Politics is disturbing my peace

I’ve been thinking about politics a lot lately. There’s a few reasons for this.
I read and reviewed a book about democracy earlier in the month which started my contemplations, at the moment I’m reading two book which are definitely political in nature, and we’ve just had local council and European Parliament elections. I had to decide who to vote for by reading the leaflets repeatedly shoved through the letter box.

All this reading, and internet research to find out more about the parties, set me thinking: what are my political beliefs?

Now I’ve started thinking about this I can’t stop.

Prior to the elections on Thursday, I found my way to Vote Match, a project from the organisation Unlock Democracy. I think I initially became aware of Vote Match because 38 Degrees sent me an email about it. That doesn’t really matter; I found the website and it was very helpful. Once I’d answered the questionnaire, a simple process of choosing between ‘agree’, ‘disagree’ and ‘neither’ to a variety of statements, the party with which I agreed most was displayed.

I certainly had something to think about after taking part in the questionnaire, reading the party statements on various subjects and considering their arguments.

That sounds a lot more rational than the process really was. I had already discounted the three major parties (because I think they abuse their position as established parties of government), plus UKIP and the BNP (do I really need to explain why I wouldn’t vote for the parties of ignorance and bigotry?), on an emotional level. I was looking for another party or parties for consideration. The party suggested was one I had never seriously considered before as anything other than a protest vote, but looking more deeply into their policies and past record I felt that they were in fact a good match for my beliefs. All things considered I voted for the party indicated, based on my research.

I think I want to become more politically aware and involved in general, I just don’t know how.

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