Election Time – After the Event

Election Time

The day after polling day

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A long sleepless night, the vigil of the Results
Much excitement throughout the land
Early reports show the participation rates quite high
No man or his dog could escape the frisson

Polling day witnessed the stations fully used
No boredom or tedium this Thursday
And steady flows of voters
Eager to make their choices

The complexities of our PR voting system
Do not seem to have caused the voters great confusion
Whether it creates a two-tier universe of MSPs
In due time this seems to matter little

The magic hour of 10 o’clock, no more ticking
The metal caskets sealed and sent on their way
The smooth electoral machinery secures their safe progress
Ensuring each one directed to their counting station

World’s media turns on its search-lights
Politicians and pundits hover by the podium
At first there is little to say as there are no results
And comment from participants seems ambivalent

Then the early results – from small rural communities
Throw a crumb to the hungry journalists
Extrapolating tiny numbers into ‘national swings’
After all they have to say something

Gradually the momentum grows
Hopes begin to be dashed or faint hearts warmed
Explanation and rationalization comes thick and fast
Warning against early conclusion

Airwaves filled with chatter, rudely interrupted
The result is coming in from ……….shire
Self-important returning officers
Give their unhurried verdict to the anxious listeners

Broadcast journalists seize the opportunity
To demand some instant response
To any turn of events that challenges their prey
They go straight for the jugular

As the dark hours give way to daylight

A clearer picture takes shape, firmer outcomes predicted
Sharper focus now demanded in comments and explanations
The results seem to say this election has more to do
With constitutional issues than the traditional divide

The protagonists now face their new reality
Some heave a huge sigh of relief
Others nurse their wounds
Whither now the future of Scotland?

Ken Fisher

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