Saturday, 7 May 2016

Hold elections on Facebook

Here I am, looking at the local council election results and I see that all of the seats have been won with votes in the hundreds, not thousands by the same old party, with a mix of the old faces and some new ones. It matters not who they are, they are all from the same political party. I am not going to say the name of the party as I don't want this blog to appear politically biased, that is not the intent.

Yet there are so many issues locally that need addressing. Where are the independent candidates, the ones not aligned to a political party, the ones who will stand up and say "Yes, I'm pissed off about Bicester Village, yes I'm pissed off about all the traffic, yes I'm pissed off about the new warehouses!"

I think you already know the answer - they are all on Facebook complaining about it!

Then I see voter turnout in the Bicester North and Caversfield ward is 27%. And I think, really? Is this how things are now? Do we sit here on our phones, ranting and complaining and then leave the status quo to it? Seriously, most of the candidates elected at this election got in with around 800 votes, and these largely I believe down to those that did vote supporting their party rather than any particular allegiance to an individual and their views. (The 3 candidates voted in, all from the same party got 804, 797 and 790).

How hard would it be for a passionate advocate of the town and all of the issues that affect us all to gather 800+ votes as an independent candidate and actually represent what WE (us humble residents of Bicester) want? There's enough Facebook groups about Bicester with hundreds and thousands of members to make a difference.

Therein lies the crux of the problem. We are all happy to go on to Facebook and have a rant and express our views. It's easy, and it is how we all live our lives these days. Going off to some polling booth somewhere or talking to a candidate or reading their leaflet isn't. That is old hat and "so last century". If I was standing as a political candidate I certainly wouldn't waste my time going round knocking on doors annoying people while they were having their tea. I would do it all on Facebook.

So here's another thought - what if the voting was done via Facebook? Let's not make any bones about this, it is the currency/ opium of the masses. We could all have a mass debate with each other and then at the end cast our vote. I reckon we'd see 70%+ turnout, easily. They've managed to organise postal votes, so why not social media?

Those that aren't on social media could do it the old fashioned way.

I know what you're thinking, never gonna happen, The world of politics and government websites lag a long way behind the commercial and social world when it comes to the internet. But I think eventually something like this will happen. Imagine the hi-tech world of 50 years time - will we really all (27% of us that is) still be trooping down to the polling booth?

In the meantime, here's to another 4 years of more of the same and look forward to seeing you on Facebook for a good old rant and to put the world to rights some time soon!