Well, that's that done.
My participation in the democratic process of a state I don't agree with is over for another 4 or 5 years (or less, depending how badly they screw it up).
I have to say, being an undecided isn't easy. Even though I was 90% sure who I was voting for, I still took a full 2 or 3 minutes looking at the paper before I put a cross in a box. And walking home (which took less time than I spent in the polling booth) I considered what I'd just done. And felt a little sick in the stomach
Voting is underestimated in its importance. I mean, yes, people fought battles, people died to allow us to vote freely and fairly - and of course people shouldn't take that lightly - and most don't. But my point is more about democracy itself.
Churchill said democracy was the worst system, except for all the others that had been tried. And its true - it is by no means perfect. Rousseau was not a fan of representative democracy, of people taking an active interest and role in politics only once every four or five years, of instilling their trust in one person to represent their views, to vote on legislation in their place for a period of time until a further plebiscite should take place.
As I reflected on my way home that 62 million (or even 5 million in Scotland) is probably too large for direct democracy, I thought about what I had just done. I had given my vote not to someone whom I believed would vote the way I would on legislation (though, in hindsight, he probably will) nor to someone with whom I identified fully. No, I'd actually given my vote to someone who, like Churchill and democracy, was the "least worst" candidate.
And I was disappointed with myself. Not for my choice - I've agonised over this one for weeks, months even. I was disappointed with the choice presented to me, the system within which my voice was to be heard (and, ironically, one of the main reasons I voted the way I did).
The least worst option my choice may have been. But it was not the best, and that proves to me, without a shadow of a doubt, that reform is needed.
When I got home, I washed my hands.