Saturday, 12 October 2013
It's Great To Be Different
According to a study entitled ‘The Psychology of Voters in Elections’ by Michael Bruter and Sarah Harrison, the 4th most common thought experienced by voters in a polling booth is ‘vote of the rest of the country’. It’s a thought that more than 60% of people have before finally placing an 'x' onto their ballot. Only ‘Responsibility’ (78.8%), ‘Possible Prime Ministers’ (66.6%) and ‘Constituency Candidate’ (65.4%) were more frequently considered, and two of them won’t even be relevant in the independence referendum.
The term ‘vote of the rest of the country’ is, for all intensive purposes, a form of peer pressure. If you believe that a certain side will win, you will want to back that side to fit in with the crowd. If it was the right decision then you can share in the credit, and if it was wrong, well, at least you weren’t alone. You don’t need to consider the issues and you don’t even need to accept much responsibility. After all, you just followed what others were doing…
But you should consider the issues. It doesn’t matter if someone else is claiming that every normal person is bored and that you should be too...you don't need to be like them. You don’t need to pander to the laziness or misgivings of others. You can state what you think and research what you don’t know.
I’m going to vote Yes in 2014. I'll do it because, after looking over the evidence so far, that is what I believe to be right for the people who call Scotland home. I don’t care if others will agree or disagree with me, I don’t care if I’m the only one who takes part, I only care in staying true to my beliefs and convictions.
Even though I have always in one way or another supported independence, I used to be quite shy about it. It's hard to come out into the open and state clearly what you believe in. There's a fear of being stigmatised, of being mis-understood, of being looked at differently by those you know, of being accused of hating others and simply searching for someone else to blame.
And sometimes those things do happen, but they are born from the ignorance of others. I know that I'm not looking to blame anyone, I just want the future to be better, and believe that making decisions for ourselves is the best way to achieve that. And by letting others know, I hope it will make them more open to a new way of thinking.
One of the most important things in life is to trust in your own judgement, and to not worry yourself with what others do. The majority of people might disagree, but I don’t want to follow the crowd to somewhere I don't want to go.
I want to walk my path.
And, having the certainty that I won't be swayed by the baseless impressions of others when I complete my ballot, I can honestly say, it’s great to be different.