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Ten Reasons I Don’t Vote

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I remember the first time I was eligible to vote. I believe it was for the 1992 UK General Election. It felt great. I knew all about the generations that dedicated their lives to ensuring that everybody has a free vote and it would have been an insult to their struggles if I didn’t exercise that right. So I voted. And that was the last time I did. Begin rant…

You see, since that time I’ve lost all faith in politics in the UK. Britain as a whole is a pretty small country in the world scheme of things, except that it has a great deal of self-importance. Whenever I travel to other countries I almost never see a mention of Britain on the news. But when I come back I realise why. The news here is filled with tabloid stories like “Diana’s former butler in gay marriage claim” and “celebrity drugs and sex shame”. The only other thing that seems to get reported is political bickering and sleaze. It’s pathetic.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating and perhaps ranting again. But what I’m illustrating is the state of mind I have when I think about voting. I just don’t have any faith that if I vote for any party that life in this country will improve in any way. I’m not bothered about myself, I earn plenty money and have a pretty damn good quality of life. If I have to pay a bit more tax to see our health service improve, or improvements in education, then I’m not going to complain. But it doesn’t work that way.

In the years since I was eligible to vote I’ve seen no improvement to this country, all I’ve seen is degradation. When you come back from America or France or any other civilised country you really notice what a dilapidated place this is. The roads are clogged, in very poor condition, the health service sucks (don’t get me on that one, it gets personal), crime is on the increase (it is you know) and the summers are rubbish. Okay, they can’t do anything about the weather, but the government should do something about the rest. When the Labour party replaced the Conservatives nothing changed. There was a real sense of optimism after a single party had been in power so long. But that optimism turned to apathy with me soon after.

I guess my problem is with politicians. The trouble is that they’re human. I’m sure that many of them do what they do because they passionately believe in making the world a better place. They seek a position of power so that they can try to make a difference. But sadly a great many of them are not there for that reason at all. It’s all about personal power. Spin. Never answering the question asked but instead putting a political point across that may be related, it may not. Seeming to say and do the right thing rather than doing the right thing. About staying in power at all costs once in power. It’s not noble. And as the old adage goes “all power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

There is a great deal of research done when an election is upcoming to determine the cause of voter apathy. For example, more people voted on the series Big Brother than voted for the Labour party at the last election. Well, the reason for my apathy is simple. I have no faith in politicians making anything better. No matter who is in power I just don’t believe anything will change. To me political parties in Britain are all the same. They’re stocked with the same people. They talk the same rhetoric. And they achieve the same results. Very little.

All views expressed above represent those of the author. Okay?

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

9 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. I used to be into politics when it was interesting in the 80’s. I even took a politics A-Level as it seemed relevant compared to the Maths and physics courses I was taking at the time.

    Back then we had polarisation, real right and left politics on show, personalities (love em or hate em) like Norman Tebitt, Heseltine and Maggie in power, Kinnock and Hattersley in opposition.

    And the opposition OPPOSED the government from a different ideological front, not just being disagreeable as the current opposition do.

    I was excited about voting in the Ribble Valley by-election we had in 1991 – the election that lost the Tories a 25000 majority (10th safest seat at the time) and sewed the seeds to the death of the Poll Tax (you can thank me later).

    But now there are no personalities – I could not tell you the cabinet?s names now, never mind the shadow cabinet, cause frankly I don’t care – they are uninteresting and dull and say nothing. I listen to Today every morning on the way to work, the ministers say things and I just find my self saying “Go on John (Humphreys), slaughter them” – as he often does (like with Geoff Hoon today).

    The problem is that everyone agrees now, the New labour policies are almost indistinguishable from where the last Tory government gave up hence the Tories no longer have anything to oppose – no wonder they look useless and have nothing to say!!!!!

    Whatever happened to a left and a right wing alternative? Are we becoming America? Tony rename his party the Democrats soon??

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  2. Adrian, did you copy this out of a newspaper article???

    Labour won in 1997 cos everyone was sick of the Tories, but wanted to keep the Tory policies that Labour adopted more and more without the sleaze etc. The last time we had a radical government in this country that put the interests of the majority of the population first was 1945. It’s very depressing.

    I still vote though. I just don’t vote for any of the major parties. It’s no use saying “There’s no point voting for xxx cos they’re never gonna win”. That’s just defeatist.

    I could go on for hours, but I’ve got work to do…

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  3. Some people think that people should be forced to vote by law because of the sacrificies made to get democracy and retain it etc. I’d go along with this provided there was a “none of the above” option.

    Advances in communication technology have the potential to lead to true democracy in the future, whereby the many aren’t represented by the few. A few that get corrupted by power and become self-serving. Of course, it will never happen, there are too many vested interests at stake to allow that. How depressing.

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  4. Copying????

    Never!!!

    Words of a man with a hangover

    YES!!

    I was in LA on the last election – is that a good enough excuse for not voting?

    It’s all sleazy now – the lot of them!!! I was more on about policies then gutter press.

    Centre right is the way things look to be going for the forseable future.

    Sleaze only came to the surface cause politics got so boring under John Major and Tony. It’s always there – it’s in the nature of these self seeking egotists to copulate like bunnies and grease each other’s poles.

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  5. Just a quick point.

    I wasn’t sick of the scumbag Tories in 1997, i was sick of them period and still am.

    80’s legacy lingers on. No organised labour (lower case l). Middle classes beating up the Working man/woman (the masses). It never changes.

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  6. Got to agree with the Master in part.

    There’s rapidly becoming no place for a working class in this country.

    Does the fact that Tony’s trying to get 50% of school leavers to go on to do an academic degree tell us that he accepts this as a fact?

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  7. From my 18th birthday ’till the 97 election i voted in EVERY election. Not just general elections, but every poxy little local election. There was truely a distinction between the policies of the parties that could influence government, which as everyone else has said, has almost disappeared.

    The problem seems to be that each party is getting more scared to voice any radical policies because radical doesnt pick up the small percentage of floating voters in marginal seats that generally decide the government. (Big majority at the moment, but thats to do with the country looking for something different… and not finding it… and so on.. and so on..). This is leading to the parties all creeping further towards the political centre, and supressing any “non conformist” opinions within the party

    Now, in the past, I was never a fan of political reform, ‘cos I felt it would lead to innefective government. These days however, I’m much more open to the suggestion.

    If we had some kind of proportional representation system, we would see the situation where there are more parties actively participating in government, and we would see more varied policies (both good and bad ones).

    We may see the main parties being a bit more bold with their policies, and not being as scared of losing 1% of the floating voters. We may even see the big parties break up into smaller ones of GENUINELY like minded people who can voice their true opinions, and still have a seat in government.

    I almost sound convinced myself…

    The best solution all round would be to dump party politics vote for individuals, but thats never gonna happen

    Reply

  8. Compulsary voting is in place in Australia & causes a lot of problems when they are prosecuting non-voters. Costs a fortune.

    Proportional representation is in place in Ireland (amongst others)… takes ages to get the actual votes in. Also it confuses the voters (depending the system they use they may have to score all the candidates in order! A lot of voters ain’t that bright remember). It gives power to small radical parties as the main parties tend to be fairly equal in seats won – the smaller factions have to be won over hence the main parties have to entice the radicals over by adding undesirable clauses in legislation.

    First past the post is not ideal but we do get a clear winnner (on the whole – 1974 was a blip) and a government can usually fulfil it’s mandate to govern, voters get an easy to understand system, results are usually in within 12 Hours of the polls closing and being a country filled with tradition and inertia, you may as well learn to love it – cause no government will ever change it as it’s not in their interest to do so.

    Or something like that.

    Reply

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