Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Vote!

Agree with my views, or don't agree. Whichever. Please go out and vote tomorrow.

Ideally please, THINK ABOUT IT, and don't just vote because it is the way you always have or the way your parents did. Please THINK about the issues, and make a decision, and vote.

And remember, using social media, you will see a view that is selected by you, and is not representative. You will see a lot of biased news, what your friends pick to share. It is worth trying to find impartial and factual sources of information if you can.

Unlike the lottery, you don't have to be in it to win it - the result of the election impacts you whether you voted or not. Better to vote and try and influence your future.

9 comments:

  1. And if you don't vote you have no right to complain about what happens in the next parliament.

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    1. That gets trotted out every time without fail. You could equally say that if you vote for X you have no right to complain about a policy not supported by X. I think the comment comes from an assumption that people who don't vote can't be bothered engaging in the process at all, and there's a touch of righteousness in scolding people for it.

      As long as you are REGISTERED you have as much right as anyone else to complain about anything in parliament no matter how you use your vote. That includes voting for X because you support X, voting for X because you think they're the least apalling, voting for X as something in between, spoiling your vote, casting a blank vote or not voting.

      They are all valid statements within the very limited system we have and they can be analysed in different ways. Eg voting for X could be any of those examples. Not voting could be a statement of dissatisfaction or ignorance. Unfortunately we have no way to articulate under the system we have.

      I'd adjust that comment to say if you can't be arsed finding out about the parties and getting a little bit engaged then you're pushing your luck by complaining but not voting does not imply not being arsed.

      And if you're eligible to vote but are NOT registered then you're invisible and not even a statistic.

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    2. > You could equally say that if you vote for X
      > you have no right to complain about a policy
      > not supported by X.

      I'm not sure I understand how you can equate the two.

      > I think the comment comes from an assumption
      > that people who don't vote can't be bothered
      > engaging in the process at all

      Voting is the very basis of a democracy. If an individual doesn't vote, then that individual isn't engaging in the process. There is no other way to engage in the process of democracy other than to vote.

      > and there's a touch of righteousness in
      > scolding people for it.

      I agree entirely with Mark's comment and I am sorry you choose to see the statement in this way. I can only speak for myself, but I see the democratic process as something we have fought for and need to keep fighting for. When I say "If you don't vote, you don't have a right to complain", I am not righteous and I am not scolding. I am simply frustrated beyond measure that somebody may seek to complain about something they took a deliberate decision not to take part in.

      > As long as you are REGISTERED you have
      > as much right as anyone else to complain
      > about anything in parliament no matter how
      > you use your vote.

      Electing not to vote cannot possibly be considered a way of using ones vote. If I own a lawnmower but choose not to use it, do I have a right to complain to somebody about the length of my grass?

      Note that I am distinguishing between my legal and moral rights here (of course I have a legal right to complain about my lawn, but morally? I don't think so), and this is, perhaps, the crux of your argument...

      Out of interest, I am equally frustrated with people who spoil their ballots. If no candidate truly represents an individual's position, then I strongly believe that individual should stand as a candidate themselves. If the individual's position isn't important enough to them to make them choose to stand, then I believe that the individual has a moral obligation to vote for the least objectionable candidate.

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    3. > There is no other way to engage in the process of democracy other than to vote.

      I'm sorry but that simply isn't true. Democracy is far more than just voting. Civil society, public debate, private discussion, education, engagement, research, rule of law, and so on - these are all vital to a functioning democracy. There have been plenty of countries where the arrival of "democracy" has been heralded because an election was held - only for that "democracy" to fall apart because all of the other aspects were not in place.

      I'm not saying people shouldn't vote (do it! now!), but there are plenty of other ways to engage in the process. Complaining is one of them - though I suspect it's more effective when you complain to someone with responsibility and power (MP, councillor etc) rather than your mates down the pub :-)

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    4. I think we are broadly in agreement and that the problem is more that I expressed myself badly.

      I think that the democratic process is independent of democratic society in that it is entirely possible that an individual could participate in one but not the other.

      I maintain that the cornerstone of the democratic process is the vote. Civil society, public debate, private discussion, education, engagement, research, rule of law are, indeed, vital for a democracy to function, but I believe that these are aspects of a democratic society rather than the democratic process per se. I believe that if I chose not to vote, I would have no right to complain about the result. My not voting would not, however, preclude my participation in any of the aspects of a functioning democratic society.

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    5. Having put in days of work to get closer to the reality of the proposals being made on all sides, armed with this additional knowledge some people may conclude that voting for either X or Y has a deleterious effect and they cannot in conscience choose either and they choose not to vote.

      What would you have them do? Spoil their vote and join the vanishingly small, easy to write off number of people who do so? Cast a blank vote and join the even smaller unmarked category? Vote for the least shit option? What kind of democracy is that? A kick in the balls or a punch in the face, pick one, don't complain, it's democracy don't you know. Sorry, some people have higher standards than that.

      You think they should stand. Why on earth would they? Chances are that beyond the utter tedium of picking apart the party's claims every few years they have no interest in politics, and even if they did they have no-one to represent, plus they have their existing life and aspirations to attend to.

      Your lawnmower analogy doesn't work because you could use the lawnmower if you wanted to. If this was the only way to cut your grass and had been provided to you, and you were unable to or believed that it posed a threat to others to use it then you'd be sensible to not use it and complain as you see fit.

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    6. Personally, I think that if you don't want to vote for any of the options, you should submit a spoilt ballot. They are counted up and (IIUC) included in the turnout figure, and it demonstrates that your reason for not voting is that none of the candidates are suitable, not that you're too lazy to get out of bed and go to the polling station.

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  2. If you're not sure what party will represent your interests, then check out voteforpolicies.org.uk . For twenty minutes of your time you can actually make an informed decision.

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  3. And if really don't like any of the choices on the ballot paper spoil the ballot with a short snappy and large message that can be read from a distance. Don't write an essay, as having been at the count in the past it won't be ready.

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