Wednesday, 4 May 2011

It's time to vote!

I love elections.  I enjoy voting.  I also appreciate the fact that my vote is private, so I don't have to tell you, or anybody else, who I gave my first preference to.  I think democracy is a good idea in general, but it is not without its flaws.

For example, often we exercise our vote in ignorance.  We vote for people who we barely know about and who have manifestos we have not read.  Democracy can be an exercise in collective ignorance!

Then there is the fact that a lot of nonsense is spouted about democracy.  Democracy is not the answer to the world's woes.   It is not democracy that countries need it is good government.  Democracy does not always guarantee that.  Why should we be surprised when a whole lot of half-informed sinful people (including ourselves) end up making a bad choice?  Has no-one ever looked at those they have elected and regretted their vote?

I am also a believer in people's right not to vote and even to spoil their vote.  Rather than encouraging everybody to get out and vote we might be better asking them, and ourselves, how wise and informed our voting is (if we prove to be ignorant to the issues we might be better to stay at home).  I also think that the spoiled vote is a valuable part of democracy: if you look down the list and see no-one you want to vote for you have the right to return a spoiled vote indicating that 'none of the above' (anyone remember Brewster's Millions?) represent you (by the way I will not be spoiling my vote tomorrow).

1 comment:

Brian McFarland said...

This article gets my vote!!!