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Thursday, 6 May 2010

6th May 2010: Polling Day

... for UK.

Some time in March I received this letter from the Conservatives.

[HiRes] The letter, front and back.

It came with an extra envelope, addressed to the Conservatives' Nottingham branch office.

Back then, I had no idea what was going on. Sure I knew an election was coming up, but the parliament was not dissolved yet and the election day was not set.

The worse thing is that I knew nothing about British politics. Not that I know a lot now, mind you, but back then I didn't even know who (or what) the Conservatives were. It could be their tree logo and party name, or my slight enthusiasm for eco-friendliness, but when I first saw the letter I thought some environmental society was asking me for participation.

The Conservative Party's official logo. Seriously, it's misleading.

No kidding.

Anyway, it goes without saying I totally ignored the survey. It was probably a mistake, I thought. I'm a 20-year-old visitor to the UK, do I get a say on how things go? (Apparently I do, and I kind of regret ignoring the survey.)

Anyway, fast forward a few weeks, and I started to receive more election, er, goodies. The first to come was this.

In the middle of the Easter break, I woke up around er, noon, and picked up a small stack of identical white cards, each of them addressed to each of my (local) house mates. I flicked through them, going through the names and imagine my surprise when I saw mine.

I scratched my head. Why do I get to vote? A quick check to Wikipedia answered my question.
"Anyone who is a citizen of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, or of a Commonwealth country, who is legally resident in the UK, and who is 18 or over on the date of the election is eligible to vote..."
Elections in the United Kingdom. (2010, May 5).
In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:24, May 6, 2010,
18? Oh wow, that's awesome. I get to vote!

The next few weeks saw leaflets and flyers delivered to my place, all aiming to, er, to put it delicately, help me make up my mind on who to vote for.

We got more from the Conservatives.

And Labour Party, the winning party for the last election which brought Gordon Brown to power.

Liberal-Democrats, or Lib-Dems.

And BNP, the British National Party.

And today, May 6th, the polling day, arrived. I cast my vote in the Lenton/Radford Library. The process took much shorter time than I expected. I swear it could've taken less than 1 minute (including waiting, how about that) if nothing goes wrong.

It was nothing much to brag about, but I just have to boast about one thing. My first participation in a general election is in UK, and that happened before I reached the age of 21 (one month shy, hint, hint!), the legal voting age for Malaysian. That, my dear friends, is epic.

And who will lead UK this time? Is my vote working its magic? We'll have to wait and see.


  1. wow, international students in UK have the rights to vote? how cool is that? haha

  2. JP: yeah! i know, right?

    well actually just students from commonwealth countries.


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