What has the general election got to do with men's health? Or more to the point, what the hell do I think I'm doing blogging about it?
Actually I think an electoral system where most votes don't count is very unhealthy - and I don't just mean for our politics. What the system means is that most of us simply aren't being listened to. In my experience, this feeling, the sense of powerlessness, the sense of everything being beyond your control is central to a lot of male mental health problems. Of course, I'm not saying proportional representation will solve domestic violence, drunkenness or other manifestations of male distress but it will increase everyone's sense of genuine involvement in society and that has got be a good thing for us all. In short, a sense of impotent isolation kills and 'first past the post' politics contributes to this.
Can anyone deliver the change we need? prime minister Gordon Brown just about has the votes to create a grand coalition to introduce electoral reform but while this change might make most men feel better, it's probably going to make the man who needs to do it feel very ill indeed. I think there's much to admire about Gordon Brown so who knows - perhaps after a decent night's sleep? I'm not betting on it. Betting, now that's enough cause of male mental anguish!