Step 1: Find out who is standing for election – not just the big parties who will be letter-bombing your door with leaflets… Make a list.
Step 2: Cross out anybody you would never vote for – whether the person or the party
Step 3: What’s Left?
Some parties you’ve voted for before but are now disillusioned with
Some parties you’ve considered but don’t know much about
Some independents you know nothing about
Step 4: Do some research
Find out about parties you’ve never voted for but might now consider
Find out about independent candidates and what they stand for
Step 5: Draw up a list of things you care about that are affected by Government policy – health, education, airport expansion, train fares, badgers, whatever.
Step 6: Cross check your list of what you care about with the parties and people you might consider voting for
Maybe have a scoring system – you can weight it – say 5 if they match on an issue you are really passionate about and 2 if you care about it, and 1 if it’s just something you think is an ‘ought to do’ rather than particularly emotive for you.
Step 7: You’ll either have a clear winner – that you can now vote for – in the event of a tie vote for the woman candidate, or if they are both women – toss a coin.
If you still can’t find anyone to vote for – spoil your ballot paper – be counted as disenchanted not disenfranchised – people died so you can vote.
For info on how things are run in the UK: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/