The forthcoming general election is about many things

Wednesday November 20th 2019

Michelle-Ballantyne-MSP

Written by Michelle Ballantyne, South Scotland MSP

The forthcoming general election is about many things. It’s undeniably about the future of our relationship with the European Union and the SNP’s constant push for a second referendum for indyref2. Aside from the constitutional issues, this election is also about our priorities as a country as all the major parties are making commitments to increase spending.

However, above all else, this election is about the future of the United Kingdom as a democratic institution. It’s about the rules that underpin our society and how our democracy responds to dark days and political differences.

Former US President, Theodore Roosevelt, once said, “A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy”. Regardless of the ruling party, it’s clear that a failure to be progressive and move forward would have a lasting impact on the strength and effectiveness of our public institutions.

The political standstill we’re currently going through has meant that the agenda has been unable to move forward. We’ve been trapped in the arguments of 2014 and 2016, and it’s been preventing public discourse from moving forward.

Regardless of how you voted in the EU referendum, very few people would disagree that the aftermath of the vote has left us all a little unsettled. Through the history of our parliamentary democracy, the assumption has always been that if the majority vote for something then it should be enacted.

Yet, over three years later, the public’s patience has been tested time and time again. Since the 2017 General Election, multiple ‘meaningful votes’ and now another General Election, it’s understandable why people feel fatigued with politics; it’s the sixth time we’ll have voted in as many years.

So this time round, let’s vote to put an end to the uncertainty and let’s chart a course that gets Scotland moving forward. This means resolving the conflicts of old so we can reshape our priorities to focus on the issues that demand the public’s attention such as education, improving the NHS and unleashing our potential as a nation.

Which is why it’s fundamentally important that we elect a stable, majority Government with a mandate to do just that. A vote for Labour, the SNP or the Liberal Democrats would only intensify the division in society for the foreseeable future. Each of the opposition parties want to drag voters back to the ballot box for more votes and referendums.

Only the Scottish Conservatives are offering a democratic and progressive solution in this election. On December 12th, only a vote for Rebecca Fraser in Midlothian will help put an end to the uncertainty and allow the country to move forward.

An excellent candidate, Rebecca will work hard to represent her constituents on the issues that matter to them most if she’s elected to be the MP for Midlothian.

Irrespective of how you plan on voting, politics only works when people engage with it so please make sure you make your voice heard on polling day. The deadline for registering to vote is the 26th of November and you can do so here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

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