Wednesday, 15 September 2010

My right to vote

I am not particularly political. It comes from growing up in a country where politics was something you stayed away from, at least in my social environment. The so called elections (when you could choose from one candidate) were in my childhood connected with almond cakes. Our voting place was arranged in the hall of the famous cafe National, across the road from Red Square. On the election day, I would first accompany Granny, then Granddad, while my parents were late risers so I went again with them. Each time I would get an almond cake. I was also allowed to put the ballots into the box. Nobody looked at them anyway. The outcome of the election was always 99,99% for the only available party. What the 0,01% voted for I don't know.

During my early time in Sweden I was only entitled to vote in local elections, and I proudly did. When I think back I realise that Staffan actually never asked me which party I voted for, so I could have voted for anything. I also wonder whether I would have voted differently if he had different political views. Whether it would have mattered if we had different political views. I guess I didn't have any political views to begin with so I just adopted his. But during all these years I got more and more confident in that I was voting for something I believed in. Something I still believe in.

This time will be the first time I do not use my right to vote. Neither does Staffan. It is not because we are expats - we have received all the required papers. We could have voted by post, and we haven't. We can still go to London on Sunday and vote at the embassy, but I don't think we will. We cannot vote for any other party than the one whose beliefs we share. But we cannot vote for a party leader whom we do not trust. We do not want her to become the Prime Minister of Sweden.

This is the first time I am really engaged in the election campaign. Pity that I am not going to vote. 

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