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Not Apathetic

Tell the world why you're not voting - don't let your silence go unheard

They're not voting because...

I *AM* voting. If only so I can legitimately...

I *AM* voting. If only so I can legitimately complain about the state of the country for the next 4-5 years. Anyone who doesn't vote loses that right.

written 15th Apr 2005

Responses

Colin replies: I'm not so sure. How about someone who believes that party politics is a fundamentally bad system? An anarchist would not vote, but might well have plenty to say about the government.

written 15th Apr 2005

SW replies: Nope, you're wrong, we don't lose that right. This is (supposedly) a free country, in case you'd forgotten; freedom of speech also means freedom to complain about the government. I don't remember seeing anything about having to vote to qualify for those rights...

written 15th Apr 2005

Andrew replies: You don't lose your right to complain, just the legitimacy of the complaint. What reason can you give for complaining about what you couldn't be bothered to try to change. And just saying "no parties were suitable" doesn't count, at the worst you can do is vote for the "lesser evil".

written 16th Apr 2005

Merrick replies: How can not voting mean you don't have legitimate complaint about the government? If anything it's the voters who have no right to complain.

If you vote for someone you give them your mandate, you trust them to work for you and agree to abide by whoever does win.

People who vote forfeit the right to complain because by voting they agreed to be ruled by the winner. They asked for it.

If all candidates are going to take you to hell in a handcart - and in beleiving in nonsense like perpetual economic growth they clearly are - none of them deserve your mandate then you shouldn't give it to them.

written 16th Apr 2005

SW replies: By not voting I AM hoping to make a change - I am hoping enough people don't vote to invalidate any resultant mandate to rule.

written 16th Apr 2005

JM replies: Well, you've already spoilt this particular ballot paper, sorry to say.

It says at the top "I'm NOT voting because . . ."; not "I AM voting because . . ."

Hope you achieve greater things on polling day.

Still, I suppose the fat cats can always rely on the support of the fatuous.

written 16th Apr 2005

TL replies: "How can not voting mean you don't have legitimate complaint about the government? If anything it's the voters who have no right to complain."

This comment by Merrick is absolutely spot on.

It is quite laughable to see voters trying to appease their consciences by shifting blame to anyone other than themselves.

If anyone doesn't have the right to complain about Government, it's the people that put them there.

written 16th Apr 2005

NK replies: "If anything it's the voters who have no right to complain." Well thats ot entirely true now is it?

Yeah sure, you vote for the party which gets into government, then you should not be moaning, and if you are, perhaps you should of read their manifesto for a little longer then what the TV broadcasts allow for.

If however, your party doesn't win, then you have as much right as the next person to complain.

TL's comment is more accurate.
"If anyone doesn't have the right to complain about Government, it's the people that put them there."

written 17th Apr 2005

Mj replies:

SW - you say you are hoping that enough people don't vote to invalidate any resultant mandate to rule.

What would this achieve? The country would be in constitutional crisis, with no government to keep shop.

written 18th Apr 2005

Emily replies: I haven't decided what I think about this, but I'm not sure I agree that the voters have less right to complain. If you don't want Party X to win but won't vote for another party, then Party X wins because no other party did well enough, surely you are partially responsible for not choosing the 'lesser evil'? Because that seems to be all there is. Unless the majority of people abstain, which doesn't seem like a particularly realistic expectation. To me, pragmatism seems more important than idealism when faced with four years of a government ruled by people whose views I completely oppose.

And if you would prefer to have absolutely no part in a system that you fundamentally disagree with, it seems unfair to criticise people who are trying to elect a government that will provide the best possible health care, education etc., which you will be using, regardless of whether any party is a 'positive' choice.

Like I said, I haven't decided so I'm not slating your decision not to vote, I am just wondering what I should do myself. I don't like any of the available options either, but I'm not sure if I think abstaining is the sensible option.

written 19th Apr 2005

FSOBR replies: Emily think you might be a closet liberal - you seem so nice and not wanting to offend...

Basically anyone can slate, support, critisise the Government - in the same way I can slate American foreign policies - even though I am not American and therefore didn't vote for them. Its called an opinion...

I think that the three main parties all broadly agree with each other and there is no real choice - more police, better health service, better education...I mean come on...my issue is with the privatisation of basic rights - health and education - corporations loyalty, as we know, is only to the bottom line - not to the services that they are providing - as it stands, and as much I hate the name - the green party are ones that are actually opposed to this...

written 19th Apr 2005

Emily replies: I hope I am nice! But I just don't like the bitchiness that often comes with discussions about politics. It really puts me off talking about it.

I wasn't saying that people who don't vote aren't entitled to an opinion at all. What I was saying is that, by not voting, you are allowing others to make the decision for you, because a decision will be made. Someone will win the election. I assume that most people who choose not to vote would not say that they didn't care who won, otherwise this site would not be called notapathetic.com. There must be an outcome which they would be least pleased with. Therefore, if my vote contributes to avoiding that outcome, it seems a little unfair that some of them would be able to feel virtuous for abstaining, while I feel guilty for participating in a system which is so unfair.

I suppose I just think that, if you're so unhappy with the available options, you need to do positive things to make things change, and not just at election time. Otherwise, isn't it just like sulking in the corner when someone says something that offends you? The kind of politicians that people want to see won't just appear out of thin air. Everyone here has important and interesting reasons for not voting that have made me question my own ideas, so it would be a shame if all that the government heard from them was 'none of the above'. But then perhaps all of you are involved in other political activities, I don't know.

written 19th Apr 2005

FSOBR replies: Emily - totally agree with you about the bitchiness - its just seems to be an extension of what politicians do on TV - no real point to make but saying something anyway - leading to an apathic electorate...

Whether you vote or not, I don't believe it will make a great deal of difference to the political system. Cynical maybe, but there will be no real change whilst the three main parties squabble over the details of essentially the same policies.

So much to say about each party - and nothing particulary positive - the only choice as I see it is not vote or vote for a smaller party which has ideas - and isn't going to change its position (or not turn up on crucial bills that it is opposed to - Lib Dems)...

Make an ideological decision on a party rather than listening to the same old rhetoric that is pumped out by the party machines...

written 20th Apr 2005

About Not Apathetic

NotApathetic was built so that people who are planning not to vote in the UK General Election on May 5th can tell the world why. 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.

A lot of users would like us to mention that if you spoil your ballot paper, it will be counted. So if you want to record a vote for "none of the above", you can.

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