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May 01, 2006


Matt M

I'm starting to wonder whether Labour actually want to lose the next election.

They have an unpopular leader. They've introduced a wealth of unpopular legislation. And now they seem to want to alienate and annoy even more people.

The idea of compulsory voting gets floated every so often, but doesn't really stand a chance of being put into law, so why make public your support for an idea which most people oppose?

And since when did anyone in New Labour care that much about democracy?


Hard to disagree with most of this.

I don't know what a realistic estimate would be for the proportion of non-voters who would now vote NOTA: comparing 2001/05's c.60% with the recent high of 77% might give you 20 percentage points of non-voters (roughly half the total), to which you could perhaps add another 10 percentage points from those who would otherwise have reluctantly picked a candidate (assume all parties decline by the same proportion). So, 30 pts, or the equivalent of 75% of non-voters. Applied nationally, that would give us:

C 164, Lab 110, LD 37, Others 14. Con Maj 3

The picture would also change if, like the other parties, 'NOTA' were able to campaign locally and nationally.


Labour has already tried the trick of uncontrolled immigration on the racist assumption that people from backward countries are all so dim that they'll vote Labour. They've also tried the trick of encouraging postal voting fraud, on the racist assumption that their brown supporters will prove particularly adept at it. Perhaps you should compliment them on a non-racist low trick?


How to raise money for political parties.

Make voting compulsory, fine for not voting £25/head added to council tax bills, money so collected allocated to local parties in area where voting takes place in proportion to votes cast for them.


... thus penalising the disenfranchised, funnelling money out of deprived areas, and incentivising parties to keep turnout low - crazy.

Joe Blow

Ideally one should change None of the Above to Reopen Nominations/Resubmit new candidates.

If RN/RSN wins a majority of the vote all candidates are removed from the ballot and barred by law from standing in any constituency for any elected position for say the next 3-4 parliaments.

Any constituency which has taken the decision to throw the bums out, then get the right to directly select all candidates put before them in a US style primary.

It would have a wonderful sobering effect on the political class.


Dearieme jumps shark, veers into territory of inexcusable trolling.

Colin Campbell

I think compulsory voting has its merits. The reality is that it is compulsory attendance at a voting location. I have lived, but not voted in two countries, where this is the case. Singapore has compulsory voting and everyone votes for the PAP because if they don't their neighbourhoods will not be upgraded and they are scared that the government will find out if they voted against them. Here in Australia,there is compulsory voting. I think it is quite a good system, with some kind of transferable voting, where you can nominate your secondary preferences or leave it to backroom deals to sort our where your vote goes. I do think that the system gives a better chance for people to have a government closer to their political philosophy. It also allows smaller parties to have a real chance to have some level of representation. As an adjunct, fines for not voting are fairly trivial and not a disincentive if your really did want to exercise your right not to turn up. After 22 years of living outside the UK, I still can't vote.

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