Leap of faith required in general election

SO the moment the nation has been waiting for has finally arrived – Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that a general election will take place on Thursday, May 6. He met with the Queen on Tuesday and she granted dissolution of Parliament, setting t

SO the moment the nation has been waiting for has finally arrived - Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced that a general election will take place on Thursday, May 6.

He met with the Queen on Tuesday and she granted dissolution of Parliament, setting the ball rolling for an election.

Mr Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron, and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg have already hit the campaign trail, each making the most of a month-long opportunity to attempt to convince voters they are the best man for the job of running the country.

It looks set to be the most fiercely contested election in a generation, and tight contests are a great thing - they are an effective antidote to complacency, and it will force parliamentarians to raise their game.

We live in unpredictable times, with opinion polls showing many people have yet to make up their minds on how to vote. And it is little wonder people are hesitant - the three main party leaders are hardly inspiring.

'Better the devil you know' appears to be the stance Gordon Brown is taking in a bid to win favour. David Cameron's message is the same as Tony Blair's was - vote for change. But there is no guarantee this change will be for the better. Nick Clegg vows that this election will not be a two-horse race, but this is frankly difficult to believe.

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It's all seems a bit wishy-washy to me, with no party leader standing out as one who will reinstate people's confidence in politics in the wake of the expenses scandal.

Many voters have lost heart in the political system and, while Brown, Cameron and Clegg are each promising to improve public trust, this is far easier said than done.

It is difficult to vote for any party when the electorate has been so badly let down by those currently in Parliament, and a huge disconnect is clearly evident between MPs and those they are supposed to represent.

But, since Gordon Brown replaced Tony Blair in 2007, voters have been rankled that he was never elected. Now we have a chance to choose our leader. We must fight against despondency and, essentially, take a leap of faith.

Staying at home or backing a fringe party to demonstrate repulsion of all politicians should be withstood.

Choosing to take no part in deciding who rules this country for the next four years is a decision which should not be taken rashly - the stakes are far too high for that.

Those who do not take a trip to their polling station on May 6 have no right to complain about the actions, or lack thereof, of the new Government.

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