I voted. Now what?

This was my first election voting as a UK citizen. Having made the recent commitment to the naturalisation process and having plugged into life here in so many ways over the past decade, I exercised my democratic right, feeling deeply invested in the future of this country.

So much has changed for me (let alone for the nation) since the election before this one. This time I voted as a parent, concerned about the generation my children will grow up with.

And like so many, following the results, the past few days have been characterised by a sense of despair. I won’t vilify those who voted differently to me and I don’t believe any of the likely alternative outcomes would have been a magic cure.

But I live close enough to many who stand to be devastatingly affected by the policies promised to be unable to feel anything but anxious. Sick to my stomach, actually.

I wonder how many of us will let our vote be our one act of political activism before we trail off into depressive helplessness. I worry that many of us will not remain sufficiently politicised.

Even as I turn my eyes to the next steps (writing my local MP, joining a party, campaigning for change), I worry this about myself.

I feel more motivated than ever to look for opportunities to serve my local community, to put my money, time and effort where my mouth is.

Apart from anything else, raising children who see that loving others is what we do with the resources we’re fortunate enough to have, is an investment in itself.


4 Comments

  1. May 12, 2015 / 10:37 am

    It’s all rather depressing isn’t it and I too worry for the future. It was interesting to see how many people felt so dispirited they wanted to leave the country and live elsewhere. This election has eroded our national pride. I think increased activism, standing up to be counted, volunteering and increased pressure on our MPs are the only things we can do.

  2. May 16, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    What a great end to your post! It really is about what we do now, how we treat each other and show our children how to love and support others. For all the fear I have of the coming 5 years (the last 5 were hard enough!) I feel encouraged by the thought of how many people are questioning what they can do to help.

    We don’t have much, but the one thing we are trying to teach our son is that we are still lucky to have each other, a roof over our head and food on our table. Having faced redundancy earlier this year (and come through unemployment reasonably quickly) and having a disabled husband who struggles to work without getting really sick, we know how easy it is to fall through the cracks. That’s why we buy things for the Food Bank, even on our tight budget, because we know how much we would appreciate that food (and how we would have gone without if it weren’t for family support in the past). It’s also why we focus on caring about others, as much as we possibly can, because we want our son to know that it is by living alongside others, with their interests at heart as much as our own, that we all have a better life.

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this! (Popping over from the BritMums Politics Round-up)
    Amanda recently posted..Together We Can Achieve Great Things (Thoughts on International Hyperemesis Awareness Day)

  3. May 17, 2015 / 11:11 pm

    So glad to hear you had the chance to vote. Have dual nationality I always exercise my right to vote as it really is such a privilege and it’s always disappointing to see such a large percentage don’t

    Laura x
    Laura recently posted..Lazy Sunday morning

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