They're not voting because...
- How can a choice of A or B truly represent...
How can a choice of A or B truly represent a democracy (Lab/Con)? Especially now that A = B (more or less). People don't generally fit comfortably on 1 side or another, modern life is too complex and I believe most people are not so ignorant as to require such a simplistic political system. We need more diversity in politic s - not just for photo opportunities but to actually take part in and influence the process. Electoral reform is needed to represent the true voting patterns of the public rather then the current age-old "first past the post system". However, to get a party in who advocates electoral reform is basically impossible due to the 2-party system we have almost completely entrenched into our so-called democracy.written 8th Apr 2005
Scott replies: Given that (unofficially at least) the percentage of votes for all parties is counted, not voting because you don't feel Labour or Tory represent you seems daft to me.
How do you expect pressure to mount to implement PR, if the only parties getting voted for advocate first past the post?
A vote for a different party would at least change the percentage of votes, which could encourage minor parties that the votes are there for them, and could influence more people to vote differently in future elections.written 8th Apr 2005
Simon replies: you may have a point - but having heard all the bluster about PR, and how the main 2 parties always weasel out of it on some pretext or another I really don't think this is realistic. Unfortunately if you offer people a simplistic choice then many of them will take it and move on (or more likely not vote). People lead busy lives and the majority are not politically active, they might care but they are virtually powerless and have more important stuff to worry about. My vote will not help, since I don't live in a marginal constituency and under the current system it will be discarded if I vote for any party in favour of some form of PR. When a real majority want something they *should* be listened to by politicians, anything less *should* be unlawful. However, this is not the case. If you really believe that "voting percentages" will influence the mainstream political process I think you are sorely mistaken, look at the percentages now - the government do not even have a legitimate majority in terms of the eligible voting population. I realise much of this may be due to abstention but do you think the government care? Look at Iraq... do they care what you think? It is a game of laws and economics. No mainstream political party will ever be foolish enough to change the way it is, unless they met some extreme change of circumstances. It is not in their interests. As long as the electorate are given no real alternative they will live with the system as it is dictated by the mainstream parties. We don't live in a true democracy, we live under a number of rotating benevolent dictatorships. This is not the worst position to be in, but its hardly a progressive society.written 8th Apr 2005
I think we are trapped in an economically obsessed political system. I have nothing against economics, but it is weaved too deeply into politics. How can people get passionate and hold view over things when they are constantly told to bow down before economics above all else. We live in fear (partly due to spinning and posturing in the media by mainstream political groups) of the economy and anything "upsetting" it. To some extent this is good management, but it shouldn't be the be all and end all of politics, politics is about more than this. If the mainstream politicians can garauntee sound economic management then this is good, and everyone will continue to vote for it - but where is the reform to allow people to vote for other issues too, why must it all be about economics? We have already voted for safe and stable economics... for the last 20-25 years. Yes the public want that - but it isn't all they want. Give us a system where we can vote for other issues too!
Jeffrey replies: Also, I would like to add that the 2 party system chasing the centre ground means that we end up with 2 parties which are, as far as the man on the street can see, exactly the same. They both want to magically cut taxes and increase spending, they both want to wage war on any country US tells them to and they both want to create the database state. Some people oppose these views, but have no avenue to turn down.written 8th Apr 2005