Anorak News | The Sum Of Things To Come

The Sum Of Things To Come

by | 21st, April 2006

”THERE are many factors which affect why people do or do not vote, including demographics, attitudes and experiences.” So says Dr Cliff Arnal of Cardiff University.

Find love at your local polling station

Dr Arnal may like to enlarge on some of these other factors, like what is on the telly at the time of voting, how easy it is to park at the polling station and if you have a debilitating fear of standing in small boxes and using little pencils on bits of string.

Dr Arnal has an equation for his theory. The psychologist and motivation expert has done this kind of thing before, having devised a formula that resulted in Jan. 24 being designated the worst day of the year.

His new theory features such elements as personal contact by a party (C), belief that any of the parties can handle important issues (A), parental interest in politics (P), perception that my vote will count (V), sense of voting as a duty (D), perception of the nature of the national competition between the parties (N), perception of how safe the local seat is (S) and motivation to vote (X). You give yourself a 1-5 rating for each variable.

Work in the EastEnders factor (EE) and the effects of last night’s chicken vindaloo on your ability to leave the house (CV) and you have your answer.

You can work out the likelihood that you will vote on May 4 at the Electoral Commission’s website –

The EC is keen to get as many of you to vote. Your writer gave the equation a go and was given a rating of 8.5.

Apparently, I do “believe in having the right to vote.” Should I vote? “Yes, if you want good recycling facilities, sports centres, parking schemes and street lighting.”

These are the local issues the EC thinks voters care most about.

Surely all parties take a similar stance on these things. Until one of the parties says that a vote for them is a vote for no playing fields, dark streets, zero parking and litter-strewn shopping precincts, there seems little need to choose one party from the bunch.

More interesting than any of that would be to discover why it is you don’t plan to vote and, after the election, why you didn’t.

And while we work out an equation for the likelihood that you will or won’t respond to our survey, BBC weatherman Everton Fox tells us that for “the beginning of May, it’s all looking rather uncertain – anything could happen!”

“The most likely scenario is for the weather to remain changeable, with showers but a fair amount of sunshine,” says he.

It might be raining (R) on May 4. And since the council made parking your car impossible, you will either walk to the polling station and hope to dodge the rain, or stay in and watch EastEnders…

Paul Sorene’

Posted: 21st, April 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink