The local council elections happened a few weeks ago, where everyone has the opportunity to dress up in something blue or red…or perhaps even yellow or green, if you are feeling particularly brave.
It feels like a mini World Cup tournament, dressing in the colours of your chosen team, waving flags and supporting your chosen few, with people getting over excited and doing stupid things that they will soon regret.
But unlike a football competition, it is extremely dull and after only a few days, no-one actually remembers the final score line.
Looking back, it would appear that this time the red team came out winners. Using our football analogy, it really does feel like a match between two teams. Those living in Scotland will fully understand, only really having Celtic or Glasgow Rangers winning every major trophy since 1901. Or those who follow the Thames boat race!
So the blues of Conservative were given a resounding thumping by the reds of Labour. It was bound to happen eventually, when there are only two teams competing. The winning team over many years will finally get complacent, or just frustrate everyone they serve, before the other team finally gets a boost to take the glory.
It is about time that voting slips were given a third option. An option that effectively states ‘I don’t want to vote for any of these’.
The problem with current voting protocol is that rather than not turn up, unhappy voters are advised to vote for someone else, other than red or blue. Which ends up with a green or yellow party getting a few extra votes, but blue or red still winning the district.
If you really are unhappy with the two main options or using your vote on one of the minor alternatives, many people do not vote at all. But when the numbers are checked, a low turnout is just used to indicate that many voters have turned into couch potatoes who cannot be bothered to scrape their bodies down to the voting booth to place a pencil tick in a small box.
Either way, your protest does not really register anywhere and the red and blues go marching on totally oblivious as to how bad they really are – and that people only voted for those that were the ‘least bad option’.
Therefore, it is time that we offered voters a chance to show just how unhappy they are. If the third option won more votes than red or blue, then it may finally be the wake-up call that is needed. It would be a clear message that neither red or blue have voters confidence and it is time for some drastic changes.
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that we will ever get a third option on our voting forms, as it would take a change to be instigated by either the blue or the red team. Which is a bit like asking Oxford or Cambridge if they would like to add a ‘qualifying round’ to the boat race. Which leaves us paddling along in a boat that is unfit to race, as we watch the two teams disappear further down the river!