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At the ballot box, we’re all equal for a moment – let’s vote to keep it that way

ballot boxTonight I came home to find my ballot paper waiting in the letter box. Tomorrow I will be able to cast my postal vote for my Labour candidate (me as it happens). In voting I will be joined by millions of others.

Stop and reflect a minute. Because my vote only has the same weight as yours and any other citizen. For once in all our lives no one person is any more powerful than any other.

For the rest of the time, our country is profoundly unfair and deeply unequal. The bankers who caused a crisis which damaged millions remain grossly overpaid. The Chief Executives of the largest companies are paid unimaginable sums whilst in truth, wealth is created by all who work. Some newspaper proprietors seek to shape the thoughts of millions in the commercial interests of themselves and the giant corporations they own.

For most of the time such people have the power to impose their will on the rest. But on Election Day they only have one vote. The same vote as you and I.

By contrast, there are millions of others who work hard or who would like to, who play by the rules and yet are screwed over by a system which is plainly not working for them. More than half the children in poverty, for example, live in households where at least one person is in work. Hundreds of thousands have had to resort to the food banks. And the waiting lists for the sick in our hospitals begin to extend once more.

I could go on. But in a nutshell, we live in a country disfigured by gross economic and social inequality.

But on this one occasion – election time – the wonder of true equality arises for a too fleeting moment. In the ballot box, no citizen’s vote has more clout than any other.

It is the task of socialists to offer to our fellow citizens the opportunity to utilise this radical egalitarian moment in order to bring about a more just, and more equal, economic and social order. Throughout our history, radicals and socialists from the time of the peasants’ revolt, Magna Carta, the diggers, the Levellers and the women’s suffragettes all fought to extend the franchise in order to tackle the goal of social justice.

Of course, one single vote, cast only once every five years, cannot change everything. But it can, and indeed should, make change possible.

Let’s not waste the moment when the ballot box offers the chance of real change.

Vote Labour.

2 Comments

  1. David Pavett says:

    It is the task of socialists to offer to our fellow citizens the opportunity to utilise this radical egalitarian moment in order to bring about a more just, and more equal, economic and social order.

    And just how are we doing that in May 2015?

    Extra crumbs from the table if the rich will be welcome in the belly of a hungry person but does nothing to change the power strucures that lead to hunger in the midst of plenty. No one in this election is challenging the social structures the guarantee the constant reproduction of inequality. So what is it that socialists are offering?

  2. John p Reid says:

    We are all equal in that we have a vote, apart from the homeless,not on the electoral register, foreigners, or Lords

    But our votes aren’t equal, there’s only about 160 constituencies that’ll influence a the election, the others will stay the same party they were from before,

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