Duty to Vote

It’s election season here in the UK (thankfully shorter than in other countries, and unfortunately without any open season for hunting politicians [that might make the news time taken up more acceptable and entertaining]) and politicians have again managed to irritate me by spouting off nonsense.

[Rant Warning]

The particular comment in this case was by some politician whose name I don’t recall (and have no intention of learning – remembering who they are only encourages the bastards) who got incensed at people not voting, saying that if they didn’t vote they had no right to complain about what the winning government did thereafter.

I’m not sure whether he’s willfully ignoring the fact that many people probably don’t have the option of a politician who represents their viewpoint, or whether the political classes truly believe their system caters for all viewpoints.

I think my voting area has eight candidates (I’ve already voted by post). Considering how many people are in the area, how can they possibly think this is enough to cover all viewpoints. Yet if there were enough to cover all viewpoints we’d probably have a problem locating the one we wanted among the horde.

And even if by some chance there is one of them who accurately reflects my worldview, why would I ever think they’ll be able to promote that in parliament. To have any chance of effecting change it needs to be a party in power reflecting your viewpoint, so we generally vote by party rather than individual (I can’t even remember the name of the candidate I voted for).

Yet the primary concern of most parties always appears from the outside to be remaining in power, allegedly so they can effect the changes they want. How often do they manage to do things though, and how often do they fail, blaming their opponents for blocking them.

Why then should people be bothered to vote if they can’t vote for what they want? Simply for the right to complain when whoever does get into power does something we don’t like?

Where exactly is the loss of this right enshrined in law anyway? Because I’m sure a politician wouldn’t make such a claim unless it was accurate. Would he make that claim in parliament? Where they can lie regardless.

Are politicians truly so insulated from the real world that they’re unable to understand why people don’t vote? When the main view of them is in that unruly creche of parliament where their primary occupation seems to be shouting each other down. So much for any hope of reasoned mature debate when that’s considered acceptable behaviour for those governing the country.

And it only gets worse in election season, with all the vicious attacks on each other rather than giving a good idea of what they’re going to do. But since the system is opposed to them making changes anyway, how can they promise anything.

While I did vote by post, I’m not sure I could have been bothered if I had to travel somewhere to do so. Until there’s a party that’ll try to change the system to a proper direct democracy, I doubt there’ll be any politician who’ll represent my viewpoint, so I’m stuck choosing the least objectionable option, and changing nothing.

But at least I retain the right to complain about it.