The Ultimate Popularity Contest…

…contested by people who are extremely unpopular.

To become a politician and assume people are going to like you is being incredibly naive. It goes with the territory that you have to make unpopular decisions and do things people don’t like. But getting to that point is the hard part. Convincing the public you are the right person for the job and are going to represent the people to the best of your abilities. I remember in my first year of school voting for the class representative on the student council. It was a secret ballot and I wrote ‘abstain’ on mine. Maybe I was trying to get across the feeling that I was disenchanted with the system? More likely I had learnt the word earlier that week and throught I was being clever.

In recent years, however, there has been a push to stop voter apathy. Maybe many people no longer feel that their vote counts or matters. In which case they may not have seen one of these.

Last used in Darwen, this box has seen better days

Something you should recognise


These are the boxes you would put your votes in. The first is a metal one that was last used in the early 90’s in Darwen. The second is a more modern one, which you may have seen today. The older one has a lock and key whilst the new one is fitted with slots for plastic tags and tamper-proof stickers.

Many years after the student council debacle we had a vote during a group university project. The group was split on how to finish the project. We decided to have a blind vote and I learnt from my previous experience and cast a vote this time and even volunteered to count. The winning option won by one vote. Which goes to show my one vote did make a difference!


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