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Daria
Today, I was sent this in an e-mail:
QUOTE
Dont care about politics?

Dont understand how it works?

Dont bother voting because you dont know/agree with what any of the parties stand for?

Read on...


The Blah! Party offers a PROTEST vote to the politically disaffected.

They aim to become the UKs biggest political party, by attracting over 300,000 members.


Voting figures have seen a sharp decline over the past thirteen years with turnout at the 2005 election only 61.4% (this means that just over 17 million of those registered DIDNT.)


In contrast, increasing numbers of people are voting for reality television shows with 10.8 million votes cast for the last X-Factor and 22.5 million votes for Big Brother 2005.


The Blah! Party offers the people of this country a mouthpiece to voice their disapproval at the policies and decisions that just dont make any sense, and have never been called into question or justified.

We want to see the current leading parties pull their socks up, stop spouting hot air, and actually deliver on their promises.


To read more about the BLAH! Party, check out the website:


www.blahparty.org


Joining the BLAH! Party is easy:


Online Its FREE, all you have to do is enter your name and email address here:


http://www.blahparty.org/join/join.php



SMS Text blah to 83010, it costs 25p (plus standard network rate) but you do get a pin code to access exclusive digital content for your mobile phone.


By joining the Blah! Party you are simply registering your protest so come on join now, the more of us there are, the louder the BLAH!

Please foward this message to any of your mates that you think would be interested and get them involved too!

I have always liked the idea of the Anti-vote: something to show politicians that you are not happy with the state of current affairs. The thing is, I feel that voting for the Greens would be like throwing your vote away, so why not vote for them anyway? Also, if lots of people use this anti-vote, then all the old people will still vote Conservative and we will have another John Major moment.

So BLAH!. What do you think of them? What would happen if they were actually voted into power? Should young people really be encouraged to vote in this way?

Opinions please, people.
Calantyr
Tactical voting. Vote for the party that least offends you and has a chance of gaining power greater than nill. However if you are in a constituency with a 'safe' seat for the least offensive party, go ahead and vote for a protest party.

If you don't you're simply helping the people you dislike most get into power.

No, it's not a very nice situation is it?
Daria
Coming from Whitesupremacyland (aka East Anglia) I have the connundrum of having to vote for the lesser of two evils as I know that the Tories will get in either way.
Witless
I have to agree with Daria on this one. I remember someone talking about it on TV once. He said that he didn't vote. Not because he couldn't be bothered, or just didn't "feel" the parties that were talking. He 'actively' didn't vote. Or 'proactively' didn't vote. One of those two phrases he used. He saw not voting as an action with consequences of it's own. Consequences he prefered than the consequences of voting for people he didn't like just so "the other guy doesn't win".

The idea of voting for no other reason than to resist someone else winning makes me feel a little wrong inside really. I'd rather say 'fudge it' to the whole system and stubbornly refuse to participate. That's how I play my part in elections. I happily walk past the places I could potentially vote ever so easily, and still don't. I did once used to vote green party. Then they started annoying me by spending vast sums of money on slander campaigns of the other parties. So 'bleurgh' to them aswell.

I may very well vote for this Blah party though. They seem to sum up pretty darn well how I feel.
Daria
I am not sure whether I could bring myself to NOT vote. After all the fuss woment went through to be able to vote, it seems a tad more than just disrespectful to cast my vote aside. Also, I complain about the government just as much as the next Briton. If I didn't vote, could I really complain?
There are people in some countries who only dream of having the liberty to be able to choose who runs their country. I feel it is my duty TO vote, even if it is for a party I wouldn't really want to be in but feel they are marginaly better that the other one.

It is highly unlikely that Labour will be voted in once more. Where does that leave us? With the Conservatives, of course. Ha, like the Lib Dems are going to get anywhere. I would really like to see this BLAH! party get into power, actually. As Witless said, they seem to sum up pretty darn well how I feel.

But could they actually run the country?
That_Guy
Theoretically, it works- However, since low voter turnout is to be expected, will it really make a difference? Will the sentimental value of "I am NOT voting for a reason" REALLY be worth anything?

In my opinion (biased though it may be), they're all crooked and wouldn't give a hoot about people not voting so long as they win the election.

Maybe I'm right, but I feel as though I am missing a key detail.
Witless
QUOTE
If I didn't vote, could I really complain?


Well yeah. Just like when people complain about a party they voted into power in the first place.

I'm not saying my solution is perfect, but then neither is voting for the lesser of evils. I do vote for local elections. But.. the national elections I feel a bit bleurgh.. and frustrated. I don't like to be pressured into voting because I should. I feel a very very strong urge want to vote for who i vote for rather than vote because I can. If there was say.. a Nazi party with any real chance of getting into power I'd vote for the other guy. But between the parties available.. it's not like there's going to be a party that will sneak in and demand tall people be shot or some other such drastic thing. It's just being nudged and pushed into choosing between loads of nonsense.

It brings a smile to my face the growing number of non voters. I hope it one day causes something decent to be done.
Daria
QUOTE
It brings a smile to my face the growing number of non voters. I hope it one day causes something decent to be done.

OR the BNP will sneak in. Take the French elections, a few years back, as an example- most people under 30 didn't vote, but all the "oldies" still did. Le Penn managed to get past the first round. All it did was to make the younger generations vote for Chirac to make sure Le Penn didn't get in.

QUOTE
Will the sentimental value of "I am NOT voting for a reason" REALLY be worth anything?

Perhaps, if it becomes (as Witless hopes) more than just sentmental value.
Calantyr
I'm of the opinion that If you refuse to take part in the electoral process and cast a meaningful vote you thereby give up all right to criticise the government at a later date. It's a bit like being a stakeholder in a company, then selling off all your stocks and controlling interest in the company and still expecting some kind of voice on how business is conducted.

The trouble is that our electoral system is simply not representative of the people. Which is kinda odd seeing as we're supposed to live in a democracy. Oh well...
Usurper MrTeapot
I see the argument about if I don't vote then it isn't my place to say that I don't like who is in. As it stands I am leaning towards voting, but defacing my paper in some way. I am not apathetic, I just don't like or agree with any of the potential candidates. By defacing my vote I would be saying that I have the choice and am using that choice to not to elect any of them.

The niggling thing about the Blah! party would be if they do get in...what would they do?
snooodlysnoosnoosnoodle
QUOTE (MrTeapot @ Nov 16 2006, 02:23 AM) *
As it stands I am leaning towards voting, but defacing my paper in some way. I am not apathetic, I just don't like or agree with any of the potential candidates. By defacing my vote I would be saying that I have the choice and am using that choice to not to elect any of them.


I agree with MrT here, defacting the voting slip and voiding your vote is a better way to show your distaste to all the available parties.
There are people out there who don't vote because they don't care, if you just sit at home how does anyone know that you're not just too lazy to vote? At least by voiding your vote you're saying "I want to vote, but not for anyone up for election"

Also I believe that if everyone who thought "I'd vote green but I feel like I'm wasting my vote" actually voted for them there would be a much greater chance of them at least getting seats - they may not be people you want to run the country but it would be nice to have them able to input into its running.

As for this BLAH party, would you honestly choose to vote for them? The way they word it they're very non-commital - a protest vote against broken promises, they could be the new nazis for all you know; I'm pretty sure they would be angry about the way the country is currently run. (saying that I didn't look at their website and I've got a lecture in a few minutes so don't have time to)
Witless
QUOTE
I'm of the opinion that If you refuse to take part in the electoral process and cast a meaningful vote you thereby give up all right to criticise the government at a later date. It's a bit like being a stakeholder in a company, then selling off all your stocks and controlling interest in the company and still expecting some kind of voice on how business is conducted.

Well not really.. it's more like being a stake holder in a catering company, selling you stocks. Then complaining at a later date when you get food poisoning eating in one of their restaurants. You may just be selling your stock because you don't like the way things are being run.

QUOTE
By defacing my vote I would be saying that I have the choice and am using that choice to not to elect any of them.


That reminds me about what I 'was' going to do and never got around to it. I was planning on adding my own options to my vote.

I've personally never met someone that didn't vote because they couldn't be bothered. People I've met personally who didn't vote are made up of very very angry frustrated people that have been stung repeatedly by multiple governments. Stung by conservatives and maggie thatcher then John Major, then stung again when they grow up have kids and it started becoming rediculously expensive to raise kids.. which they voted against conservatives in the first place for. With lib dems in more recent years speeches sounding ominously like 'new labours'. It feels like a very very despairing situation. They're just being bounced around various parties that essentially don't have any particularly defined stances anymore. They're just running around attempting to prove everyone else is less sleezy than themselves.

I remember when I was younger, and The Lib dems didn't mention the other parties in their speeches. I would have voted for them then if I was old enough to vote. But now.. they just stream off endless stats about what labour and the conservatives and how they'll do it better. With no actual informations on what they'll do different. It's kind of depressing to stare at my voting options. Last time I voted green party. I figured that while they probably won't get anywhere, it's a vote in the right direction. The green party don't actually get much funding due to the few seats they ever get. The fact that an enourmous amount of that budget actually goes into advertising campaigns and not into the initiatives they say they'll work for is utterly infuriating. I don't particularly want funding in efficient energy sources to be spent so naively. Even new labour propose more money go into renewable energy research than the green party in the last 4 years (though it didn't anyway).

So next national election I am just going to say screw it. I'll be at the very best sending in my vote to Blah, or a made up party and adding to the "non voters" percentage until eventually the parties seperate out and start at the very least having more defined stances on things. Rather than all being various shades of grey.
Daria
QUOTE (MrTeapot @ Nov 16 2006, 02:23 AM) *
The niggling thing about the Blah! party would be if they do get in...what would they do?



QUOTE (snoo @ Nov 16 2006, 09:34 AM) *
As for this BLAH party, would you honestly choose to vote for them? The way they word it they're very non-commital - a protest vote against broken promises, they could be the new nazis for all you know; I'm pretty sure they would be angry about the way the country is currently run. (saying that I didn't look at their website and I've got a lecture in a few minutes so don't have time to)


There is a short video on their homepage which is an interview between the main guy and a journalist. He says "we are the nice party- no sexism, racism or homophobia" (or something along those lines). They plan on having the public give them ideas and make laws based upon those. It sounds all well and good, but when you have thousands upon thousands of people all suggesting things- how can you have the time to go through everything? Also, they still have more financial matters, such as the budgeting for the various sectors, to consider. How is an ex-pop star going to organise the NHS and the Police?


Getting back to the Green Party; I remember reading part of their manifesto in the last local elections. The guy running in my constituency was a stereotypical person you would expect to meet at the GreenPeace Fair. Big ZZ-Top beard, chunky knitted jumper, cords, and a bead necklace. I was reading their manifesto and comparing it to the Conservatives one, which had also been shoved through our door. It was surprisingly simmilar, but with more emphasis on the environment.

Where does the Green Party actually stand in the political radar?
bryden42
I used to vote Monster raving looney party (go lord such) for the very reason that I wanted to say that I didnt want to vote for anyone else. Are they still going? I know my constituency doesnt have a rep.
bryden42
I take it all back

http://.omrlp.com/?page_id=64

I just read their 2005 manifesto and I think I want them in for their policies!
Witless
QUOTE (bryden42 @ Nov 16 2006, 02:03 PM) *
I take it all back

http://.omrlp.com/?page_id=64

I just read their 2005 manifesto and I think I want them in for their policies!


*will now for sure be voting next election*

Awesome! It's about time the importance of hats was brought up.
Calantyr
No to Hoodies, Yes to Top Hats!

I take it all back, vote MRLP!
Usurper MrTeapot
http://.omrlp.com/?page_id=64


Is it just me or does that link not work?
elphaba2
It doesn't, because there's a dot in front of the "o" in "omlrp". Take it out and you'll be there.
bryden42
The link is wrong my fault
http://omrlp.com/?page_id=64
Usurper MrTeapot
D'oh!

Edit: Ho ho, that's the party for me. Join the pound!
alstan
With so many people disaffected with politics, might it be an idea to actually let voters show that on the ballot paper ?
To include the extra box below the list of candidates would cost almost nothing, except perhaps embarrassment to the sitting government.


----------------------------------
| Protest Vote .............| X |
----------------------------------
CommieBastard
See, my problem with this whole idea is that the government and the legislature don't care about people not voting. You stop affecting the outcome of elections entirely, which means they no longer have to worry about you. If they get into power with a 20% voter turnout, they've got exactly as much power as they would with a 50% turnout. You're not sending them any kind of message by doing this. All you're doing is making them that little bit less representative.

If you honestly believe that there's no difference between the parties of Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat, then fine, don't vote. But if there are differences, you have a duty to try and affect your government for the better.

Personally, I'm torn as to how to vote. I'd hate for the Conservatives to come into power (Cameron gives me the shivers), but the only way to stop that is to vote Labour, and that will seem like an endorsement of their government until now, which I most definitely don't want to do. It's going to take a lot of thought. But I'm not going to just sit back and let everyone else decide how I'm to be ruled.
bryden42
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Dec 4 2006, 10:43 AM) *
but the only way to stop that is to vote Labour,


Thats not nescesarily true. I'm not saying it's a better choice, but if everyone that thought that were to vote for the lib dems then they could get in. Its a long shot I know but there is always that third option.
pgrmdave
Oh, if only the US had a better third party choice...I'd love it if there was a party that was socially liberal and fiscally conservative (or at least fiscally intelligent!)
alstan
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Dec 4 2006, 10:43 AM) *
See, my problem with this whole idea is that the government and the legislature don't care about people not voting. You stop affecting the outcome of elections entirely, which means they no longer have to worry about you. If they get into power with a 20% voter turnout, they've got exactly as much power as they would with a 50% turnout. You're not sending them any kind of message by doing this. All you're doing is making them that little bit less representative.

If there was some mechanism for voting against the government and a majority of people did so, might it follow that the governing party should have its power limited, possibly by having to share power, perhaps by proportional representation or some other means of coalition?
That_Guy
QUOTE (pgrmdave @ Dec 4 2006, 03:12 PM) *
Oh, if only the US had a better third party choice...I'd love it if there was a party that was socially liberal and fiscally conservative (or at least fiscally intelligent!)


You've just described the Libertarian Party.
Witless
I am at uni once again (I seem to do most of my matazoning while being idle at this place these days).

I ound out some odd strangenesses recently that related to this topic. I thought I'd share.

Lets say you had an election with three candidates, candidate A, B and C (their parents were harsh and didn't put much worth on their children so didn't name them well.) In this election you have to vote in order of preference. So you can vote for Candidate A as firt choice, followed by Candidate B and finally C if you so wished and believed in alphabetising everything to chronically OCD levels.

Ok so the stage is set the votes come in and miracously people voted in only 1 of 3 ways. The first third of people vote alphabetically, they vote A, B, the C. The second third of people vote B, C then A. The final third of the voters votes C, A then B. Sadly we've come to a rather curious situation here. It seems A has beaten B by 2 to 1, B has beaten C by to to one, and astonishingly C has beaten A by 2 to 1 as well.

Now here's the fun part. While the situation as I have outlined it seems unlikel, in the real world the situation is often worse. In the 1980 U senate elections of the 3 final leaders the results indicated that 'officially' Alphonse D'Amato had recieved 45% of the votes and won and the other two 44% (Elizabeth Holtzman) and 11% (Jacob Javits) Curiously however if you compare the results they get in a head to head exit poll, then Holtzman would have been D'Amato by 51% to 49% and head to head with Javitz would have beat him 66% to 34%. So Holtzman actually wins against both in a head to head situation.

It's weird how simply changing how the votes are handled changes the results. I am not saying the results were deliberately scewed. It's actually a well known situation that just because A is more popular than B and B more popular than C, it doesn't hold that A has to be more popular than C. For those who are interested the theorem is called the 'The arrow of impossibility theorum' (optimists call it 'the arrow of possibility theorem).

Infact this situation crops up a lot, and the more candidates or options you have the greater the possibility of contradictions occuring. With enough candidates the probability of a contradictions reaches 100%!

In addition it's also quite common that constantly voting for someone just to make sure the other guy doesn't win is often the cause of elections being so predictable. For example, if in one area everyone voted conservative, labour, then liberal democrat.. and then in another everyone else votes lib dem, then labour then conservative then labour win overall, with everyone wondering who voted them!

Perhaps a "vote against" system needs to be put in. From how I understand it, it would stop so many contradictions if people could actually vote against someone rather than just voting for someone else to stop the person they really don't want to get in, from geting into power.
Radaga
The third way was appointed by Thoureau.

Civil disobeyance. You dont vote, you dont use public services, you dont complain, you dont count yourself up among "the people". In the other hand, you refuse to pay taxes whatsoever.
Moosh
QUOTE (Radaga @ May 1 2007, 04:31 PM) *
The third way was appointed by Thoureau.

Civil disobeyance. You dont vote, you dont use public services, you dont complain, you dont count yourself up among "the people". In the other hand, you refuse to pay taxes whatsoever.


How do you "not use public services"?

Unless you're going to live completely isolated from society, I would think this would be impossible.
Daria
Now's the time to build your own country, and start allll over again.
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