?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Lifetime supply of democracy

That's another x in the box. I've voted in 5 general elections, three European elections and 6 local elections in the last 18 years. At the same rate and given average life expectancy I can expect to make another 31 crosses. That's real participation!

As usual none of the choices were particularly palatable. And never having lived in a marginal seat my vote counts for little anyway.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
pond823
May. 5th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
Ha - I put a big A with a circle round it on my bit of democracy.
jonnynexus
May. 5th, 2005 02:22 pm (UTC)
Assuming you're talking about the mark you made on the ballot...

You're lucky you didn't do that a few years ago, because your vote would probably have been disallowed. In those days it was a cross or a tick, wholely contained in a single box - or your vote was thrown out.

But now they're quite a bit more liberal about it, with even smiley faces being allowed, although usually only after the returning officer has been through them with all the candidate's agents (I believe there was a court case some years back in a tight result that hinged on whether some "smiley face" votes counted or not).

The ones that do still get definitely chucked out though are the ones from people who seem to think we have a transferable vote, and have therefore voted by marking the boxes 1, 2 and 3 etc. This is because you can't tell whether they meant first, second, third or three points, two points, one point.

Course, you probably never wanted to know any of that... :)
pond823
May. 5th, 2005 02:32 pm (UTC)
Oh i think my vote will go in the spoiled section.
jonnynexus
May. 5th, 2005 03:29 pm (UTC)
I take it you didn't confine your political expression to just the one box on the ballot then? :)
gbsteve
May. 5th, 2005 02:50 pm (UTC)
All the no-shows and vote spoilers are effectively anarchists, refusing to participate in democracy. If they organised they'd be the second biggest party, but then it ain't called anarchy for nothing.
pond823
May. 5th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
No-shows aren't the same as vote spoilers. Us vote spoilers are saying "You have nothing to offer me.", while the no-showers are saying "I have nothing to offer you."

In the grand scheme of things I don't suppose it makes a huge difference, but I've learnt that politicans hate people who refuse to listen more than they do those who disagree and being hated by politicans seems an excellent pasttime at the moment.
jonnynexus
May. 5th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
No-shows aren't the same as vote spoilers. Us vote spoilers are saying "You have nothing to offer me.", while the no-showers are saying "I have nothing to offer you."

I think that's a very good distinction.

In the grand scheme of things I don't suppose it makes a huge difference, but I've learnt that politicans hate people who refuse to listen more than they do those who disagree and being hated by politicians seems an excellent pasttime at the moment.

I think the only thing I would say there is that while a belief that representative democracy is not a fair and just system is fine, and while there are an awful lot of dodgy politicians about, not *all* of them are dodgy. I know quite a few good, decent, caring people - my grandfather for example - who are/were politicians (albeit local ones) and I always find it depressing/upsetting when people say blanket things about all politicians being bad in the same way that I think it's never good to make blanket statements about any group of people all being bad.

(I know you didn't quite say that, but you implied it by saying that it's good to be hated by politicians).

Also, because it's a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you believe that all politicians are power-seeking scum then pretty soon only power-seeking scum will stand for election. I know I certainly wouldn't want to be a local councillor like my grandfather was, for the very good reason that I wouldn't want a bunch of people I've never met hating me and thinking I was scum.
pond823
May. 5th, 2005 04:05 pm (UTC)
First let me say that if everyone took my stance the world would be a terrible place. My family have a long history of leftist political activism and they are generally all good people, if not actually very skilled at dealing with day-to-day relationships (I digress).

My point is that I'm a rabble rouser and sometimes it's not the 50 thousand people who march against the poll tax that brings it down, but the few hundred who throw stones.

Sometimes politicians come and stamp you out when you do that, by removing your cause. Sometimes.
jonnynexus
May. 5th, 2005 04:09 pm (UTC)
I tried doing a petition against the poll tax in late '87 or early '88 (I think it was) when the legislation to bring it in was going through Parliament.

Almost no-one wanted to know. We just got abuse and contempt mostly.

Two years later, when the bills started landing on the mats... then they cared!

Left me a bit disillusioned I'm afraid.

So I suppose what I'm saying is that maybe it was the few hundred who threw stones who'd bought it down, but if people had taken more interest in what was going on, when it was going on, then there wouldn't have been any need for anyone to throw stones.
pond823
May. 5th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I'm Mr Wolf ala Pulp Fiction, but your the hero.
jonnynexus
May. 5th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
If I'm the hero then we're all completely fucked. :)
pwca
May. 5th, 2005 11:05 pm (UTC)
Ain't that the truth.
Until this time, not one of my votes has meant anything.
Now that I have a postal ballot -- and I did use it -- I might actually help scalp a leading smarmy Tory.
morthrai
May. 6th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
If only another 2000 or so people had thought the same way you did then he would be out on his arse by now. Sadly, there's no chance of that around here because I live in a safe seat as does GB Steve...I mean the Tories lost only 0.7% of the vote conpared to 2001 and scored 51% exactly of votes.

Oh well.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )