Election Fever (plus vocabulary exercise)

Mejorar tu vocabulario es sinónimo de mejorar tu speaking. Además, si conoces las palabras correctas y utilizas expresiones naturales, tienes y transmites mucha más seguridad a la hora de hablar.

Nuestros vocabulary posts no están repletos de palabras extrañas que ningún nativo utiliza en su día a día. Todo lo contrario.

El vocabulario en todo el texto es tremendamente útil y al final encontrarás un ejercicio que te vendrá genial para identificar y memorizar nuevo vocabulario. Además, cada semana enviamos las respuestas a ese ejercicio en nuestra newsletter.

Hi, I’m Kay!

I’m an English teacher and today we’re talking elections

Well, I don’t know whether or not you are interested in politics, but even the most politically apathetic person in the UK cannot fail to have noticed that there’s a General Election on the horizon! This means, of course, that for weeks now there’s been no escape from interviews with politicians and pundits full of the usual hot air. Newspapers, too, are all debating electoral topics such as the likelihood of a hung parliament – where no one party gains an overall majority.

Seriously? Another election???

Of course, not everyone is happy about this. Over the past couple of years, the UK has had the Scottish referendum, a General Election and the Brexit referendum, not to mention a number of regional and municipal elections.

Perhaps those who are old enough to cast their vote in an election for the first time may be feeling excited, but many others are claiming voter fatigue – they’re sick to death of politics, they say. Now, while I understand that anyone who is not enormously interested in politics to begin with may not want to follow the process in great detail, I really do think that you can’t just switch off completely. You only have to think about what it cost to get the right to vote in the first place.

The peasants revolt

Over the centuries, starting with the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381, ordinary people fought and died for the right to have a say in how they were taxed and governed. In the aftermath of the First World War, the vote was gradually extended to all adults. But now we’ve had the vote for quite a while, so perhaps it’s easy to take it for granted, partly because we haven’t had to fight for it ourselves.

It’s true that some politicians do let us down from time to time, becoming embroiled in financial scandals or breaking promises that they’ve made. So it’s easy to become cynical and opt out of the process on the grounds that they’re all are as bad as each other. It doesn’t really matter who is elected in the end, we say, it won’t make much difference.

But I think that is to miss the point. Of course there will always be politicians who don’t live up to our expectations – that’s also true of people in every other walk of life – but at least we have the right to elect them in the first place and then vote against them if they disappoint us. Despite the obvious flaws in the system, in a democracy we still have the power to make or break our government peacefully if we can persuade enough people to support us.

brexit

And I must own up to a personal interest here. As a British subject living abroad, I’m keenly aware that British people lose the right to vote once they’ve spent 15 years out of the country, unless they’re serving in the army or working in the diplomatic service. My Spanish friends are amazed when I tell them this, but it’s absolutely true. Ironically, many of the people who will be most affected by the consequences of the Brexit vote – UK nationals resident in the EU – did not have the right to vote in the Referendum that will have such an impact on their lives. They were, effectively, disenfranchised – deprived of the vote, along with convicted criminals and people suffering from serious mental illness!

As Winston Churchill famously remarked, ‘Democracy is the worst form of government… except for all the others.’ So let’s value it with all its flaws and imperfections and exercise our vote if we’re lucky enough to have it.

Exercise

Now try and find the following in the text. The questions are in the same order as they are in the text.

  1. A phrase meaning something will definitely be the case
  2. An idiom meaning empty or exaggerated talk
  3. An idiom used to introduce extra information and emphasise what you are saying
  4. A noun phrase which means the same as the verb vote
  5. A word meaning the period that follows an unpleasant event or accident
  6. An idiom which means to never think about something because you believe it will never change
  7. A phrase which means the reason being
  8. An idiom which refers to different types of job or levels of society
  9. A synonym for weakness or fault
  10. An adverb + adjective collocation meaning extremely conscious

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