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Voting In The 2017 General Election Whilst Blind

21/04/2017 13:12

So, Theresa May has called a snap general election. Are we all excited? You should be, times are a-changing in the world and we have no idea what is going to happen. Well, we probably do, she will probably win by a landslide and this time actually get voted in by the public rather than just her Tory party peers.

As a visually impaired voter I have always found it difficult to keep up with what is going on. Ok, we have news outlets that will give us their viewpoints and we have online content that is always swayed to one side depending on the reading choices you have made. Have we got time to read everything? For me the answer is no. There is so much information that is out there, but very little that is accessible to someone with limited vision.

We now, of course, can look forward to hearing televised debates from the party leaders, which does help - but is this enough? There are 2 million visually impaired people in Britain. A massive chunk of the voting population, enough to swing an election in fact. Not to mention the vast number of other disabled people, who in many cases get cast to one side. Benefits cuts to disabled allowances, inaccessible polling stations and if you haven't got someone you trust with you to help you tick the right box, then you are pretty much stuck. We need a better system to allow those of us with difficulties to vote. Now I'm not saying let's have an X-Factor style vote, but surely there must be a better way? I couldn't even get a large print polling card for the Brexit vote and this for me is inexcusable.

2016 was a turbulent year for many; loads of our favourite singers and actors from years gone by passed away, Donald Trump got voted in as president of America and leader of the free world (which in itself is one scary thought), and Britain voted to leave the EU. With the latter of these happenings, our former leader, Mr David Cameron, decided to resign and give up on us all. Walking away after a big defeat. For me this wasn't the way to go but hey, I suppose there is some merit in falling on your sword after your biggest fail to date.

I do take issue however with someone being voted in to PM by her peers rather than being voted in by the public, which in a democratic system is surely the way to do things. If Cameron wanted to leave, why not call a general election himself? Now I am sure many people will say: because you can't call an election and then try and find a new leader whilst doing so, but surely there is a better way to go. If memory serves, it was Gordon Brown who got in the same way when Tony Blair decided he would rather earn millions doing the circuits.

So, we are now left with Theresa May with little or no opposition that can really stand up to her and the Tory's. Jeremy Corbyn doesn't appear to have much support, and who votes Lib Dems any more? UKIP might gain a little, but surely nowhere near enough to make a real impact on the political landscape and as for the others, well why even bother to mention them?

If last year was anything to go by, don't rule anything out. Let's just hope that with all of the negotiations going on currently to get us out of Europe with a little bit of dignity, that we get the right result in the long run. I still think we would be better off with Boris Johnson running the country - not only would he be completely mad, what fun it would be for us on the way. The amount of material for comedians would be simply incredible. Donald Trump and Boris Johnson leading two of the biggest countries in the world, I can only imagine the hilarity that would ensue.

So, when you are casting your vote in the 2017 Theresa May love-fest, just think: is this really the way we want to go? What is best for our EU exit? It has to happen after all, so we really should be looking at what is best for our future post Brexit. This time, I think we should all pay real attention to what the parties are actually saying. Don't go with the majority, this could be the most important election for Britain in the modern era.

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