They're not voting because...
- Not voting vs. Spoiling Ballot Paper
I think there is a distinction between "spoiling your ballot paper" and "not voting". Although they amount to the same thing, when you spoil your ballot paper the fact that you did so is actively recorded as a statistic. People stay at home on election day for all manner of resons, (including the weather!) many because they can't be bothered. I know that most who post on this site have thought about their decision not to vote for any standing candidate. It is unusual for someone to spoil a ballot paper by being stupid and thus a turnout statistic is a less reliable measure of voter discontent than the number of spoilt papers. If you are discontented and want to vote for "No candidate" and make a statement too, you should turn up, draw a big smily face or something, and that way you show the politicians that you have an active intent not to vote.
Spoiling your ballot paper indicates discontent. Not turning up indicates apathy.written 23rd Apr 2005
Paul replies: That's the important issue here. How do we put across our discontent in the most constructive way available. I would like to think that showing up at the polling office and defacing the ballot paper will be 'counted' as a vote for 'NOTA' but is there anything that can be done to make a 'united frount' so to speak. Would it be writing None Of The Above on the paper, writing Not Apathetic on it, attaching a 2 000 word essay on the farce that is Westminster, or what?written 23rd Apr 2005
Will replies: Absolutely Paul, if we could get everyone to turn up and spoil their paper, instead of sitting at home, we'd make the point soon enough. There are enough intelligent pundits out there to spot what would be going on.written 23rd Apr 2005
Hamish Allan replies: According to this site:
The Government has in January 2005, together with the Electoral Commission, introduced The Registration of Political Parties (Prohibited Words and Expressions) (Amendment) Order 2005 , which identifies words which are not permitted to be used on ballot forms. This paper, due to take effect on 19th February 2005 lists the expression "None of the above" as the (one and only) banned party name!
So, given that this phrase already receives special treatment, I think a strong case could be made for publishing the the number of spoiled ballots in which the voter writes in "none of the above" as if it is an option they would like to take, in addition to ballots spoiled in other ways.written 23rd Apr 2005
Hamish Allan replies: Oops, notapathetic ate my anchor href. The site I linked to was:
http://www.noneoftheaboveparty.org.uk/written 23rd Apr 2005