Discussion of other UK political parties
By Abernathy
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I really, really don't get this. People seem to be getting a bit excited at Russell Brand's little bout of self indulgence on Newsnight the other day, and at the prospect of him becoming a figurehead for the "None of the Above" movement.

http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/10 ... -election/

The aims of this "movement" seem to be to stand candidates at the general election whose sole "policy" will be immediately to stand down if elected. In order to show that they're not happy with the way that the current electoral system works. Specifically, they want there to be a ballot paper option of "none of the above" so that people that don't like any of the candidates on offer can say so explicitly.
...we currently have no means of registering such a vote on UK ballots. We can spoil our ballot, but this is not formally recognised as a political voice

So why then, are spoiled papers counted and declared at every election? It definitely IS recognised as a political voice.

Even if they get candidates elected (unlikely in the extreme), who then resign straight away, all that will achieve is a by-election in which the electorate will no doubt elect somebody that will actually serve as their MP. If they get their wish and ballot papers all geta "none of the above" option, what on earth will that achieve? There will be precisely no difference in the way elections work if that happens.

It seems to me that the campaign is the very embodiment of pointlessness.

Or am I just being cynical?

More seriously, by taking votes away from serious progressive parties like Labour, there is a risk that this exercise in futility might leave us stuck with another voracious shower of Torycunts.
Got to say, you're right. Exercise in pointless, conspicuous cynicism. If any of the candidates had any balls, they'd say what they actually DID believe in and stand on that basis, rather than this 'hey, look at me' stunt.
Andy McDandy wrote:Got to say, you're right. Exercise in pointless, conspicuous cynicism. If any of the candidates had any balls, they'd say what they actually DID believe in and stand on that basis, rather than this 'hey, look at me' stunt.
Indeed Andy seems to sum up Brand pretty well. I absolutely despise that sort of politics, It's a just an excuse for being a self-indulgent tosser
I don't particularly agree with Brand entirely, but I do think an official "None of the above" option is needed. It's far too easy to lump in deliberately spoiled ballots with people who slipped, idiots who didn't understand what to do etc. and this dismiss them all as such - and this often happens. A clearly defined category that makes it plain that none of the candidates have measured up and have all been left wanting could help invigorate politics at a local level. It may even help make a few safe seats less safe - if a party discovers there's a sizeable pool of voters that are willing to do their civic duty but do not want to vote for any of the candidates put forward then they know they have a potential new voter base to tap into.

I for one would have used it in the past. Where I used to live was a safe-ish Tory seat. However, I did not wish to vote for the Labour candidate because he was a complete bumbling arse and I saw no reason to endorse his selection*. This would have been an opportunity to record my vote but also show if the other parties wanted my vote they needed to buck their ideas up, rather than more or less being forced to vote for Labour by default as they were the only party in with the slightest chance of dislodging the incumbent or not bothering.

*He was my mate's dad. A nice chap, but the sort of person who'd struggle to get a telephone handset the right way up. For all the Tory candidate's faults, he was known for being genuinely active and sincere at a local level. To remove him on the basis of ideology would have been to deny local people a competent MP.
By Daley Mayle
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I'm with Crabs on this one.

I was against the whole Police Commissioner idea and for the first time deliberately spoiled the voting slip with 'None of the above - a waste of money'.
In Dyfed-Powys the figure for rejected votes was 4.3% on a turnout of 16.38%. The election, won by Conservative Christopher Salmon, was one of three areas fought under the first past the post system because there were only two candidates.
I was proud to be a member of the Dyfed Powys Four Point Three Club.
The other benefit of a proper none of the above category is it helps stops winners claiming a mandate when only voted in by a small percentage of the electorate. At present, even if voter turnout is abysmal people who win frequently claim they now have a mandate to go on and enforce X, Y or Z policy as long as they win the most votes out of the votes cast. Imagine if in an election the none of the above option polled 50% but the winning candidate got only 30% (here I'm assuming that, like spoiled ballot papers they would essentially be ignored for election purposes and their sole purpose would be so a vote could be recorded as having been properly cast even though the voter chose not to vote for any of the candidates available). The winner may then have the job, but they'd be fully aware they did not have anything like an endorsement to act as they saw fit - and more importantly everyone else would be aware of it too.

Anything that weakens politicians' ability to act unless they have genuinely convinced a majority that what they intend to do is right and proper, and reminds them that they work for us and not vice versa, is a good thing.
And that's the elephant in the room. Leaving your home, walking or driving to the polling station and recording your NOTA vote is still a conscious act. Why not total up all the 'sat on my arse and watched Trisha' people? OK, we're free to partake or not in democratic elections, that's our prerogative. But if someone is prepared to stand as a NOTA candidate, why not take that opportunity to tell us not just what they consider wrong with the 'official' candidates, but what they think needs doing to rectify the situation. Then we might just vote for them for real.

You know what this reminds me of? Hipster wankers who set up book swap schemes in trendy pubs and on train platforms, then rave on about how cool and organic and grassroots it all is, and how totally free of charge it is, all while the local public library's being shut down right behind them.
By Daley Mayle
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My guess is that the 2015 GE will have the worst voter turnout in history. Yes, the numbers voting have reduced over the years but there is an awful lot of apathy and cynicism amongst Joe Public where the line New Boss, Same As The Old Boss prevails. Cameron in full Napoleon the pig mode will push the 'vote for me because you don't want Jones to come back, do you??' Miliband, meanwhile, will be pushed to show what he can do to reverse the cuts to services and help for those affected by changes to benefits and how he can pay for this without borrowing more.

As previously mentioned I did not have much faith in Miliband establishing himself as a credible contender for PM but he has shown recently that he is prepared to stand up for his socialist (small 's' mind) principles. The right wing press have cottoned on to this and have made great play of Red Ed and his Socialist tendencies. How miliband can turn this around to his advantage I'm not sure. His main hope lies in Ukip splitting the Tory vote.

Hey, but look at me spouting off, what the fuck do I know about politics anyway?
By Big Rob
Well democracy is flawed. I can think of a better system however then I read the comments in the mail and realize that we're not ready for that system.

Therefore democracy is the best choice in an imperfect world.

Brand did make some sense though. Tax havens and corporate greed are damaging society.
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