Should voting be a private affair?

The word VOTE spelled out on clothespin clipped cards in front of glowing lights.

Today is election day and there is a certain buzz in the air.

Social media is hyped up, people are putting crosses in boxes all day and there is very little you can do to escape it.

Talking to friends over the last few months about the up coming election, it appears that there are two very different camps when it comes to talking about politics.

Those who do

and

Those who don’t.

Forget for a minute the individual parties or people or any of the other factors in this election.  What has interested me  lately is that whilst some people are very, very vocal about their political beliefs, others seem to shy away from the conversation all together and others are outright offended by political discussion at all.

In a group chat this morning, one of my friends asked me who I had voted for and was quickly reprimanded by another.

“How rude…. lol That’s something you don’t ask……..I was always told when I was younger that a votes are a personal thing”

The first friend was a little taken aback by this….

“Fanny waxing are personal things yet we openly discuss that. Sooooo we can discuss who we vote for surely!”

She has a point.  Within this group we have talked about everything.

From intimate waxing, pooping and everything in between, we have openly and sometime, quite deeply and grotesquely discussed everything without causing offense or censoring our opinions in any way.

But on this occasion, I held back.  I always do when it comes to politics and religion for that matter.  Someone once said to me ‘If you want to keep certain people in your life, never discuss politics, religion or money’, and it is advice I have followed  and a big reason that I still have people in my life.

It is easy to offend someone when you differ on opinion regarding deep rooted belief systems that they have and whether you like it or not, you tend to see people differently when you  find out that you don’t think the same on certain issues.

I politely opted out of telling anyone about my voting choices today.  For me, it has always been something that you kept close to your chest.  Let your ballot paper do the talking so to speak.

But if no one ever talked about politics, would it make a difference?

And if you found out say, that your husband or your sister voted different to you would it change you relationship or the way you saw them?

Me and my sister have very different political beliefs, but we also have very different lives.  She has a young family, is married and works for the education system.  I’m classed as single, have no kids or plans to in the future and am privately employed so we were never going to be voting for the same parties.  We long ago decided that talking about politics was not good for us after many discussions ended up in us falling out.

This morning though, I had to call her to make sure that I had voted right.  Not for the right party but had put the right tick in the right box on the right form.  The process itself had confused me and I needed to make sure I had cast my vote correctly.

She laughed at me, then explained the process clearly and then told me she was proud of me for voting.  And it was lovely. And I didn’t tell her who I voted for.

Because ultimately, you don’t have to tell anyone.  It can be a very personal thing and there can feel like there is a lot of pressure on you to talk about it and be ‘proud’ of your political choices.  But like everything in life, sometimes the really big things are better off not shared.

The only thing you need to tell about your political choice is the voting slip and the ballot box.

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4 thoughts on “Should voting be a private affair?

  1. I don’t always see eye-to-eye with the rest of my family on political issues, and that’s okay! I’m with you, though, in that I don’t feel the need to share my thoughts with everyone. People who are close to me probably already know where I fall on the major issues, so there’s no need to rehash those (especially where we know we’ll disagree!). If people want to talk politics, go for it, but they shouldn’t be taken aback with they get in an argument! 🙂

  2. I agree – you shouldn’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want to, but it also does seem quite random which things are considered ‘too personal’!

  3. I’m with you, I think we have to be careful when discussing politics, religion, money and also race. Those topics tend to get people fired up so I tread any discussions about the matter lightly. I’m vocal when necessary, of course, but I share only when I’m comfortable with doing so. It’s definitely a choice, and to each his own!

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