Monday, 26 April 2010

What politicians need to do to win my vote

This post has been inspired by the request for pieces on the election for the next British Mummy Bloggers' Carnival and the need to meet a magazine deadline which is looming where the topic suggested is social responsibility. For me both topics are linked and I am going to explain how.

There has been a real concern that due to the level of distrust surrounding politicians, turn out on 6 May will be lower than ever. The good news is that whatever people thought of the first leaders' debate on TV, another half a million people registered to vote after watching that programme. I know it is our social responsibility to vote and yet I look at the choices and I am not inspired. We have recorded both leaders' debates on television and yet I have still to watch them in their entirety. I found the presenter of the first quite wooden and guess I have been more intrigued by what has happened to each party in the opinion polls post the debates than getting into the debates themselves.

So what would get me more motivated to join in and really take part in the run up to the election? There would need to be some radical proposals for tackling the issue that is dear to my heart and that is the Environment. Climate change is very real - you only have to look at the changes in weather in the UK over the last few years and the major flood damage that has been caused to see that. And yet it goes beyond climate change and the fact that many natural resources such as fossil fuels are going to run out. It is about questioning the old economic paradigm that continual growth is good because that is what got us into the current mess. We need a creative approach to this reality.

When I raised this issue much more succinctly to a panel of politicians as part of a six month TV programme that I have been involved in(thanks to Sam Pearce from Mum's the Boss), the responses for the most part were pure flannel. The representatives of each party bar Labour agreed with me but did not have any concrete proposals on how to tackle these issues. Even Labour only had a partial response. As a Mum I am concerned that we create a sustainable future for all our children. That means encouraging the creation of "heart-based" businesses which place an emphasis on building and developing whole people and community as part of their mission. The challenge is to encourage collectivist approaches to key issues as happened with the development of the Lewes pound, whilst allowing room for individual creativity. This could be seen as a paradox but I believe it is only when we hold both sides of an issue and wrestle with that level of complexity that we can find a path through.

I live in hope that as we come into the last week of the election, we will start to see a real grappling of these key issues and that I and other voters who remain undecided will become more involved and see how our vote can count. What do you think?

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