So this post isn’t about testing or management. It comes off the back of a few conversations with some late-teens about whether its worth bothering to vote. Now I’m old and grumpy and definitely not cool (in fact I’m pretty sure that “cool” is not cool these days). But there’s a snap general election happening in the UK, so if you’re going to spend a few minutes thinking about whether to vote or not, now is a good time – so I figure I’ll float some thoughts.
(Spoilers – I think that you voting is a good thing for you, but don’t do it because I say so, make your own mind up.)
As explained to me, there are two big reasons not to vote.
- None of the options are any good.
- My vote won’t make a difference anyway.
I’m actually going to poke at these in reverse order, because why not.
Lets look at kickstarter projects. Let’s say there’s a kickstarter project up for a new card game about exploding kittens. Your own personal pledge backing it is unlikely to make a difference as to whether it gets off the ground. But if you think it’s worth it, and your mates do, then likely their mates will and so on, and if you all pitch in, then suddenly, BOOM there’s actually a game there out of nowhere.
Or not. Maybe despite your best efforts, there just aren’t enough other people out there excited about kitten explosions to get to the funding needed, so nothing happens. The beauty of kickstarter is that you’ve lost nothing – well technically you’ve lost the time you spent signing up and the time you spent reading about kitten explosion techniques and the time it took you to make your pledge. But that’s it.
And interestingly, if a bunch of people show that they’re interested in card games that involve explosions, then people will think “that’s interesting – people like explosions in card games, and before too long there’ll be another one along.
Voting is pretty much like that. Politicians create their campaigns (or kick starter projects in the above analogy) to try and coax people to choose their project. And they do that by looking at which projects people funded in the past, and then trying to pitch a project that sounds like that.
So vote. If you get a groundswell of support – then you can make any campaign deliver. Even if none of the mainstream candidates looks useful or like they’ll make a difference – find a candidate or party that matches up with roughly what you’d like to see. Even if they don’t get in, the mainstream candidates will notice and try and find out what you’re interested in. And so next time round there’ll be better looking choices.
And if you don’t vote. Then those politicians setting up their campaigns next time, will be setting out all the juicy pledge bonuses for the people who do seem to care. Because whether or not they actually care about you, if you don’t vote, they don’t have to care about you, and they’ll be putting their efforts into someone else.
 In fact technically you not voting is good for me, unless you’re just like me and care about the same things I care about. Life would be much easier (for me) if no one except me voted.
Hopefully. I’ll be honest, I’ve been old enough to vote in 5 general elections, and while in general this seems to roughly happen, sometimes it does seem like everything is just an absolute shambles.