Why voting will make you happy

Comedy writer Ariane Sherine and Labour councillor Rowenna Davis team to explain why voting really isn't such a bad idea – no matter what Russell Brand says.

Give support’? I can form a human bra for you with my hands if you like…?
You haven’t quite got the hang of this philanthropy stuff, have you?

Fine, be like that. What’s this chapter about, then?
Exercising your right to vote.

Exercising it? What is it, a dog?
Not exactly, though some would say that politics is a dog-eat-dog world. You should still vote though.

What's voting got to do with giving?
It's giving support to the democratic process.

Blimey, that's tenuous. Anyhow, all politicians are knob-ends. I don't want to support any of them.
Then vote because it's the right thing to do. Imagine a foul-mouthed old man who's relying on you to feed him. No matter how much he swears at you, you'd still feed him, because you believe in human rights.

If he called me the c-word, I’d leave him to starve.
Delightful. Anyhow, here's Rowenna Davis, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen, to answer all your questions…


Why the hell should I waste my time voting? All these sodding parties are all the bloody same, aren’t they?
Politics is not what the media would have you think it is. It's whether there are syringes in schoolkids' playgrounds, whether your mum can afford a house, whether the air we breathe is clean or dirty, whether there are potholes on roads, and whether or not you can have free treatment for cancer. There are certain decisions we have to make about our society together, and voting is an important way we do that.

Maybe you're right. But let's face it: politics isn't very sexy, is it? If I told a girl I'd been putting out a fire or flying a plane, I'd probably get in her pants quicker than you could say "permission to land", but if I droned on about going to the polling station, she'd probably fall asleep in her dinner.We have firefighters and army plane drivers and emergency services because of public funding and public policy. If you vote for certain parties, they'll give you these things, and if you don't, they won't. In fact, if you went on a date with a girl, and you hadn't bothered to vote for a party that funded a free fire service, and your candlelit dinner caught fire, you'd be wishing you hadn't spent so much time thinking what was sexy and a little more time thinking, 'how should I vote?'

I model myself on Russell Brand, as he’s such a hit with the ladies. Isn't he right that we don't need to vote, we just need a revolution??
The closest thing I've ever seen to a revolution in the way Russell Brand is talking about in this country was the London riots, where I saw my neighbourhood burn. Past generations fought and died for the right to vote. Rather than slag the system off, why don't you join it and make it better?

What have you got against Russell Brand? Is it that he gets to have sex more often than you?
That’s exactly what I have against Russell Brand.

Who'd win in a fight, David Cameron or Ed Miliband?
I don't know, but I'd pay to watch.

This was an extract from Ariane Sherine's new book, 'Give: How To Be Happy'. To download the rest of Rowenna's interview and the free book, click here.