They're not voting because...
Apart from the lack of the "none of the above" (which someone else also commented on), the simple fact that I cannot trust any of the parties to actually represent my wishes invalidates the process for me. (Just look at broken promises by both the Labour and Conservative parties).
So, not voting is actually making a statement in itself: I vote for the option which is not there!written 8th Apr 2005
azad replies: The option to vote for "none of the above" is available to you on election day. Use it, spoil it, that will count, not voting will certainly not.written 8th Apr 2005
GHZ replies: "Use it, spoil it, that will count, not voting will certainly not."
I used to think this way, but I am changing my mind. If you turn up to vote, even to spoil your paper, you are counted as part of the percentage turn out. This only gives our failed version of democracy some sort of credibility, somthing it does not deserve.
I'm hoping for a turn out approaching 20% over the next decade or so. Then my 'representative' can proudly look back and say that although they represent 500,000 people, only 100,000 people thought the position they have worthy of their time, and only 50,000 people actually wanted them to hold this position.
If there is 80% turnout (even if mostly spoilt papers), then they will get the impression that the position, the process and national democracy in this country is actually worth something. It's a position that 80% of people care about and yet they won the vote.
If I take the stage in a comedy club, I'd rather leave the stage with people booing me than just being left cold and indifferent. At least I'd provoked a response and shown that my set was worth something.
Sod them, indifference is the best way to treat what they are offering us.written 8th Apr 2005
SW replies: Amen to that, GHZ.written 9th Apr 2005
P replies: I whole-heartedly support of GHZ's comments too!
It is totally misguided to believe that "spoiling you ballot" is going to do anything other than legitimise the current electoral processes that we have in place.
If you really want to protest, first make sure that you are registered to vote, and then stay home on polling day.
How many times have you ever heard reference to "spoiled ballots" on any election TV programme? It doesn't even warrant a single comment as part of the overall results. Yet whenever turnout is low, this fact will be mentioned time and time again (followed by big discussions on what can be done about the situation). This is because there is suddenly panic among politicians because they realise that a very low turn out would make it obvious to everyone that their position has no real legitimacy or mandate from a significant section of the general public (possibly even a 'majority' of the public in this coming election).
Spoling your ballot is a just waste of everyone's time (yours and the vote counters) and serves only to undermine any real form of protest and abstention, because it makes voter turn-out appear to be higher than it actually is.written 9th Apr 2005