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Today’s Secret Blogger is talking about the subject that is everywhere at the moment- the general election.
The Secret Blogger writes:
It happens once every 5 years – the general election.
Coincidentally (or not), it’s once in every 5 years that I find myself spontaneously lying to my friends, colleagues and family members about who I’m voting for.
There are a couple of reasons as to why this is, mainly centred around other people’s nosiness coupled with my belligerence in the face of this. We are fortunate enough to live in a democracy and this is a good thing (must remind myself of this next time I’m reading someone’s political twitter-trolling). Also, politics coupled with the current issues around the economy, health, employment and deprivation mean that we’re even more likely to feel very strongly and passionately about this general election.
However, some people are irritatingly and excessively loud and overbearing about their opinions, keen to impress on us why they’re right and I’m not. This can either be in person or via social media, with use of well-placed shared articles and retweets.
And I just can’t be bothered with it. I’d rather stick my head in the freezer for an hour than have a row about who I want to vote for.
I know who I’m voting for, I have read, watched and listened to appropriate materials as I see fit to inform myself, I’ve considered my family situation and wider issues both local and national and I’ve made my decision.
I always find it slightly rude (maybe I’m too British!) when someone asks me “who are you voting for?” as I think it’s personal and I hate being put on the spot. Invariably, a person who is brazen enough to ask will also have their own (loud) opinion on the matter, so I already know who they’re voting for.
So I pretend I’m voting for the same as them, to avoid conflict. Is this weak, cowardly? I’ve wondered this myself recently and came to the conclusion that I’m just saving myself the hassle of wasting energy on an argument when there’s no chance I’ll ever change that person’s mind anyway. I could of course just say “I’d rather not say” or even “it’s none of your business”, but this brand of human being is not to be put off by such honesty – cue a selection of comebacks ranging from “oh you must be UKIP then” to the even more enraging “why not? Scared of holding your own in an argument?”
The pretence works much better and has the desired effect of shutting them up. They vote conservative? Well good old Cammy is brilliant isn’t he, a real leader and he’s abolishing the inheritance tax. Wow. Labour? Let me tell you, I think Ed Miliband is a breath of fresh air in the face of those Tory private school toffs, always trying to get over on us hard working people. Oh, the Greens! That lady, Natalie, is such a good speaker! Did you see her in the leaders’ debates? She by FAR came off the best.
Of course this method doesn’t work at all if you’re in a room with two opposing friends in the first instance who are already arguing with each other, forcing you to try and take sides. In that instance, I would pull the “oh, I’m going to stay out of this and let you two get on with it” methodology. Similarly, if you tell one friend you’re voting labour and they blurt it out to another who you’ve already told you’re voting conservative, you’re STUFFED.
Despite this lack of foolproof-ness, neither of these instances has occurred to date – my method is working very well as a pretty decent ‘general election conflict avoidance and voting privacy technique’.
And all in the knowledge that I know full well which box I’ll be ticking on May 7th 2015…