I'm feeling a certain glow of civic pride after going to vote this morning - all the more so because it's a grim, wet day here in Bristol to be trogging off to a polling station:
I'm generally quite a political animal and I feel quite strongly about all sorts of issues - and I'm not usually shy about expressing my views. I think voting's really important and I've tried to take an interest in the election build-up. I've mostly found the whole thing really frustrating though because everyone seems to talk in such vague generalities that they say almost nothing of any substance. I realise that in a "general" election politicians have no choice but to talk to a "general" audience about "general" issues, but none of them seem to have mentioned anything that I'm really bothered about. As someone who's not part of a "hard-working family" (unmarried, no kids, work part-time self-employed), I can't help but feel rather left out.
Having said that, I still find it quite exciting to be part of the whole democratic process. Apparently, the ward I live in has the highest percentage of voters with doctorates in the country, so as I came up to the polling station, I couldn't help sizing up the collection of old ladies and students who'd turned up at the same time as me and wondering about their academic calibre! As someone who works from home and is out and about during the day, I suppose I've got used to being lumped in with old folk and students! One comment in a group of first-time voters I followed out made me smile - a girl in her late teens or early twenties remarked that the whole experience had been rather like a multi-choice exam. Now we just have the same nervous wait for the results ...