At the risk of repeating myself... - Grin with cat attached — LiveJournal
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At the risk of repeating myself... Jun. 10th, 2004 09:10 am
Poll #305929 Democracy / Inaction?

Voted yet?

Yes, I've made my mark for the day
No, but I'll do it before the polls close
No, I'm happy to let the Daily Mail / BNP speak for me
No, I missed out on the electoral roll
Other (comments)

From: djm4
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 08:45 am (Link)
I'm currently supressing an urge to rant about your third choice. I know what you mean, but I'm a bit sickened and scared by the number of people who seem to think that the turnout is the only way to judge the quality of the democracy on display.

I'm not totally against compulsary voting - although I'd vote against it - but only if the ballot paper contains an 'I decline to vote in this election' option that was counted and reported with the rest.
From: valkyriekaren
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 08:55 am (Link)
I believe that's the system they have in Australia - you are obliged to vote, but there's a box which says something like 'none of the above' or 're-open nominations', which I think is a good idea.

In this country, spoiled ballot papers are counted, though they're rarely reported.
From: reddragdiva
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 09:52 am (Link)
No, that's entirely not the case. You can spoil your paper. The number of invalid papers is available from the Electoral Commission when counting is over.
From: wechsler
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 09:13 am (Link)
That's why there's an "other" option. Refusal to vote will be counted as apathy, spoiled papers can be counted as dissatisfaction with the process.
From: djm4
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 09:26 am (Link)
Refusal to vote will be counted as apathy...

I don't automatically count it that way. Just so you know.
From: wechsler
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 09:40 am (Link)
I should probably have added "... by the politicians and media".

I'm aware people have other reasons for not voting, but personally (IMRHO and all that) I think a spoiled paper sends a clearer message.
From: wechsler
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 09:17 am (Link)
I'm a bit sickened and scared by the number of people who seem to think that the turnout is the only way to judge the quality of the democracy on display.

I assume you're not implying I said that, by the way?
From: djm4
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 09:25 am (Link)
No, absolutely not. I was giving background to why I'm so touchy about the subject at the moment. I do think a number of the Labour MPs defending the postal votes mess seem to be taking that line.

"No, I'm happy to let the Daily Mail/BNP speak for me"

From: elise_tedium
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 09:06 am (Link)
That was probably the closest option to my view, but it isn't strictly accurate. I will start voting as soon as someone can convince me that the government, be it local, national or European, has any impact on my life that I will actually notice. Until then other people aren't speaking for me, they're speaking for themselves, but I simply do not care.
From: duranorak
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 10:02 am (Link)
I'm kind of surprised to see you say that. I can think of one major event in your life last year that could have been affected by the government - not that necessarily would have been, but that *could* have been.

Which is not to say that I don't know what you mean, because to an extent I feel the same way, but due to my circumstances (no job, living in my parents' house off their money and that) I think it's closer to the truth for me than it is for you, living away from home and trying for the career you want. Feel free to argue, though.

From: elise_tedium
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 11:07 am (Link)
Hrm. I suppose it's possible that things may have turned out differently had the laws been slightly different, but it would still have taken precognisance to take action to avoid things before the arrest, and after that it was kinda too late. I can't really vote on the basis of every event that could possible happen.

See my response to vampwillow (when I've written it) for why I don't care about the other stuff.
(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Re: has any impact on my life that I will actually notice

From: elise_tedium
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 11:33 am (Link)
Of the local things you've listed, the only service that I use is public transport - unless it's perfect, it's always going to irritate me occasionally, and unless it's completely non-existant, it's never going to do more than irritate me. I don't think that it's possible to get it perfect, and very much doubt that it will ever be done away with completely. Planning-wise, I think it's very unlikely my house is going to get knocked down, compared to, say, the chances of the landlord deciding he wants to use it for something else. I suppose a change in licensing laws would make a certain amount of difference to how I organised my time, but I doubt it would particularly change the quality of that time.

Nationally; unless they introduce the draft, or go to war with someone who's actually going to start a serious invasion of the UK then war doesn't affect me; I'm unlikely to be going on holiday outside the UK for the forseeable future; I figure the civil service will be able to keep things vaguely functional no matter who's actually in government, and the fine details don't bother me.

European; I've got a fairly robust constitution, so I'm not desperately bothered about standards for food quality; I don't care about animal rights in the slightest, and don't work with them, so that doesn't affect me. In theory I think human rights are a good idea, but unless they're my own it's very theoretical.

I agree that if there was no government at all, or at least no civil service, then things would go splat fairly quickly, but unless it actually looks as though we're about to elect a bunch of out and out anarchists (at which point I would bother to vote), then I can't see it failing completely enough to have much impact.

I will quite happily admit to being very self-absorbed, and having a slightly unusual set of priorities, but I think that given those priorities, not voting is a perfectly legitimate choice.
From: lozette
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 10:13 am (Link)
I was going to put something in my own LJ about voting and why I think it's important but yours will do ;-)

For me personally I think voting's hugely important, and I wouldn't miss out on it. To me, it's scary to think that it's only 76 years since women got the vote, and that now some people are so blase about it. Maybe I'm just living in the past or something. But I guess I see voting as linked to all the other choices I've had that I wouldn't have had as little as 30 years ago - owning my own home, getting sterilised etc etc.

Another reason it's so important for me is because I come from a family of UKIP supporters (and my mum was actually a candidate for them once). If I don't manage to avoid telling my 'rents who I voted for, they're going to be pissed knowing I voted for (x) and not the UKIP. Hah.
From: swiftangel
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 12:41 pm (Link)
I'm not allowed to vote over here yet... :/
From: booklectic
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 01:34 pm (Link)
Other = I hope to be voting, but I don't get home till 7pm and that only leaves an hour to spend with my baby before she goes to bed (and then I've volunteered to babysit so Simon and Marcus can go out) so it's possible that it may not happen. After reading my friends list I shall feel like a very bad person if I don't vote, but currently spending time with Holly is my priority, I'm afraid.

Also, I have not had the time or energy to investigate who I should be voting for, though I expect I want Ken again.
From: djm4
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 01:58 pm (Link)
Polls are open until 10pm - not sure from your post whether or not you knew that.
From: booklectic
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 02:03 pm (Link)
Yes, I knew that.
From: djm4
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 02:19 pm (Link)
Yes, on re-reading your post this is now obvious. D'oh!
From: booklectic
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 03:02 pm (Link)
Oh good, I hoped it was. :)
From: flewellyn
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 02:28 pm (Link)
Other: I live in the United States, where we still have several months before the elections. Assuming that our illustrious El Presidente does not cancel or postpone them due to some convenient terrorist attack...
From: bondagewoodelf
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 03:19 pm (Link)
Don't give him ideas ;-(
From: otterylexa
Date: June 10th, 2004 - 04:50 pm (Link)
I believe I'm still on the electoral roll in southampton, but I haven't seen anything in the post about this election, I'm now living in Derby and I've been too depressed lately to do anything about it in advance.