Many years ago, we had rats in our house. My mum asked me to go into the kitchen to get her keys for her, because she was too afraid to brave the potential horrors in there. I scoffed, saying, “What are the rats going to do? Jump out at you?” Well, as I entered the room, it turned out the answer was “yes”. There was a rat trapped in the bin, so as my presence startled it, it jumped, attempting to escape, startling me in return. I screamed at a pitch Lady Gaga would have struggled to reach. So, life, it turns out, has a way of making you eat your words.
Before I left for Cambodia, I said, “I’m so glad Brexit is over and done with. Now I don’t have to worry about applying to vote while abroad.” Well, this time I managed to suppress the scream, but only just.
Now, I am a British stereotype personified. Therefore, when they say, “British people dislike talking about politics in public” it may not apply to everyone. However, it does to me. So, if you don’t want to hear my thoughts on who to vote for and why, well, you’re in luck, because I wouldn’t tell you them anyway. In fact, I would rather stick a used heroin needle in my eye than put my voting habits on the internet. Heck, I won’t even tell you that you should be voting and why.
I was tempted not to vote this time round, anyway. There were various reasons for this. First the constituency that I would be voting in is a “safe seat” anyway. You’d have to entirely change the population of the area to make a difference. Therefore, my vote would hardly count for anything.
Second, the faff of getting the alternative methods sorted put me off. Postal voting would probably take too long and I would miss the deadline. Proxy votes necessitate the disclosure of one’s voting wishes before the election, which goes against my desire to be private about it. Therefore, both alternatives seem less than ideal.
Lastly, I didn’t really want to think about it. I’ve got voting fatigue, like much of the country, so I wasn’t enthused enough to put any effort into it. Also, whilst I’ve got a limited time left in Cambodia, I don’t actually want to be thinking about home too much. It feels like it is robbing me of time to enjoy this country before I go back to the UK. It possibly sounds ridiculous, but thinking about the UK feels like an imposition sometimes, especially if it is about something unexpected or potentially difficult.
So, for a few days I was decided I wasn’t going to vote.
Then I changed my mind. It was pretty much after I wrote my post ‘Is Cambodia headed for civil war?’ I feel that my concern about the politics in Cambodia would purely be academic and insincere if I didn’t make the most of the political freedoms I’m fortunate enough to have. So, today I started the process of arranging my proxy vote. Although, I can’t vote in the 2018 Cambodian elections, and I don’t think I’d want to- I’m not informed enough for a start and it’s a place for foreigners to come in and decide Cambodia’s future (although I’m sure many will want to)- I can certainly vote in mine.