Discussion of other UK political parties
By davidjay
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Malcolm Armsteen wrote:
davidjay wrote:A NOTA option would decimate UKIP for a start.
I'm not sure of that.
If you are so unable to make the necessary compromises to choose one of the parties standing, why would you fuss yourself to go to the polling booth? You'd have to be actively uninterested to do that. UKIP supporters aren't just protesting in the sense of a spoiled ballot, they are sending a message about the direction of travel they would prefer. In that sense it's a protest vote, because they won't get UKIP elected, but they will send a message to the other parties about where they want them to go.
A lot of people still feel that they have to vote, and if they're feeling like raging against the world they'll vote for whichever protest party is in fashion. It's usually the Lib Dems but it's been the old Ecology Party, the BNP and now UKIP.
By Big Rob
I would contend the opposite.

Those who would vote UKIP would continue to vote UKIP even with a NOTA option.

That's one thing you could rely on those cunts for.

I would say that it would be the Tories and/or Labour that would suffer, even then I have my doubts because:

1) Ticks in NOTA boxes will likely come from those who already willfully spoil their ballot papers.
2) Those who apathetic to the system are still likely not to attend the voting station.
I don't think UKIP would suffer either - you've got to be fairly foaming at the mouth to vote for a fringe party anyway, so the option of a more polite protest vote wouldn't sway many people.

In my now-abandoned ideal world scenario, a NOTA option would admittedly not have done a great deal at first other than allow people to register disappointment with the selection on offer and have that recorded as such. This, over time, may have led to selection of a wider range of candidates or people who would not normally stand at all realising they're not alone and that they could perhaps be a viable choice.

However, I concede that this is unlikely to happen as there just aren't enough people of such a mindset to make it feasible. Most people who don't vote either genuinely can't be arsed or can't see any change happening whoever they vote for. And of the latter group, a sizeable proportion are probably misinformed as to what the current situation is anyway (e.g. thinking most benefits always go to scroungers whoever you vote for when it's always in fact pensioners) or simply want something unfeasible.

Better voter engagement really means they need to be better informed. And with our current press that's not likely to happen any time soon.
By new puritan
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I tend to think a change of electoral system to some form of PR would do far more to provide parliamentary democracy with a shot in the arm than a none of the above option. At least PR opens up the possibility of new political groupings coming in and shaking the system up. Part of the problem is that the existing major parties are so firmly entrenched that it's almost impossible to challenge their dominance under the current system and this is one reason many people stay away from the polls altogether. Of course, FPTP also leads them to focus on a small minority of largely middle-class, small-c conservative swing voters living in marginal seats. Working to change the big parties from within is also extremely difficult because their internal functioning is so undemocratic (the Bennites gave it a bloody good go in the '80s but even at their peak never came close to holding sway in the PLP or the shadow cabinet). Okay, so PR would clearly throw up some unpalatable outcomes - you'd end up with a lot of UKIP MPs, for one thing - but, well, that's democracy.

Of course, Clegg made such a hash of constitutional reform that it's probably off the table for the foreseeable future. We'd probably get STV at local level under a Lab-Lib coalition, but that isn't a particularly likely outcome of the next GE.
By Abernathy
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So Paxo once didn't vote either. But to his credit, he felt guilty :
"By the time the polls had closed and it was too late to take part, I was feeling really uncomfortable: the person who chooses not to vote - cannot even be bothered to write 'none of the above' on a ballot paper - disqualifies himself from passing any comment at all."
In Brand's latest piece in the Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... -newsnight" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

he talks about "starving them of our consent" to force them to admit that they are not working for us.

But we already do, in terms of percentages of the popular vote. I haven't got the stats to hand but isn't the turn out typically about 60-65% and the winner gets around 30% of that. So 2 out of every 10 voters put in the winning party?

Mandates, my arse. But still 3 of the 10 voters have said "Do what you like". It's not much of a protest.

The Sinn Fein MPs who refused to take the oath. Something like that would be a protest vote.
Nice Facebook status from Another Angry Voice:

Another Angry Voice wrote:One of the recurring comments that really pisses me off is the "all politicians are the same" rant.

Take Dennis Skinner. He attends all parliamentary sittings (he says he'd have got the sack for skipping shifts down the mine), he refuses to do the pairing scam (were Labour and Tory MPs pair up so that both can skive off voting), his expenses claims are always low, he's never been a member of the corrupt talking shops called All Party Parliamentary Groups and he is famous for speaking his mind.

OK - straight talking and decent MPs are an even smaller minority these days, but there are still some decent MPs. Even if you don't like any MPs at all, there are still distinctions to be made - if you think that Tory MP David Davis is just as bad as Iain Duncan Smith, then you have no sense of perspective. One is a Tory that although wrong on many issues is a reasonably straight talking guy that often defies the party whip when it comes to civil liberties issues, the other is a malicious and dishonest intellectual pygmy without a grain of empathy for the suffering he is inflicting on the most vulnerable people in society.
By Big Rob
[Brand]talks about "starving them of our consent" to force them to admit that they are not working for us.
Here's the scenarios there.

If you simply remove yourself from the democratic system how exactly do you force politicians, reliant upon upon votes, to listen to you?

If you don't threaten to overturn democratically elected governments by force then you are simply telling those politicians you have no voice.

If you are refusing to vote because you want a revolution, that overthrows democratically government, then why be passive aggressive about it by refusing not to vote? Why not simply go out and say 'I want to overthrow my democratic government'?

Be a bit more direct instead of passive aggressive.

If you think that a lot of people not voting indicates that the people are ready for revolution:

1) You are simply ignoring those who are potentially apathetic about voting.
2) You are assuming that those others who want to overthrow democratic government will want to see the same type of country that you do post revolution, when, indeed, they may have a very different idea of what your post democratic nation should look like.

Be careful what you wish for.
By new puritan
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Looks like the Electoral Commission has just the solution to the crisis of political participation - driving turnouts down even further.
Voters should be required to show photo ID at polling stations in Great Britain to lessen the risk of fraud, the Electoral Commission has said.

The elections watchdog said it planned to introduce the change in time for the 2019 local government and European Parliament elections.

Although it has yet to confirm full details of the plan, it said it would be based on the Northern Ireland model, where voters already need photo ID.

Campaigners No2ID condemned the plan.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25641801" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Even the Tories haven't had the balls to suggest this but if it goes ahead the end result will be that even fewer working-class people vote. Even the Electoral Commission itself admits that electoral fraud is only a problem in a tiny number of wards - so why is it suggesting a response as disproportionate as this?
By new puritan
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The more I think about this, the more puzzling it seems. Loads of people don't even bother to vote under their own name, never mind someone else's. So why make such a big deal of what is, by the Electoral Commission's own admission, a tiny problem?
By davidjay
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new puritan wrote:The more I think about this, the more puzzling it seems. Loads of people don't even bother to vote under their own name, never mind someone else's. So why make such a big deal of what is, by the Electoral Commission's own admission, a tiny problem?
You answered your own question above.
By TonyHoyle
Membership Days
Fozzy wrote:Do we know what they plan to do about people who don't have up to date photo ID? My mother, for instance, who hasn't been abroad for over 20 years and therefore doesn't have a current passport, nor does she drive.
Or my wife.. it's hard enough to persuade her to engage in any kind of politics, now because she has no photo ID so is to be excluded from the right to vote anyway?
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