|Elfins knocking on doors |
on Holly Bank Road
It was good to hear there were very few who either hadn't registered to vote, or who said they wouldn't be voting. Voting is a right that has been fought for, and influences the kind of decisions that lead to the warfare our young people have all too often paid the ultimate price for - a reminder of which was the memorial to the Tramway workers of Birmingham we also visited on our way to Holly Bank Road.
|Elfins at the Birmingham |
Tramway workers War memorial
Since the First Reform Act of 1832 more people in the UK have progressively been given the opportunity to vote, and occasionally some have had that right taken away. It has been a fundamental right that groups campaigned for over many centuries. The Reform Act led to Birmingham's first representation in the House of Commons, with two MPs -
Campaigners like the Chartists and Suffragettes were particularly active in Birmingham. The right to vote still raises important questions on how we value the opinion (or not) of our citizens - at what age should you be able to vote? Is a criminal able to vote, and if so, when?
|Fight for the Right|
from Sima Gonsai on Vimeo
There is, of course, the weight of history - our ancestors signing mamouth petitions for Parliament, rallies of thousands, and hundreds of thousands in the case of Gathering of the Unions in Birmingham, sometimes literally risking their lives to gain a vote for us.
The most compelling reason to vote, though, was staring in the faces of those people we visited on Holly Bank Road. We are collectively responsible for the future of our country. Voting is an opportunity to exercise that responsibility. I, for one, can't look into the eyes of our future - our children - and say I didn't even vote.