Vote early, vote often

That used to be the mantra in Northern Irish elections where the main parties were adept at getting the vote out.  That meant that the dead would vote with democratic zeal – and it was wise for the ordinary punter to get out and vote early before somebody else took your vote.  The voting process was interesting too – polling stations heavily guarded and heavily manned by representatives of the political parties.  ‘Use your vote well, dear’ Isobel on her crutch would say to me as I entered the polling station.  She knew perfectly well that, in her terms, I would do no such thing.  Indeed in all my long voting history I have never voted for the winning candidate in any election.

So it was strange to wander into the Village Hall in Burrelton – no security and no harassment from the political parties – and cast a vote on issues about which I feel peculiarly unpassionate.  One of those [increasingly rare] moments when I feel like a stranger in a strange land.

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