactly the same tomorrow. I’m proud that Nick Clegg had the courage of his convictions and stood by his former comments in his speech this morning. I’m proud that they increased their share of the vote by 1%, even if they lost seats. I’m proud that there is a party whose policies I believe in and a party that is happy to take an honest stance on big issues such as immigration, remaining focussed on doing what’s right, rather than just what will win them votes.
This may not have been the election outcome any of us would have liked but I think those 65% of people who voted have done the right thing, turned out, placed their votes and shown that whilst our political system may be flawed, it is still all we have at the moment and must be used. Be proud if you voted with your heart, avoided suggestions of tactical voting and had the courage of your convictions. You’ve still done something incredible, even if it might not feel like that right now.