To vote or not to vote?

To be (vote), or not to be (vote): that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

Next week the local elections in the UK will be held and many people will not even bother to vote suggests a report in the Independent Newspaper today . Despite the open discontent with current political and social changes I am amazed that people do not see that voting is their only way of showing their concern?  This is the only time that every person truly has a voice and is more authentic than any consultative/listening exercise is ever going to be. With an introduction by Shakespeare (from Hamlet) no less I will try to persuade you why you must vote this week 

  1. People have fought for your right to vote don’t waste their efforts and suffering
  2. Political parties will be watching very closely to see if they have the ear of society
  3. Not voting is a passive and not very effective way of showing your concern
  4. Local elections mean local changes that will have more effect on our personal circumstances like council tax etc.
  5. You cannot complain about a political party that you did not vote for
  6. Political parties develop ways of controlling and managing society do you really want to leave them to it?
  7. If you have children their future is at stake
  8. If you have older or disabled relatives their dignity and quality of life is at stake
  9. If you have beliefs about a fair and just society they are at risk of being ignored
  10. we should encourage everyone to use their vote, don’t leave it to others to decide your future

I personally do not think it is nobler in the mind to suffer and so will take arms ( literally not actually) wherever I can and always within reason of course. Politics (and using our vote) is one way we can all get involved in making choices about our future. Therefore our democracy depends on  each and every one of us, not just the politicians. 

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5 thoughts on “To vote or not to vote?

  1. I love this concept of “If you didn’t vote then you can’t complain” because, to my mind, it’s utter nonsense.

    Yes, there are people who can’t be arsed to vote and have no interest in politics, mostly the younger generations because they don’t feel it’s relevant to them. However, in the 17 years I have been eligible to vote, I have exercised that right a sum total of 0 times. That’s right, I have never voted. Doesn’t mean that this tosh about me not having the subsequent right to complain is true. I do give a damn but if I’m unable to choose a party or even a representative who I believe is going to make a damn bit of difference then I cannot, in good faith, vote for them.

    Why should this then mean I don’t have the right to complain about politicians? Being unable to differentiate between candidates or their governing parties policies over another is a valid political standpoint. Hell, I’d have loved the LibDems to have won the last election but they suffered from an incredible lack of credibility, I mean I had absolutely no idea who my local representative was from that party at the last election. I wasn’t going to vote Labour thanks to their legacy of talking bollocks (should’ve got rid of Brown before the election), and there was not a cat in hells chance I’d squander my vote on the Conservatives, especially my current local representative who gets slated by the media every time he opens his mouth (far too often) and only seems to hold office because it employs his wife.

    I also abhor protest votes because it generally gives voice to parties whose agenda is not quite as wholesome as they’d love you to believe and generally appear to have lots of media knowledge but little in the way of political knowledge.

    So, I refuse to vote because in a time when it’s clear any political party needs to say “This is why you should vote for us” we seem to be mired in a political culture that says “This is why you shouldn’t vote for them”.

  2. Good argument for your reasons not to vote but it still does not stop them getting in?

  3. I do tend to make a point of voting, even if I’m feeling somewhat disheartened by the candidates.

    One thing I think is a major issue isn’t so much the lack of people voting, but the even worse lack of people who are members of a political party.

    I was a member of the Labour Party a few years ago, and it was actually pretty shocking seeing how much of the party cadre had simply dissolved away. I was told the Tories had it even worse in that respect. Party politics had changed from something that families and communities would engage with, to something that was run from afar by a few managers and career politicians. Eventually I just found it too depressing and, like so many before me, quit the party.

    The Lib Dems have been the only party of the big three that has maintained a loyal supply of activists willing to go out and pound the streets. I wonder how long that will last, particularly as they’ve always tended to draw strength from their student supporters, many of whom are now feeling betrayed.

  4. to not vote is of course a form of voting: the non-voters are the ones responsible for what is happening right now. If you want Cameron to be re-elected in 2015 with an overall majority then that will be achieved by the non-voters, by all those members of a society who are just too idle to express their views.

  5. Pingback: London Elections, Disengagement and a Vote for Ken « The Not So Big Society

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