They're not voting because...
- Leave it to the experts
I'm not voting for the same reason I don't perform brain surgery. I don't know enough about the intricacies of the subject to make a sensible judgement. I'll leave it to those with the ability, knowledge and interest to make the right choice for the country.written 13th Apr 2005
Jeffrey replies: Democracy isn't about making a sensible judgement, its about making a judgement on what you want. The state isn't asking "is it right to hand out cookies?" its asking "theres only one chocolate chip left - shall we save it for later?". This is why the government would risk a constitutional crisis and spend 7000 hours discussing fox hunting, and a mere 7 hours over whether to declare war and invade a country in the unstable, oil-rich Middle East.
It ain't a perfect system certainly. You should vote on principles.
Tory: cut waste, Eurosceptic, harsher crime sentencewritten 14th Apr 2005
Labour: improve efficiency, pro-Europe, family friendly
Lib Dems: raise taxes, respect civil rights
Greens: better environment
Vertias: trust, accountability
UKIP: very Eurosceptic
BNP: xenophobia bordering on racism
mike replies: Yes, but that's all nice and simplistic isn't it. Everyone wants to cut waste, reduce crime, respect civil rights, care for the environment, be trustworthy and accountable and not be overrun by illegal immigrants. All these things have a price though.
Does driving a van round the neighbourhood to collect empty plastic bottles for recycling actually provide a net benefit for the environment? I don't know. Has anyone actually looked at the numbers? CO2 and particulates from the diesel. Wear and tear on the van. Energy (and money) expended by the 'operatives' and the back office staff. The energy used in recycling the product and re-distributing it. Would they be better off digging holes and planting trees all day in an effort to sequester a bit more carbon? Or would we all be better off if they just stayed home and watched Oprah?
I haven't the time or the inclination to do this assessment. I'll trust that the local council knows what it's doing. It wouldn't surprise me if nobody has done this in sufficient detail though.
And that's a relatively easy and trivial thing. So try thinking about a hard question like 'Should we be in Europe?' God knows. Too hard for me, 99.999% of the population and virtually everyone involved in politics to answer correctly. Don't ask me to take a stand on principles unless you can provide some concrete footings for me to base my principles on.
As for taxes, raise them or lower them. I don't care. The money all gets spent on us in the end anyway. Apart from the 'waste' that is. As long as we keep the corruption to a minimum and the taxes are spent in a just and sensible fashion I don't give a monkey's how much I pay.
Being friendly to families is fine and dandy unless you haven't got a family. I'm quite happy to accept a nursery grant for my daughter but I've no idea how many kids in the third world could have been saved with the money. Or how many libraries could be open when people aren't atually working or how many junkies we could wean off crack. When you can tell me what the trade offs are then I'll think about adopting some principles. Until then I'm not prepared to take a stance from a position of ignorance and arrogance. That would not be a smart move.written 14th Apr 2005