I am a big fan of Frank Skinner. He has made me laugh more than most other comedians over the years but in recent times he seems to have taken it upon himself to comment about politics. To give him his due, he was quite impressive on Question Time a few weeks ago but his column in The Times last week was in my opinion misguided.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
He called for anyone who is not fully versed in the political issues to not vote by launching a campaign called “If you don't know - don't vote”. I completely disagree with this. Mr Skinner is arguing that most people do not really follow politics and the issues and arguments closely enough to warrant a vote at all.
My view has always been that it is my duty to vote in every single election, national, local, European etc. I was brought up like this and cannot understand the sort of mentality that Frank espouses here. I thought like this long before I ever got directly involved in politics and have always made it my business to understand all the issues before every election.
I appear to be atypical in this respect but is it really such a hardship once every year or two for someone to sit down for an hour or so and read through the party literature and perhaps a few newspaper column comments (preferably across the range of papers) in order to come to a conclusion about who to vote for? Our forefathers and mothers fought and in some cases died for our right to a democratic society, the least we can do is exercise that right by going down to a polling booth and making our choice.
After all, if you don't vote for anybody, you don't really have any right to compain about the result afterwards. Perhaps I could start another campaign along these lines...