They're not voting because...
- Political parties distort true democracy.
it is the only way of communicating complete dissatisfaction with current party political processes.
Every other option involves engagement with - and hence validation for - the current system.
For what it is worth; my dissatisfaction lies within the increasingly Party Political aspect of political life - visible in extremis by the party lists used in proportional representation used in European elections.
British democracy was founded upon voting for an individual who represented the best interests of their constituency and operated tactically to that end.
Under that ecosystem, it is natural for ad hoc issue-based groupings to come together on a case by case basis. However it is NOT natural nor helpful for this process to be distorted and abused by rigid "on message" dictats of political parties as we now know them.written 11th Apr 2005
Celia replies: I agree with certain points.
We should think about voting for the candidate that would best represent our personal constituency not who would be the leader of the government.
Unfortunately because MPs more often than not have to toe the party line, they end up not listening to what their constituency really wants.
There are, however, advantages to proportional representation as opposed to the first past the post system we employ.written 12th Apr 2005
If a proportional representation system was used, maybe we wouldn't be in our current situation, where Labour have a vast majority of seats in parliament and hence can pass any bills/motions with relative ease.
But if you don't vote you have no premise for complaining about the government. It is really too much to ask that we stand up and be counted?
Many countries can only dream of the sort of political freedom and choice we have, so jolly well go and enjoy that freedom to vote and make yourself heard.
Anonymous replies: You would have a valid point if proportional representation actually supported democracy. Unfortunately, all it does is further distance the electorate from their direct representative.
My experience is of the Spanish electoral process where, thanks to party lists, there is no specific individual responsible for representing any given constituency - votes from Malaga may be responsible for giving someone from Madrid their seat with no geographic responsibility at all.written 12th Apr 2005
bor replies: pr also leads to weak government leaving the balance of power in the hands of a minority (much like the UDP during the Major years).written 12th Apr 2005