Eighteen now so my first time voting came around in the local elections this evening. I know its customary for people to not say who they’ve voted for but I don’t especially see the point in hiding my views as I’m sure you can guess who I’ll have voted for anyway.

I had it in my mind that I knew who I was going to vote for before I even looked at who the candidate was, because I go for a certain party. Liberal Democrats. But over the last couple of weeks I’ve paid attention to the information around me and while I still reached the same conclusion and voted for LD, I knew more about the individual candidate before I went in to the polling station and I felt better for that.

In the car with a friend today after college I asked them who they would vote for. I was completely certain that they would vote for the Liberal Democrat and was rather surprised when they said they voted for the individual rather than the party and might in fact vote Conservative because the candidate is in fact very good.

My current mindset whether right or wrong is that I could never find it in me to vote Conservative! I don’t know enough about politics and the way the world runs to have an opinion that I think my readers should follow – vote for who suits you and for who you believe in – but I don’t think I could bring myself to do it. Unless the other candidates were for some reason being aggressive towards each other which can happen… but is unlikely here.

It was lovely to see a representative from each party sat outside the station with a smile, talking to me briefly and to one another. Not trying to sway me, not trying to beat one another, just respecting one another and complimenting the fact that I’d gone to vote from being young (so many teenagers are moaning constantly about life’s “unfairness” so why they don’t vote is beyond me).

My friend surprised me today saying that it was a close call between the LD candidate and the Conservative candidate because they’re such a Liberal soul. But they opened my eyes a bit, as the group of three outside the polling station did.

For all that I’m a Liberal soul myself I seek constantly to bring together people from different denominations and groups in peace. But there is a bit of hardness in me that does have me judging a bit on a label. That isn’t a good thing, it has come from experience. Experience in the kind that William Blake talks about takes away the innocence that we are born with in childhood and corrupts and makes bad things that were beautiful.

Now we all get experience and we all make mistakes sometimes, we all make assumptions sometimes, we all “sin”. But part of getting past that and remedying it is admitting it eh? Repenting – turning around from our human failings. Looking at nature, at our original instincts, at our personal feelings and beliefs, and having faith, holding beauty, opening our hearts and not hardening them.

Anyone seen the “Election” episode of The Vicar of Dibley? A great episode and on Youtube if you want to take a look. In the clip below please watch from 1:17 to 1:37…

…in the end the Liberal cheery Vicar Geraldine gets the Conservative candidate elected and works with him. My experience today has reminded me of that.

Talking about religious conflict with a friend tonight and listening to another friend in the car earlier talking about how they could vote Conservative, I’ve had a mirror held up to myself. I’ve never been aggressive to non-Liberals, I have always loved and sought to bring people together, but sometimes I get it wrong. Like thinking it would be impossible to ever vote for a Conservative. It isn’t. Geraldine got that, my friend got that, and – still dare I admit – I’m starting to remember it.

I’m going to try and knock down the mindset I’ve created and haven’t had for long, and get deeper and deeper into bringing people together. Into communion. Whoever you vote for do so with personal belief, whilst respecting others. No grudges, honest 🙂

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