While politicos and pundits throw around statistics and debate policy, a great number of people are feeling right now the way I feel on match days – bored.
Every election I find myself trying to convince people I know to go out and vote, and every time I hear this argument: they’re all the same, none of them represent me.
At this point, some would try and push their party of choice, while others might try and give an unbiased account of each side. My problem is, I kind of get the argument.
In 2010, those who weren’t voting Labour or Conservative had a moderate third option in the Liberal Democrats and their centre-left manifesto.
But five years later, any Liberal manifesto is a risky proposition. Enacting higher tuition fees, party brass made clear that pre-election pledges count for nothing until Clegg gets a majority – a notion so far-fetched that the Dems can promise whatever they want.
Nor have teams red and blue become more attractive in the meantime. National debt, soaring under Labour, reached giddy new heights under the Coalition and though the economy is growing, so is wealth inequality, foodbank use and insecure employment.
Small parties offer one alternative, but each has its electoral baggage – from bigots to hippies – and you can only do so much to separate the two.
In any case, all options would require me to settle. Where I agree with a party on one thing, it’s negated by disagreement elsewhere. Besides, my vote makes precisely no difference in my staunchly Tory constituency.
If all this seems to be building to some puerile argument for refusing to take part altogether, rest assured it’s not, I’m simply saying we should vote for Batman.
A self-starter, the aforementioned Bruce Wayne recovered from personal tragedy and built a business empire, he recognises the value of investing in technology and takes a hardline on crime. He’s community minded.
I mean, I only saw the films, but that’s what I got from it.
Granted, he’s a fictional character – one that’s ominously quiet about the deficit and foreign policy – yet if I’m wasting my vote anyway, why not make a point of it?
With any other approach, it’s an all-or-nothing game. Don’t vote and you appear not to care, however principled your abstention. Vote for a party and you may as well support it heart and soul.
In my university days, there was a way to take part in student democracy without voting for the self-important twerps who’d plastered their faces on every building.
His name was RON, meaning re-open nominations, and every year he ran for every position. He never won, but I liked his resilience and, like Batman, he had a use.
Those in power don’t concern themselves with non-voters. It’s no coincidence that so much policy is geared towards older people, who hit the polling booths in big numbers, while so little is aimed at young people, who don’t.
Snub the polls and they’ll govern like you aren’t watching, snub the parties and they’ll know that you are.
By voting for Batman – or more accurately, by scrawling the bat logo over the whole paper – you say: “Yes, I’ll vote, but not for any of this lot.”