Thursday, 6 May 2010

Voting begins for the 2010 General Election

The polls for the General Election opened at 7.00am this morning and there was already a queue at St Paul's before the seals of the ballot boxes were removed. It's very early but turnout is expected to be higher than recent elections.

This must be a welcome development for everyone who is interested in seeing wider participation in the democratic process. Whatever our political views, whatever we feel about the problems that have beset parliament over the expenses controversy, this election will be positive if the tide of cynicism about politics recedes a little.

As for us at St Paul's, we welcome the fact that through our buildings we play a very small part in this process. Over the next fourteen hours, hundreds of people will step into the Barnabas Centre to cast their vote. We've done our best to make it a place of welcome, with displays of the regular activities that take place here, and pictures done by children of the church. After voting at 7.00am, I picked up litter and made tea for the party workers compiling their returns. We chatted together and celebrated our differences, remembering that in many parts of the world the hostility between political factions makes elections a dangerous time. There is much to be thankful for so don't waste the privilege nor neglect the responsibility of your vote.