ComRes announces Election Poem
ComRes announces Election Poem by Steve Turner, with the aim of encouraging turnout at the upcoming General Election.

ComRes has commissioned this special Election Poem from acclaimed poet and biographer Steve Turner, with the aim of encouraging turnout on May 7th.  It also links Polling Day with the run-up to the VE Day 70th anniversary celebrations on 8th May.

The poem reminds voters of the importance of exercising their right to vote in light of the alternative ways in which countries are run.

Marking the launch of the poem, Andrew Hawkins pointed out that ‘Our latest polling shows that one in three people will not vote on May 7th, yet those people who are ‘uncounted’ are easily numerous enough to swing the election one way or the other.’

‘It is significant that we should have a ‘blockbuster’ General Election in a year which marks the anniversaries of both Magna Carta and VE Day.  We simply want to remind people that their right to vote came at a cost and they should not waste that opportunity to take part in the life of their country’.

 

I PREFER DEMOCRACY

You can run a land with armies

You can rule a sea with boats

But I prefer democracy

Where you run a land with votes.

 

You can run a land with bullets

You can crush dissent with sticks

But I prefer democracy

Where you run a land with ticks.

 

You can run a land with slogans

You can dominate with voice

But I prefer democracy

Where you run a land with choice.

 

You can run a land with torture

You can keep control with fights

But I prefer democracy

Where you run a land with rights.

 

You can run a land with freedom

You can find a people’s heart

But if this is democracy

You have to play your part.

 

You can run a land that dances

You can run a land that rocks

By voting for democracy

With your cross inside a box.

 

Steve Turner 2015

 

The author Steve Turner said; “Although my first poetry book appeared in the mid-1970s I had never taken on a commission before and so it was a personal challenge to see if I could come up with something to fit ComRes’s brief to write something immediate and entertaining that would at the same time address the very serious issue of using the vote.

“The idea I started with was ‘I’m voting for voting’ – that simply by posting in the ballot box you are helping to endorse the practice of voting. That then developed into ‘I prefer democracy’ – every vote is a vote in favour of the democratic system.

“There are several other ways of running countries – even reasonably stable and affluent ones – but usually have little respect for the individual citizen. The freedoms we cherish are all exemplified by, and many of them brought about by, our shared belief that everyone can have a say.

“Years ago I remember seeing a slogan on a tube advert that said ‘Democracy is not a spectator sport’. If I had thought that up I would have left it at that. It wouldn’t have needed any other lines to expand the theme. Statistics now show that a large proportion of the population think it can be. But what if 50% decided not to vote? What if 70%?

“This poem is for performance rather than analysis. It’s in the tradition of ‘Give Peace a Chance’ rather than ‘The Waste Land’. It’s designed to provoke action rather than reflection.”

 

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