They're not voting because...
- For all those not voting who may, ...
For all those not voting who may, spare a thought for those that fought so that you can. Spare a thought for the fact that you live in a democratic country that gives you the right and the freedom to do so.
If you aren't voting because you don't feel that there is anything worth voting for then spoil your paper and send a positive message to the leading parties that they need to mend their ways.
If you aren't voting because you don't think that it will make a difference then like those that just can't be bothered you don't deserve the right. I guess you'd all be up in arms though if you had your right revoked
Personally I beleive that everyone who is eligible to vote should be obliged to cast a vote, even if that means spoiling your paper. Those that don't and don't have a valid reason should be fined.written 5th May 2005
Ronnie Williams replies: Why just go and spoil the paper? Why not stay at home and let the low percentage tell it's own message to the self-interested old boy's drinking club in Westminster?written 5th May 2005
Take my 'right' away. Should I cry? Real politics isn't about turning out every four or five years to take part in a charade and kid ourselves it's democracy. Real politics is getting off your backside and getting involved in local campaigns without involving councillors. MP's and those other careerist clowns.
Matt replies: I think the right not to vote is just as important as the right to vote, otherwise it's no really a democracy...written 5th May 2005
dcd replies: You say that "personally" you believe that everyone who is eligible to vote should vote or spoil the ballot paper SIMPLY BECAUSE people ages ago suffered and fought for the franchise to be extended.
That's bizarre and flawed logic!
The fact that people suffered for me to be eligible to vote is a success because I AM eligible to vote -- but I am NOT compelled to vote, legally nor morally. I like having the right to vote; I like as many rights and privileges as I can possibly get. I like the idea of having the freedom to have a great many credit cards too -- but I don't feel the need to actually exercise all my rights all the time, even those with a painful history.
What if I am not a democrat? Imagine the case where I simply do not believe people should have the vote! perhaps I believe that LESS people should have the vote -- maybe there should be an intelligence test or some way of whittling out the great unwashed, ill-educated hoardes that can vote on a tradition basis or other whim, instead of on issues?
This is not such a strange argument for people have been discussing for years whether juries are capable of sitting in on complex fraud trials, and for years we've heard a lot about the poor standard of education generations have been given -- and these are the people who you suggest ought to vote!
Then again, what if I were a democrat -- should I THEN feel compelled to use my voting right? The answer is, not necessarily!
Do we have a democracy? We have an unelected monarch as head of state, and church... and unelected bishops sit in the unelected (undemocratic) House of Lords. We have to vote for local councillors, MSPs, MEPs and MPs. You still have the basic three or four parties to chose from -- so you might vote locally on a local issue and get a national policy instead. You might return party A to a Party B led council, or return party C to a Party D led government, with a Party E member in Brussels!
The bottom line is, democrat or not, you have the right the vote, but you certainly do not have to vote.
Indeed by voting against your best judgement you endorse all this and so it will continue.
A party wins a seat if it gets the most collective votes -- so in Constituency A where there are only 2 parties, they would need 51 per cent over 49 per cent. In Constituency B where there are ten parties, it would be possible to win with a mere 11 per cent!
In this "first past the post" system, the government is formed on the most seats won -- adding up the percentages could indicate that the winner has only amassed a collective 20 per cent across the UK -- meaning that 80 per cent VOTED AGAINST THE WINNER - i.e. voted against the policies in the published manifesto!
Is that democratic?
If only 40 per cent of the population actually vote, then the situation becomes statistically difficult to justify forming a government at all!
It is a real MESS!
Real democracy is where you have the ability to vote on issues of concern, LOCAL AND NATIONAL -- not on parties that do not democratically vote for policies (only the Lib Dems do this).
If you are a real democrat, you cannot morally participate in this flawed corrupt and restictive system.
Make a statment by NOT bothering... it is THE ONLY way to get the point across that the system needs reform from outside rather than from inside.
Spoling a ballot paper is joining-in and endorsing the system, and merely suggests that you cannot choose between the parties or representatives of offer.
By not using your vote, you strike a blow for real democracy, playing outside the system.written 5th May 2005
Janet replies: Hello! I think I know where you're coming from. My Dad fought in WW2 and might feel the same as you if he were alive. I would try to persuade him however, that the tick in a box every 4 or 5 years that many people prize as democracy is a benign compliance to an elected dictatorship. Worse than this these elected dictators have silently, stealthily, deceitfully and gradually handed more and more power and control over or lives to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats - the EU. Vernon Coleman has written much on this, his book 'England our England', I'm sure, will read like a horror story to anyone who fought or lost loved ones in WW2.I urge you to take a look at it. All the main parties support this wholesale handing over of the freedoms that you fought for. I also have lengthy reasons for not voting for the parties opposing the EU that I cannot align with my conscience, but won't go into here.
This forum and others, writing letters to politicians of all parties and those with a media voice, as well as getting involved with local grass roots campaigns and initiatives are some of the options available. These are perhaps a better expression and commitment to one's political ideals and conscience than merely spoiling a ballot paper, tempting though it is!
The 3 main parties are all committed to absorbing us into a fascist European state where we will no longer be able to exercise the freedom of speech that we are here, without reprisal. Also London is planned to become part of a province of Germany. I wish that these statements were a joke or an exaggeration but unfortunately that is not the case - please research for yourself and I'm sure you'll conclude much the same.written 5th May 2005
With love and respect, J.
SteveC replies: Spoiling doesn't get noticed by anyone, it gets ignored. Not voting creates headlines. We're not apathetic, we're not given a reasonable choice.written 6th May 2005
Neill replies: I did 5 years in RN does that mean I have to vote, I technically "fought" for it. No the parties have got to earn my vote and they havent.written 7th May 2005
Tiger43 replies: My father fought in the last war, he`s dead now, natural old age thankfully than anything on the battlefield. I agree with a lot of the above. But I can`t help feeling however, that my father and others during that period have over the years been criminally let down by governments that have followed them and also I put some of the blame on todays uncaring society, for which the public in general are responsible and not just governmentwritten 10th May 2005