They're not voting because...
- Democracy is a terrible scam - Are you...
Democracy is a terrible scam - Are you a democratic government? Then this is how to "win": ostensibly having listened to "the people", simply do as you wish quoting the mandate of said "people". After all, referendums (referendi?) are not handed out for anything bar.. well, anything these days, so there will in fact exist no figures showing on which side the majority public vote lies on any given issue. Therefore, (you may spuriously claim) the MP's vote is de facto the amalgamated will of the people who voted for him. Despite his decision being very strongly suggested to him by your "Whips". And despite a popular vote for an MP generally representing the lowest common denominator and at best pandering to popularity rather than inherent worth.
Using this system, dear government, you may be secure in the knowledge that as you have allowed the people to have their say, a small number of them will have lobbied for each and every possible course of action, leaving you free to do as you please - there are after all no figures for how many people for rather than against any given policy you create and indeed no system to compel you to enforce the majority view even if it were collected. When the time comes for you to leave office, finally overwhelmed by sufficient people voting for someone else just to get you out of power, you may sulkily whine "well if you didn't like my policies, you ought not to have voted me in" (this despite the fact that your policies have been very often different to those you suggested when canvassing for the vote, ahem).
The long and short of it is this:
Voting for people only empowers the people selected into power. Voting for policies would show the will of "the people" to a greater (but far from perfect) extent.
If it were legally required that each proposed change in the law had to conform to certain standards and tests of logic (ie: does long-term damage far exceeds short-term gain, does this law allow for the circumvention of other laws etc) then this would greatly curtail the often confused, contradictory and abusive policies foisted upon the public in the name of the public. If then each proposal were subject to a vote, open to the public as a whole (all you would need is a phone-voting system, such as that used on celebrity voting programs, but with safeguards) and the resulting tally arbitrating the fate of the proposal, we would all get a rather better deal from our governments. Not only would democracy be a fair bit purer than the laughable nonsense at present, but the requirement to conform to logic and rules would ensure that no utter tripe (designed to appeal very broadly to those without the discerment required to effectively judge a given proposed law) would be ratified and thus do us harm.
I have no wish to give the current political system my utterly insignificant permission to be disenfranchised, and this is why I shall not vote. I may be being rectally violated by the system, but I'll be dammed if I will turn, bend and spread for it!written 7th Apr 2005