It’s election time around campus at the moment. Yes, that’s right, the one time of year when you can’t walk more than 5 metres without being accosted by someone with a mind-numbly bright tee-shirt, and similarly interesting political spiels.
Like most people around campus, I aim to avoid these political candidates like the proverbial plague. For some reason I was born with very little patience for people with radical political ideals. I think it’s mainly to do with the irrational drivel they inevitably spout, especially around election time.
As I was enjoying a relaxing lunch on Monday, I spotted one of my friends coming toward me to say hi. Or at least that’s what I thought, and then I spied their luridly colourful tee-shirt. “Argh!” I thought, “A turncoat!”. But before this thought had run its course this friend was upon us.
And I must say, I was rather embarrassed. The people with whom I was lunching are a cheery bunch, and we rarely talk about politics. When we do it is with reservation and (well I’d like to think) a balanced perspective. As such I felt that it was rather at odds with our previous discussions to entertain this political sloganist. But then, on the other hand, this person was still a friend, and as such deserved a certain amount of respect, surely?
So I was in a predicament, tell them that I had voted already (a barefaced lie) and then tell them to move on – as I would to any other person pushing their political party – or sit and make polite conversation and pretend to be interested in their cause? Being the opinionated and loudmouthed person that I am, I took neither path and instead told my friend what I thought of politics, and how much the election mattered in the grand scheme of things. Not much.
I’m not sure I’ll be seeing that friend again any time soon