As we quickly approach the upcoming election I can’t help but think about a choice I had to make recently which started with a menu for a new Caribbean restaurant popped through my letterbox.
The menu, although nicely printed, was pretty standard. However as I read it and each and every choice seemed more mouth watering than the next I found myself unable to decide what I wanted.
Should I start with Salt Fish Fritters or Garlic and Chili Tiger Prawns? Should I go for Jerk Chicken or curried goat? and should I order a Guinness punch or a coconut water to wash it down with?
For about 10 minutes I found myself with a strange “choice paralysis”. Unable to decide purely because everything looked so good!
As we approach polling day I’m finding myself with a similar choice paralysis as I try to make my decision on who to vote for.
The only difference is that when it came to my food choice everything looked so tantalisingly good when it comes to who to vote for the choice isn’t bad but just a tad uninspiring and confusing!
You see I’m massively interested in politics and understand the potential impact of selecting one government or the other.
I believe the right to vote is a sacred one, A right in a democratic country we can sometimes take for granted and one I’d never waste by either not voting or spoiling my ballot.
I’ve tried to read and understand as much as I can about all the parties and what they stand for, tried to establish what leader I’d want to represent me not only nationally but also internationally and looked at the party manifestos.
However even after all this interest, understanding the importance of the democratic process and taking in as much as I can I’m still undecided!
I think my indecision is down to three main factors.
Firstly no party adequately represents everything I stand for. Someone who is economically conservative but firmly believes in certain ‘left wing’ principals when it comes to social fairness. Someone who’s grateful he’s living in a country which provides so many opportunities and is proud to be British but also understands we now not only part of local community but also a European and global community both economically and socially.
Secondly whilst there’s been plenty of talk in this election about business there’s been very little about smaller business. Cameron mainly talks a lot about ‘big business’ and loves to speak to the press with his sleeves rolled up with an industrial backdrop.
Milliband talks about ‘the workers’ and seems to sometimes ignore that workers need to be employed somewhere! The other parties, depend on which way they’re leaning, have their own perspectives.
However there seems to have been far less focus from any of the political parties on what I consider as the backbone of the economy. Smaller businesses and their teams who make up for a decent number of the population and hold their own economically.
I doubt we’re going to hear much about small business as we come into the final furlong of the election. I reckon that’s a shame. As a small business owner a few pledges which talk specifically about what the parties will do to support business and entrepreneurship might have swayed might vote one way or another.
Thirdly I reckon that the main reason I can’t decide is more fundamental than policies I believe in or support for my particular perspective.
It’s about trust.
Can I trust Cameron and Osborne to not cut, in the next five years, too far too fast and impact the poorest in society whilst protecting the super wealthy?
Can I trust Milliband and Balls not to swerve too far left and create longer term financial issues for the country?
Can I trust Clegg to fight for what he believes in and not concede his pledges at the first opportunity?
The answer is that currently, for all the bold rhetoric, I don’t feel I trust any of the main players to do the right thing in the next five years.
Also, it seems I’m not alone. The polls aren’t definitive, there are plenty who remain decided and it looks like there are plenty who won’t even vote!
I’d love to tell you to finish this article that I’d decided definitively. I’d love to tell you to wrap this up that I’d got to a stage where I’d achieved voting clarity.
I’d love to tell you that after some time viewing the political menu I’d made a choice.
But I haven’t. I’m still struggling!
Unlike my Caribbean restaurant experience where the choice paralysis only lasted a few minutes (I went for Salt Fish Fritters and Curried Goat in the end) my political choice paralysis has lasted weeks and still continues.
How about you?