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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...

instead of moaning, let's change things...

instead of moaning, let's change things. it's time to make blair and his dictator-democracy extinct

we can seize power back if we use the web.

we start a website. the website mirrors parliament - each debate and subsequent vote in parliament is similarly represented by a vote on the website. each UK voter is eligible to vote once on any and every issue on the website and to create an automation profile that controls how they auto-vote for issues they're not as interested in actively participating on.

initially this is just an exercise in futility. but wait, now lets say that the website employs proxy politicians whose employment T & Cs are to vote in whichever way the website's poll instructs. of course, first we have to vote them in. so this is where we come in - in any by-election or general election we the public vote in a website candidate in order to empower ourselves. eventually all constituencies are controlled by website candidates. this means that we the public control parliament and are able to pass the laws the politicians won't pass themselves: i.e that an independent body should control their pay rises (and not them!) and issues like propoertional representation will get a fair hearing whereas it can never do at the moment as labour and the tories will always vote it down as it can only reduce the number of seats they hold.


written 7th Apr 2005


Lawrence Grainger replies: To paraphrase: "Build it, and they won't come".

I'd vote on your site, certainly. I think it's a very interesting idea. Correctly publicised and promoted (an article in The Grauniad or Mail, for instance) it could bring a large amount of interest and I suspect you'd have a very large number of people who would vote on your site - but only once.

The reason being, whilst there are a lot of people who would "tune in" to see this scary parallel Britain and how we really think, they would for the most part only be doing this in the hope of confirming their own beliefs, viewpoints and prejudices. Voyeurism is all very well, but actually taking part is another matter entirely.

Remember, the majority of people - be it through lack of analytical skill, the preponderence of brainwashing, or just never having truly considered the matter - genuinely believe that Democracy is a good thing, that it equals "freedom", and (this is worst) that we actually have it as a political system.

Nevertheless, in their millions, these people fail to vote in elections which are actually real and (or at least they so believe) will actually make a difference to their lives. What hope is there that the same electorate will vote on a purely virtual ballot, even once let alone time after time.

Isn't it something over 40% of registered voters who failed to vote in '91? Add a good few more percentage points for the people who are not registered to vote and then throw in the huge number of people who, now more than ever, plan to boycott the election and you have the majority of Britons who are keeping silent as far as your votes are concerned.

Tragically, without the support of this silent bloc, any and all conclusions drawn by your brave website leave themselves open to being utterly, utterly torn apart by spurious arguments and genuine logic. Without a mandate of its own, the site can be undermined as easily as a shack on the lip of a quarry. Any sample you get will invariably be a very small percentage of the actively voting populace, and of course a vastly smaller percentage of the populace as a whole, which means that your voters will be automatically (and with a degree of justification, though without the prejudicial overtones) derided as "activists, agitators, conspiracy nuts, lefties/thefarright, weirdos, commies, and students" - ie: not a representative sample of the populace as a whole and therefore of no statistical or analytical value.

In conclusion, this could never be a valuable political tool if the object is to influence government thinking and/or political decisions.

This doesn't make it worthless, though! Far from it. Even if is only yet another talking shop, it will be one which, thanks to its structure and its only voting on issues actually put to the vote in the house(s), will be a fairly unique forum which presents a very very clearly defined alternative to the Britain we get, and that is something most grassroots political agendas never really manage.

I love it, and I hope you start it, and I hope it thrives. Sign me up!

written 8th 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.