There’s been some serious political debate on my blog (fueled in part by my high ranking in google on a search for “respect party”, nice).
So, I thought I’d bring things down to my level with my “Ben’s final thought” on this, the eve of polling day: Be in the majority: stay at home.
Yes that’s right folks, turn out will be low — will it be less that 40%? Why not stay in the clear majority and stay at home?
- Are you thinking what I’m thinking: don’t bother voting?
- If you don’t value it, don’t vote for it
- The real, real alternative – stay at home
Apparently, I’m not supposed to say who I’ll be voting for. But seeing as I won’t be voting for any of them I think I’m “in the clear”.
Ok – enough of the mucking around. People have said to me it’s awful that I won’t be voting and that it’s my civic duty to do so. My point is this: I don’t like the choice that’s on offer. I don’t want to put my name on any of them. Since when did “being the least bad” or “the best of a bad bunch” make for a viable option?
Which ever party comes into power: it won’t have been in my name.
The secret ballot was one of the demands of the Chartists. Think about it – if you are allowed to cast your ballot in secret, you cannot be ‘bought’ or pressurised, as no-one can be sure how you voted.
That said, it doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to tell anyone how you voted, but you don’t have to, and even if you do, you can’t prove it!
BTW, the Chartists never got their demands in their time, but almost all of them have become what we think of as democratic process, which shows they were on the button:
EQUAL ELECTORAL DISTRICTS
ABOLITION OF THE PROPERTY QUALIFICATIONS FOR M.P’S
UNIVERSAL MANHOOD SUFFRAGE
VOTE BY BALLOT
THE PAYMENT OF M.P’S
I am a member of the “local youth” – I’m 23. I don’t identify with any of them!
Hi, I see the point about not having a real choice. The Conservative and Lib Dem candidates look and sound more like Local Councillor/Mayor materialif anything at all – can you imagine the local youths or young people identifying with them? You want the sharpest tool in the box with a track-record to represent the constituency on a national/international level- is this the best that the Lib Dem and the Tories cand do? I can totally understand traditional Tories and Lib Dems feeling disenfranchised – so the choice is between keeping things as they were for the last eight years or voting for a change (read George Galloway – quick you still have time as I write this!)
I think secret ballots started in the 19th century when peasants were allowed to keep their voting preferences away from the prying eyes of Lord and Master. Something like that.
All spoilers of ballots and stay at homers should start campaigning for electoral reform. Did you know Tony Blair promised a review of electoral reform in his 1997 manifesto? He actually set up a commission headed by Lord Jenkins to write a report and come up with some proposals for a system of proportional representation and promised a referendum on it during his FIRST parliament. Of course with landslide voctory, that quickly fizzled away. Another broken promise.
Ben you have to get the bbc to re-ignite this issue. If we the people, and you the media all unite on this, newsprint, broadcasters, the lot, we have to be able to force his hand.
A couple of things, does anyone know where this ‘keep your vote secret’ thing came from? It’s not like in the UK we’re going going to get shot for admitting you didn’t vote for another four years of Prime Dictator Blair.
Secondly I’ve been in a similar situation, where I knew that I didn’t want to vote for any of the candidates, however I also strongly believe in democracy and think that many western countries the level of voter apathy is insulting (to many of our relatives for the past 100 or so years as well as to those in countries where there is no ‘real freedom). I ended up spoiling that vote and wrote a suitably witty comment just to give the counter something to laugh about!
Anyway my 0.02…
Enjoy your blog )
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