Thursday, June 04, 2009

The greatest reality show in the world

The prize - nothing less than the chance to run the country! Okay, so these aren't the general elections and so on, but it is a chance to vote and take part in the great experiment of democracy.

Have you noticed how open people are at talking about who they're going to vote for, or have voted for? I remember my parents talking about such things, when I was pre-voting age, in hushed conspiratorial tones, and my Dad eventually relenting at some point in the future and, quietly, furtively, telling me who he had voted for in the great Labour victory of 1997 - "things...can only get better...can only get better..." - and I felt as if I was being let in on something really rather secretive.

Interestingly, today is also the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, something that's led to the banning of many websites by Chinese authorities and is a powerful remindar of why voting and our freedom to write, debate and ridicule the government of the day is something to cherish. Something about that image of a lone protestor against a column of tanks never fails to strike a nerve.

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