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April 24, 2007

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Mark Wadsworth

You should always vote, even if only for the sake of spoiling the ballot paper. People have given their lives for this right.

sanbikinoriaon

But you can also choose a loony radical party like the BNP, quite often, and usually an independant or two too. No stale managerialists are these!

Mark Wadsworth

Sanbikinorian, I cheerfully admit to having voted for the "Christian worker's alliance" on the basis that they had the longest party name (altho' I didn't have a clue what they stood for), that doesn't quite apply to the BNP.

Paul Evans

"If, after such reflection, you've decided that no PARTY is worthy of your support, where's the irresponsibility in not voting?"

Surely some mistake? You meant to say 'canditate' I expect?

Paul Evans

"If, after such reflection, you've decided that no party is worthy of your support, where's the irresponsibility in not voting?"

Surely some mistake? I expect you intended to say 'candidate' instead of 'party'?

procrustes

Mark Wadsworth, your point is absolute rubbish.

People have given their lives to let you decide whether you want to exercise your right to vote.

Amir

Abstention, in my opinion, shows a healthy indifference to the pretentious vagaries of party-politics and a healthy suspicion of unprincipled politicians and their anal-retentive obsession with enriching their own coffers and expanding their own influence to the detriment of hardworking folk. I heartily recommend that the cerebral Chris Dillow and his estimable readers go to Amazon.co.uk and purchase a brand-spanking copy of “The End of Politics” by Alexander Lee and Timothy Stanley. Buy it; read it; memorise it. Go to the ballot box and write “None of the Above.”

reason

Surely the issue is what do other people do. As was pointed out there are more radical alternatives. Not voting for a moderate alternative is by default a vote for something more radical. What proportion of the population supported Hitler again?

reason

This sounds to me like another version of the perfect being the enemy of the good. Non-voters forfeit all chance of influencing the politicians they claim to want to improve.

johnrobert

Where I see the problem is in equating democracy with voting and nothing else. Any democracy where citizen involvement is limited to voting once every few years is going to be a pretty clunky affair. If I have to make a choice, a citizen who has made him or herself knowledgeable about some public issue, who contributes time and money to support the solution of the issue, and shares knowledge about it with the rest of the citizenry, can neglect to vote and still be the better citizen in my book.

maria

let us not be selfish. it is our responsibility. if this is the only way we can be truly citizens of our country then why not?

decisions are made by those who show up

The important thing is availing yourself of the right to vote. Today very few people vote, if a national election has a 30% turnout that is huge. If you want to be able to express an opinion about the decisions that govern your life or the people that make them, without being a hypocrite, then you have a responsibility to vote. If you do not agree with any of the candidates or parties then show up and spoil your ballot. How many of the 70% that usually don't vote actually care? Answer: we will never know. But if 90% of the population showed up but out of those only the original 30% submitted valid ballots then that, and that alone, would express that we do have opinions but we feel un-represented.
In democratic countries we have a right to free speech and a right to express an opinion as to who should lead us. It is our responsibility to participate.

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