Conscientiously objecting

by | May 8, 2015

The last couple of weeks have seen the nation gripped by election fever. And this time we really did get ourselves worked up, with the highest number of people voting for 18 years; something stirred us up. And now the votes are in and so are the Conservatives for another term.

The whole political circus raises so many questions and not just about who has the upper hand, who will best for the country and who has the hottest wife. One of the overriding themes, much argued, is the concept of choice.

Now I admit to finding myself really torn. Whilst parts of each person’s election promises strike a chord with me, I can’t fully embrace any one candidate or party. This leaves me considering what other options I have. I could opt out of voting. A podcast I recently listened too had a statement that made me think: “If you don’t like the system and you vote you are endorsing the very system you have an objection to.” I’ve paraphrased here, but you get the gist, and whilst I’m left pondering if this idea has merit or not, it certainly gets me thinking.

There’s always the default of spoiling my ballot paper; an act of childish defiance if ever I saw one. It also leaves out my desire to be involved in the democratic process of my country, whilst acknowledging that I don’t support the people put forward to manage and deliver it.

What I’d like is an option on my ballot paper which allows me to positively and deliberately not choose a representative but still have my non-vote acknowledged.

I bet by now you’re thinking you’ve wandered into the wrong blog – you were expecting data and what you’ve got is a political commentary. But my desire to get my involvement recognised gets me thinking about how organisations record and act upon the wishes of their customers and supporters. Do you really do what they ask or, like not voting or spoiling your ballot paper, do you only provide an approximation of their wishes – the allusion of choice?

It is the idea that the government are providing choice, but only superficially, that is causing such disenchantment in the population. All the ‘dis-‘ words are involved: disengaged, disenfranchised, disillusioned, disadvantaged, disaffected…disappointed. The list goes on. When we adopt the same sort of frivolous and insignificant level of choice offered to our customers, are we doing the same? Is there any evidence to prove we are doing this? How difficult is it for us to provide actual choice?

Unlike the country’s political systems this is something we can control, providing a real sense of change and progress, with the support of an abundance of technology to help us achieve it. Why are we so resistant to the idea? We know how the political process has made us feel, yet we’re not making the connection between our sense of injustice and how we are treating those people loyal to our organisations.

I can feel another cuppa coming on, coupled with some robust and energetic discussion on what it means to provide real, tangible choice. If you want to join me, give a ring. I’d love to know what you think.

My thanks go to Scroobious Pip and his weekly Distraction Pieces podcast for inspiration.

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