Voting at the forthcoming general election

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mistapoole | 23:51 Tue 05th Apr 2005 | News
16 Answers
long before the election was announced i had already decided that i would not be voting. this is not because i dont understand politics or whatever because i do, i just have a belief that its not right to vote unless you can agree in totality with what one party are proposing. if you only agree to say half of what a party proposes on irrelevant/minor issues, but disagree with all they say on important/major issues, and this same party happens to be the 'best in a bad bunch', surely its right not to vote for them. my friends give me a bit of stick for this stance, saying i should choose the 'best of a bad bunch', and that i therefore have no right to complain about anything. does anyone agree with my stance? more importantly, is there a name for this kind of apathy?


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Yes you should vote - even if you spoil your ballot paper in protest.
See below
It's not apathy - it's more like being a conscientious objector. I think it's fair enough (it's not my own preferred stance), though as has been suggested in another thread it might be better to have a 'None of the above' option on ballot papers so you could still vote while making your objections clear. But is there one party you would very much not like to see in power? If so you should perhaps try some tactical voting in your constituency to keep it out. 

It's not apathy.  It's just the realisation that there will probably never be a party that would include in its manifesto everything that you would agree 100% with.

I've never voted in 21 years of eligilibility to do so, in any form of election(government, council etc) for the reasons I've stated.

There are certain policies from each party that I agree with, however these will never be manifested in a party combining all three.

Lastly, I doubt there would be a mainstream party that would re-introduce the death penalty and National Service, both of which I frimly believe in.

It's your right to abstain but you are never going to find a party that totally agrees with you. You won't even find another person that totally agrees with you. You have to look at areas that are important to you and weigh up the parties based on that. I mean you'll be doing well if you can find a party that agrees with 60% of your beliefs.

mistapoole do you choose yir friends on the same basis?

It would be rare for even an MP to agree with EVERY policy of a particular party let alone one of us. Is it not better to vote for a party closest to the views of yir own in the hope you and like-minded others can make a difference? 

No, I also agree it's not apathy, but you have a constitutional right to vote and the opportunity should not be wasted. If like me you agree that any one party will never 100% agree with your own stance on how the country should be run or how your taxes should be spent then at least you could use your vote tactically or as a protest vote. It doesn't really matter because they all make a mess of it anyway, I will be voting in the hope that I can wipe that smug grin off of Bliar's face.

You should vote for the best of a bad bunch, if that's what you think they are.

If you are waiting until you agree 'in totality with what the party are proposing', then you will be waiting a very long time. In fact you will never ever get to vote, unless you stand as an independent yourself.

You're not suffering with political apathy because you care enough to look into and think about things.  If you and three of your closest friends sat in a room and discussed issues such as healthcare, immigration, personal taxation, crime etc etc I bet you would all have completely different opinions in many of those areas. Likewise, there will never ever be a political party whose manifesto you agree with 100%.  Think about the issues that are important to you, be it education, crime, the NHS or whatever, and look into each parties' stance on these issues and vote for the party that most closely represents your view.  That is the best you can hope for. This isn't meant to sound trite or patronising, but you come across as an intelligent person and it's a shame that people like you who care enough to think about matters choose to waste their vote.

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thanks for all your comments, i have taken on board all that has been said, epecially those who have said that i will be waiting a long time to vote given my outlook. following on though from my original question and what you have all said, it seems starnge given what ive heard in the past that nobody raised the point that by not voting you therefore have no right to complain. what do you all think of this view? i see it as being a little stupid, as if i dont elect somebody and they go about causing me strife, then surely i have far more right to give them stick than those who chose to put them in power?
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I take it post number 10 is aimed at me!

Er, if I wanted attention by throwing my teddy out of the pram I'd do it in a far more overt manner.  By not attending a polling station I think I'm certainly NOT seeking attention, unlike some oily politician with his fake platitudes.

As an ex serviceman who served to preserve the right you exercise at election time in a democratic society I consider myself something more than a coward.  I'll remind you that it is currently NOT a legal requirement to vote and I exercise that right at polling time.

You'll find a lot of servicemen fail to vote as they have no time for people who cut the Defence budget to the point where they don't even have the kit to do the job and who send them to places where they would never dream of setting foot themselves, unless it were for a photo opportunity.

Well, I don't know about you abstainers but if someone said to me
'I'm going to shove a sea creature up your bum but you have a choice - cockle, lobster, or electric eel'
I would not say - 'I hate all seafood, so I refuse to express an opinion'
I would say - 'I'll take the cockle please'
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In A Pickle,

My sincerest apologies, wires crossed and all that! I saw the bit about the 100% and quotes similar to my post and took it you meant me.

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