I was sorely tempted to title this post 'Another Election Day' or even 'Yet Another Election Day', echoing some of the voter-fatigue I encounter in conversation with others, but in the end decided against it, reckoning it was better to express that within the text rather than the title!
It was pitch dark when I went to vote - not something I have often experienced, even though I have almost always been an early voter. A hi-viz clad person stood at the door of the school to ensure everyone got in and out, but it was way too soon for any of the party people to be present with rosettes, flyers and clipboards - for that I am grateful!
The last time I recall going out early in the dark to vote was more than 30 years ago, when I lived in Derby, and I called into the polling station en route to work, waiting for the doors to open at 7 a.m.! It was a little later than that today, but still done and dusted by 8 a.m.
A steady stream of people were voting, though no queues as such (the person before me had just got their ballot paper as I arrived) and it was all incredibly calm.
Voting is a privilege - not a right - granted to those who exceed a certain, somewhat arbitrary, age and are not otherwise disqualified. A privilege, not a right, and one for which people died. For that reason, if no other, it is essential to particpate.
Voting is a responsibility - a choice entrusted to people (defined as above) to select from among several alternatives, who will be their voice in the relevant governing authority.
With the FPTP system, the reality is that often many, possibly most, voters don't get who they chose (lots, maybe most, MPs are elected on well under 50% of a vote). This doesn't mean votes don't matter and don't count - though it's understandable why people might feel that way.
So my ubiquitous rant - get out and vote. Vote carefully and prayerfully. Vote not for 'I' but for 'us' (and think carefully what 'us' means to you!). As ever, I am not telling how I voted, and won't tell anyone else how they should vote. But at least tomorrow I can wake up knowing that I did what I could to speak for values that matter to me.
The photo is a view form my bedroom window, with light breaking on the horizon... whatever happens today the sun will rise again tomorrow, and eternal attributes of love, hope, faith, joy and peace will continue to permeate even the deepest darkness.