They're not voting because...
- No Vote No Comment. What is this? What...
No Vote No Comment. What is this? What sort of protest is not voting? It's very easy to blame the system. It's very easy to say "they're all the same anyway". If you don't exercise your right to vote does that mean you have a right to complain about government? People who don't vote are hurting no one but themselves, whatever the reason. You want things to change? Go get involved. Don't sit around spouting on about how you are not voting because "no one understands me" and "elections are a fraud". Has it ever occurred to you all that not voting actually plays into the hands of extremists? Maybe people who don't vote should be stripped of the right and given lessons in political and social education? Maybe then they'll understand the potential implications and what our ancestors went through to get us the vote in the first place.written 12th Apr 2005
Paul Davies replies: that's all very lovely, but a touch romantic.
The parties only care about 2% of the electorate, so why should I care about them?
If I were a Labour voter in Surrey, or a Tory voter in Liverpool, I could go out and vote; I may feel as though I've fulfilled some special duty, but as for having ANY affect whatsoever on the election... that, I'm afraid is wishful thinkingwritten 12th Apr 2005
SW replies: Ummm, why are you coming on here in the first place? If you are going to vote, go ahead - and shut up! This site is supposed to be for people who AREN'T going to vote to give their reasons why, not for people like you to come and tell others why we SHOULD vote. Besides anything else, your reasoning stinks anyway...written 12th Apr 2005
JDB replies: It's the people that DO vote that should be given lessons in political and social education, as voting out of ignorance is much worse than not voting at all. Maybe introduce some kind of political awareness test that people must pass before they are allowed to vote, as many people vote out of habit rather than from an informed point of view.written 12th Apr 2005
Marc Jones replies: I think you have misunderstood me. My issue is with people encouraging a culture of non-participation. Sure there are always individual cases where maybe a vote doesn't count but if we all started thinking like that, where would we end up? There are plenty of seats around the country where apathy or protest votes could swing the result.
Also, how do you know the parties only care about 2% of the electorate? Where are you getting your statistics? Just out of interest, which 2% do you think they actually care about?written 12th Apr 2005
Marc Jones replies: Sounds like some want to wallow in their own self-pity. You don't vote because you don't believe in the system yet you can't change it. If you don't like the system and would rather moan about it and not try and do anything about it perhaps you should go live in another country. Why not try North Korea or maybe Zimbabwe, or even the US :-)written 12th Apr 2005
I agree JDB. A lot of people do vote from ignorance and it would be great to have a test, then perhaps parties wouldn't try and pander to some of the nastier basic extincts of ignorant people.
As for you SW, no need to be so rude. Just exercised my democratic right to voice my opinion on a web site, whether it was aimed at me or not.
Anonymous replies: "Just exercised my democratic right to voice my opinion on web site"
Actually you do not have a democratic "right"to place comments on whatever web site you feel like. If the site is privately owned and the owner has set down guildlines for use then you are obliged to comply. People who think otherwsie usually tend to be hackers.
The fornt page of this site clearly says ...
"We won't try to persuade you that voting is a good or a bad idea - we're just here to record and share your explanations. Whether ideological, practical or other, any reason will do." so I would suggest you try remain within the spirit of this site's intended use.
With regards to non-voters, they DO have a democratic right to NOT vote (voting is not compulsory, nor is abstaining a crime) so if people don't want to vote, then that's their business.
Get over it.written 12th Apr 2005
Marc Jones replies: Grow up. Did it not even in the slightest seem tongue and cheek? Of course voting is not compulsory. Neither is it compulsory to get fixed at an NHS hospital or receive benefits off the welfare state or go to a state school or receive tax credits through the post (if you've got children) etc etc. Think you can do better Mr Anonymous? Go get organised. Go change the system. Think you can change it from the outside?written 12th Apr 2005
Now, I have better things to do...
Chris replies: I'm with you Marc. All you so called non voters treat elections as if it was a shopping trip and you've decided (rather huffily I would say) that you don't like your local supermarket anymore because it doesn't cater exactly to your requirements. Well fair enough if you're shopping for groceries, but perhaps you should think about other people apart from yourselves. If you're reasonably well off, healthy, white, etc. then maybe you don't really care if we get the Tories, but if - as I suspect - you are disaffected Labour voters, then imagine what it will mean for poorer families to get Howard et al. So yes - grow up.written 12th Apr 2005
Lou replies: " Go get organised. Go change the system. Think you can change it from the outside?"
Excuse me while I recover from this hugely enteraining notion. Dear Marc you cannot change it from the outside, inside, topside or downside. Whether you vote, don't vote, spoil or jump up and down naked outside the House of Commons - though the latter option would at least be some light relief. Vote if you want but don't kid yourself you are changing a damn thing. ou ain't.written 13th Apr 2005
mikey replies: I can't believe what I'm reading. where on earth will all this mud slinging lead to if we can't even overcome the first hurdle of civil communication between voters and non-voters. I thought the whole point of this site was to encourage views from a range of people who might otherwise be voiceless. As a result, isn't every view just as worthy?written 13th Apr 2005
And since when did a group with one viewpoint have the authority to command another group with an alterior view to undergo 're-education' or 'banishment' from their allegedly personal and private domain? and please, I did not ask for examples, so please refrain from conjuring up fitting analagies.
piersh replies: Marc, you are spot on, but let me take issue with one point. "People who don't vote are hurting no one but themselves". I wish it was so, but in fact elections DO have outcomes - to the people of Iraq (do we withdraw or not); to the poor (minimum wage policy); to the elderly (council tax or income tax) etc. I've little sympathy for most of those withholding their right to vote - many of the reasons seem to reduce to a manifestation of selfish individualism.written 14th Apr 2005