I suspect I may not be alone, but I have to admit that I have become bored by the election campaign. I find myself avoiding the news and less regular in browsing the news online. There is nothing new; just familiar promise and counter promise. There is the usual disrespecting of one another and no sense of any genuine debate. No genuine new policy, nothing to get excited about and election days seems a long, long, way away.
I yearn for voices offering a new vision for our nation and its place in the world, an expounding of lasting political ideals, a glimpse of how it might be different, an engaging with the realities of what is and is not possible. But no party seems to want to take the chance of opening up new territory; they have all become too risk averse. Sadly elections no longer seem to be the place for new visions and bold ideals. Spin doctors have perfected the art of playing it safe, keeping everyone on message, with lots of words saying as little as possible.
Yet however tempting it is to carp from the sidelines and shout “a plague on all your houses” and be tempted to protest by not voting, these are the people who have been willing to stand and for that they deserve our gratitude. Democracy is often about the ordinary, the every-day and the mundane. Politics in reality has very few “ta dah!” moments. We may want to disparage the political class, but I certainly struggle to think of the politicians from another country that I would prefer to our lot.
A general election campaign may evoke of boredom but come 7th May, I will go to vote with pride. This thing called “democracy”, whatever its short-comings, is still worth standing up for. And between now and then, whatever may be said or promised, I will remain grateful for those who have chosen to stand – even those I disagree with.