Tele Column – 13th May 2016

I always think it’s nice when people ask for and respect your opinion. Maybe that’s why I find it infuriating that when folk have the opportunity to declare their support for a political candidate, to express their views, so many people don’t vote. Don’t get me wrong, I was delighted at the result of the Scottish Parliamentary elections. At the national level because we have an SNP Government and locally because we have a dedicated SNP MSP in Stuart McMillan but it frustrates me that 39% of the electorate still don’t feel engaged enough to turn out and vote.

We now have six weeks before the EU referendum and the turnout will be even lower. With a large percentage of the vote in England set to vote ‘leave’ it is even more important that those of us who wish to remain in the European Union get out and vote ‘remain’. The consequence of Scotland being ripped out of the EU despite the will of the Scottish electorate to remain would be interesting to say the least. But I wouldn’t go as far as the Prime Minister in saying leaving the EU could lead to a world war. The only wars I see are the internal battles within the Conservative and Labour parties.

Interestingly unlike the Scottish Independence referendum the mainstream media is on my side. I am not used to that. I have noticed, particularly at Westminster, that some politicians that benefited from mainstream bias previously are now irate at the BBC coverage.

So I appeal to you. It’s your democratic right to vote. That right has been fought for and protected, please don’t take it lightly. We all benefit from a motivated population that is prepared to engage in the decision making process. Politicians need to hear the voice of the electorate, don’t leave it up to someone else. Your vote always matters.

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