There’s an election today, to elect members to what is effectively the government of Wales. And finally, after 20-odd years of following politics and voting, I happen to live in a marginal constituency “with bells on” (along with Rhys), where the votes actually count.
I’ve always imagined that during election times, marginal constituencies become a hive of political activity, with people distributing leaflets and begging for your vote left, right and centre. But I’ve been in Llandudno and Colwyn Bay – the two main town centres – over the last couple of days and seen pretty much nothing going on. The odd poster in a shop window or farm (it’s always Plaid Cymru posters in farm fields, oddly), and the odd leaflet coming through our door. Including one from the far-right British National Party proclaiming how proud they are to retain Britain’s heritage – but neglecting to print their leaflet in Welsh. Despite, y’know, being in Wales.
The only “active” campaigning I’ve seen were people from the Liberal Democrats and the UKIP standing in Colwyn Bay high street, looking at no-one and talking to each other instead of trying to get people’s votes. And all this on a glorious sunshiney day.
The best the Welsh Conservatives have managed – aside from choosing an fundamentalist Christian who may consider homosexuality to be a sin – to fight for the seat next door – was to take out a full-page colour advert on the back of the local newspaper attacking everyone else. Unfortunately, a printing error meant the whole advert was rather blurred so you couldn’t make out much of the text. (Insert joke here) At least Labour‘s full-page advert said something about making sure all hospitals would remain open – which seems a bit of a joke considering they’re running the Welsh government as it is.
No-one around me has talked about the election – hell, as far as I know, no-one around me is going to vote (save for Miss R). Upon some prompting, we had a 20-minute chat about politics in the office – about how the fringe parties are going to pick up a lot of votes because mainstream politics has become all too same-y – but even then, no-one said they were going to vote.
Ah well. I’ll probably vote – and I’ll definitely be one of those sad geeks watching the news coverage, wishing I was at BBC Wales HQ again and probably live-blogging some bits of it with some fellow Welsh bloggers. Assuming there’s something interesting to say. Because if the politicans can’t be bothered to make a major fight over a marginal constituency like Aberconwy, what hope is there for interesting politics?