A vote is a very blunt instrument

Tomorrow, when the votes have been counted, politicians will read into the numbers whatever they like.

If you voted tactically, they will claim that more people endorsed them than really did.

Same if you vote half-heartedly.

They will choose for themselves how to interpret that little ✖️ of yours, or your spoiled ballot.

I don't blame them.

If I received a message saying “✖️” I would be a bit stumped.

I'd do my best to make sense of it, then get on with whatever I was going to do anyway.

Over the last days I have read and heard all kinds of things about why not / to vote for so-and-so. Some things in the manifestos, some not.

The individual candidates in question don't know your reasons for backing them unless you tell them, explicitly.

And you can do that.

As well as voting, you can write and tell your chosen candidate briefly what, precisely, you would like them to do.

Be specific. And do it today, before the votes are counted.

You can write almost exactly the same message to any other candidates likely to win, because when this is over you may be stuck with them.

Speaking for myself, I have been ably and generously assisted at times by politicians representing all the main parties.

I'm grateful to them.

They don't seem to be evil.

Believing that one side has all the answers and is uniquely able to fix everything may be a mistake.

Some of the best political innovations have been made by the other lot.

And some really dumb things came from your lot.

They probably meant well…

My point is that VOTING is only the start.

It's what you do afterwards, to keep on engaging, that makes the real difference….

What else can you do?

In my book, How To Change The World, I describe how you can have an impact every day, without voting.

Buy the digital edition now.

And join my free online training session. I keep the sessions small – so sign up soon, because places are filling up fast:



“It's not often we have a paragon on the show…”
– Jane Garvey, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour

“We love you JP”
– Alain de Botton, founder, The School of Life

“There aren't enough superlatives to describe John-Paul. He sees the world in fresh ways and is infectious in his enthusiasm… All-round good guy, brilliant writer and thinker. Is there anything more anyone could ask of him?”
– Karen Dillon, best-selling author and former editor, Harvard Business Review

“If you want to change the world, you should talk to John-Paul Flintoff. He is totally brilliant and inspiring. He recently had 750 people on the edge of their seats and loving the stories and tools”
– Anna Guyer, founder, Greenhouse PR

“JP communicates in an honest, funny, always empowering and never boring or worthy way. His passion for learning, testing stuff out and thinking outside of the box makes it a pleasure to be in the same room as him, never mind work with him. His support, encouragement and constructive comments are invaluable and have helped me grow. I highly recommend you go to his talks and workshops, and find any excuses to work with him in any way you can – I do!”
– Sarah Corbett, founding director of the Craftivist Collective