Friday, May 7, 2010

election: in the lap of the gods

I don't know how to call this election, it's unlike any other I've seen.

Maxima and I voted in the Draughty Old Fen, then I cycled into Cambridge, because it's easier for me to get around there than in South Cambridgeshire.

There was a certain post-bellum atmosphere at the two polling stations where I was a teller. Conservative, Labour and Green talked as if we were at a flower show. We wondered if the lack of Liberal Democrats was due to their concentrating in marginal wards, or - my idea, rather naughty - their assuming that Cambridge was in the bag.

A surreal moment was when a Greek chap approached us and asked why he hadn't been asked for ID when voting in the local election. The three of us explained that in Britain, at the moment, we trusted people. I wonder if Greece's travails are, in part, due to people feeling frustrated that the government that demands their details for ID cards cannot balance a budget?

Two Labour tellers told me that they were unhappy about Iraq. I commiserated with them. With the Green teller, we reflected on what would be the best system for Parliament; I said that in my view, Parliament would be a whole lot more representative if more people voted. I was asked how I could make more people vote, and said I didn't know.

I'm sure that every activist is hoping for the result they want. Personally, I hope and pray that the Conservatives have a majority. Last night, I was about to pray for this when I realised what I was doing, and substituted: thy will be done.

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