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06 May 2015

Why I'm spoiling my ballot paper

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I've been torn about what to do tomorrow. My best bet seems to be to meekly vote Lib Dems (2nd in my constituency) to try and prevent the Tories getting one more seat and further dismantling the NHS (and whatever's left of public and social services).

But that cross doesn't say "Oh for fuck's sake, as long as the Tories don't get in again...", it says "Yes, please, give me the Liberal Democrats, sir!" - that's right, the same party that screwed the nation's students, cut welfare for the most vulnerable in society and supports trident... among many other crimes against compassion and common sense.

And that makes me sick. That's not democracy, that's not why I've been given a vote: so I can subvert my free democratic choice by shoring up some broken concept of democracy ... so it can go and undo itself even further. No, that sticks in my throat and I refuse to take part in that game.

We've been handed a pale version of democracy that's fundamentally broken and time and again we've been told we should be grateful for it So here's the thing: if you have genuine support for a party, vote for them. I don't care if it's UKIP or the Greens, vote for what you believe. As long as you're making an informed, honest choice, good on you.

But if you feel your vote is being thrown away due to the short-comings of a non-RP electoral process, or you feel you have to vote tactically OR you can't be bothered with it and you weren't going to vote at all... spoil your paper. If you're feeling let down, fed up, angry or just completely unconvinced... spoil your paper. If you want to protest the lack of representation... spoil your paper. Make those views shown in the only way you can: spoil your paper.

Unfortunately spoiled ballots aren't recorded separately at the moment, but they ARE COUNTED. If there are significant numbers, that would be unavoidable news; an unmistakable message. Just draw a line through all boxes on the ballot paper and write "NONE" across it or "NOTA" (None Of The Above). Vote None has more information on how and why to protest vote. It also gives this thought-provoking statistic:

In the 2010 General Election, the UK total of protest and 'spoilt' votes was around 295,000. That is a large number, but it represents only 1% of voters. So it was not news. Meanwhile, 34% of registered voters (16m) just didn't vote

If everyone who can vote actually votes, everything changes. Of course, we don't know why that 34% didn't vote, but if even a fraction of them aren't voting because they feel there's no point... if those people all spoil their paper, then they could form the majority voice in a number of constituencies.

We've been handed a pale version of democracy that's fundamentally broken and time and again we've been told we should be grateful for it by (mostly) rich, white men in extraordinary positions of power. No. I won't be grateful. I demand more from a supposedly developed democracy: more representation, more accountability, more of a voice.

I'm spoiling my paper.

 

Posted by TerrorBull Games on 6 May 2015 - 334 comments

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