They're not voting because...
- Direct action is more effective
UK government has been described as an elected dictatorship or a political system suffering from a democratic deficit, where MPs cant speak their mind for fear of deselection. It is said that Governments listen to big business and the financial markets more than their own citizens.
Under our First Past The Post system minor parties are unfairly discriminated against. It is perfectly possible for a party to get 25% of the votes but only 3% of the seats in Parliament, as did the Liberal/SDP Alliance in the 1983 election. Also, the funding and media exposure of political parties is unequal and unfair.
We cant choose our leaders, they are chosen for us by political parties. You cant vote on foreign policy such as defence or on the arms trade.
There is erosion of nation states due to globalisation. Decisions which profoundly affect UK citizens are made abroad by unelected people and organisations. NATO, WTO, UN, WB, G8, NGOs, Multinationals, etc.
The only way we can defend ourselves from the erosion of our public services, the erosion of our civil liberties and the erosion of our standard of living is by organising against those that repress and exploit us at a local and global level.
Withholding our votes is not a choice for apathy. It is a message to our rulers that we do not consent to be ruled. However, for it to gain its true significance it needs to be accompanied by action.written 18th Apr 2005
Matt replies: Absolutely, democracy is a "legitimate" form of dictatorshipwritten 18th Apr 2005
Adam replies: I think the issue here is the definition of true democracy. If one considers it to be a government which is elected by means of proportional representation then one must be aware that it can, theoretically, be harder to push through policy because of the numerous opposing political factions/groups which are all represented in government. A presidential PR system usually requires the Head Of State to form a 'coalition super-majority' in government in order to stay in power. Ergo such a system produces a fragile government. How likely are political leaders to listen to their citizen's concerns when they have enough trouble trying to negotiate coalition government? It seems to me that a lot of non-voters have become disillusioned with the democratic process in this country, which would work if everybody was to contribute.written 18th Apr 2005