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Does voting tactically hurt democracy?

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AB Editor | 12:10 Tue 27th Apr 2010 | News
7 Answers

As a representative democracy the UK electorate only vote for their local candidate. In the last 20 years we have seen the rise of "tactical voting," - this was cited as one of the main reasons for Labour's landslide in '97. Do you believe tactical voting hurts our democracy?


This poll is closed.

Does voting tactically hurt British Democracy?

  • No - tactical voting is simply part of our political landscape. - 18 votes
  • 82%
  • Yes - but it is an ugly necessity. - 3 votes
  • 14%
  • Yes. It is unnecessary and stifles the chances of "mavericks" - 1 vote
  • 5%

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Stats until: 10:59 Tue 16th Apr 2024 (Refreshed every 5 minutes)


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Voting for who you want, voting against who you don't want and spoiling your ballot are all legitimate and good for democracy.

Not voting is the biggest sin.
I think its pretty stupid in that it assumes that not enough other people will vote tactically for the votee (is that a word) to get in but enough people will vote to ensure that the person not wanted doesn't win.
> Not voting is the biggest sin

I think 'sin' is perhaps the wrong term, but certainly people who don't vote forfeit their right to complain about the result...
Voting for parties who cynically don’t deliver what they promise is pretty damaging too - all of them will be breaking promises , inter alia, on ring fencing once they’re in - all of them wont give any proper detail on how they will eradicate at least £30 billion of the national deficit. They will only properly tell us what they will really do about cuts and taxation after the election and until then (and for another term of office) we’ll just have to TRUST THEM - Again ! Inspiring Democracy.

No, tactical voting does not hurt British Democracy as we know it - but our voting system needs improving to accommodate real voting choice and delivery of what we are voting for.
Voting for who you want, voting against who you don't want and spoiling your ballot, or demonstrating you reluctance to encourage any of the candidates by not voting, are all legitimate options.

None of which removes any fundamental right to complain about what was on offer or what has occurred that you could not avoid. But some of it is used by those who wish to smugly try to deny people their rights, and develop a "holier than thou because I voted for some individual who wasn't worth voting for" attitude.
I agree that you really should vote, but those that don't have every right to complain if they don't like what's served up. Just as those that voted for the winners do.

Your right to complain comes with the fact that you're bound by the laws of the land and are obliged to pay tax.
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