Its almost time to vote and as ever, I'm completely confused by what's on offer. I don't doubt that each of the parties genuinely believe that they can take the country to a better 'place' even if the ride can get bumpy but how does an average 'thirty-something' such as myself choose who to get on board with?
What do the parties really believe and why should I support one over another, or in fact, why should I support any of them?
I decided that in our fabulously democratic society, I would give each of the parties the chance to explain to me, not just why my vote is important but also why I should vote for them in particular. I wrote the following email which I sent to the three main parties.
My name is Paul Hurst, I am 30 years old and I live in Greater Manchester.
I am writing to you today with a certain degree of political confusion as to where to make my mark in the upcoming elections. It may just be me but it seems to be really hard to understand what the real differences are these days as everyone seems to clamour for the middle ground on most issues. This may appeal to many but for people such as myself it makes it really difficult. I'm looking past a single election, I'm trying to choose a party. So thats why I'm emailing today.
I have decided to offer each of the three main political parties the chance to explain what's what and as I'm a keen 'blogger' I am also keeping a track of things online at www.paulhust.blogspot.com
Should you wish to arrange for a party representative to contact me, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will be happy to travel and ultimately I would like to 'blog' my political journey right to Westminster as I earnestly seek to cut through rhetoric and political flannel to find out where my political allegiances should lie.
I am an unbiased person who enters this little experiment with no political leanings. Hopefully I will be able to get some answers as to why politics is important to me and sixty million others.
Hoping for a reply,
Right, so that email has gone to (in alphabetical order):
Conservatives: Mr David Cameron MP (the website seemed to encourage this and the other options didn't quite fit the bill)
Labour Party: email@example.com (took ages to find this address tucked away under the 'links' section)
Lib dems: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll be keeping you all up to date with what happens and you may expect some updates to this ongoing story...
As a side issue, I've also posted this to Nick Robinson who's chief political ed at the BBC. He blogs too and his is here.
Exclusive to this blog is the 'Politics'o'meter' Its a graphical representation as to how I'm being swayed. Make sure you look at the most recent incarnation to see how I'm being swayed.
Here there's a very slight edge to the Tories after I found it really easy to submit my email and felt a degree of importance as it was marked for Mr Cameron's attention whereas it was quite difficult to find the details for Labour, Lib dems are static as theirs was neither inspirational nor difficult.
Watch the Tories score plummet though if my email falls into the emptiness of Mr Cameron's cyberspace...