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At the age of ten life seems simple, it's all about running jumping and climbing trees. By eighteen you have discovered the opposite sex, alcohol and nightclubs. By twenty five you are your own person, confident and full of life. Suddenly you hit thirty. You find yourself questioning your choices from the years that have past, feeling slightly left on the shelf, wondering where your life is heading, juggling family and friends and faced with ever aging parents. You are not alone, welcome to 30 years and countinga sideways look at life in your thirties.

My vote counts but what for?

So today in the UK we go to the polls as we get to vote on local elections and on whether we should adopt the alternative voting system. I always vote in the big national elections but rarely in the local ones. This year however I thought I would make the effort. Maybe it is because I am unemployed and so I have more time on my hands than usual to take a good look around the area where I live or maybe it is just because I am getting older and have more of an opinion about my surroundings. Either way I figured that before I headed off to put my tick in the box I would look to see what my local parties had in mind for the next few years. A task that proved easier said then done.

You would think in these time of the Internet and other digital media that finding out who your local nominations are in an election and what they stand for would be easy. Well so did I. I figured that a few hours researching on the web would turn up all the information I would need to find out what their policies were. Sadly not it would seem.

My first port of call was naturally my local council’s website where I expected to find the bulk of my answers. Instead I found lots of information about the new plans for rubbish collection and a nice article about a local dog show but very little about the local elections. After some searching I did turn up a few PDF documents which told me when and where I could vote but even that was a struggle. Right then, off to Google I go.

Turning to my search engine of choice I typed in search terms which you would expect to find information for such as “(my local town name) local elections 2011” which seemed like a no brainer to me. Nope! I found lots of opinion pieces (which I am now adding to with this post) and some information about previous elections but still very little about this one.

Fine. It looks like I will have to look up the major party’s websites and find my local nominations that way. Yeah, maybe not. Each party’s site was just full of national information and arguments for and against the new voting system. By now after an hour of searching I was truly pissed off and fed up with the whole thing.

I am a pretty intelligent technology savvy kind of guy and if after an hour of detailed searching I couldn’t turn up what I wanted to know then god help the rest of us. All I wanted was a list of the nominations and what they purposed to do for my local area. Instead I got dog shows and political propaganda. Is it no wonder that most people are disillusioned with politics in this country? It seems that just like the people themselves getting simple information about their policies is nothing but smoke and mirrors. 

Frustrated, fed up and still none the wiser I find myself then having to go vote in the next few hours still not really knowing who plans to do what about what in my area. Maybe I should just close my eyes and tick or perhaps the nominations will be colour coded and a particular one will take my fancy. Screw it might even flip a coin and see what I get. Probably the local nutter campaigning to wear their pants on their head and create a council run by cats. To be honest from what I can tell that could be the best policy of the bunch.

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