to consider spoiling the ballot?

(78 Posts)

I'm what the media calls a floating voter - I don't vote for the same political party time after time, I vote on the issues (not that it makes any difference where I currently live, as vast numbers of people seem to vote for the same party simply because they always have!).

But just lately I've been thinking - if an election was called tomorrow I really don't know who I would vote for. As things stand I don't think there is a single party that I would want in power. I have voted in every election I am eligible to and always been very scathing about those who don't bother - but I really don't know what I will do at the next general election. As far as I can see the only option that reflects my true opinion is to spoil the ballot but then my vote is wasted...

Very confused.

seeker Sat 06-Oct-12 08:13:24

I understand what you're saying- but that is the way extremists get elected. Vote for the least worst- but vote.

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Oct-12 08:13:58

YANBU

I wouldn't know who to vote for either. I used to vote Lib Dem but.........

At least spoiling the ballot is not "not voting" which I feel to guilty about to do.

Stand yourself as and independant? smile

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 08:15:44

I think a lot of people will do just that next time around.

Lib dem voters in particular will probably think twice about what voting for them means.

glamourousgranny42 Sat 06-Oct-12 08:17:36

You need to think about it at a local level. Choose someone who you think will represent you best. Of course they all buy into a particular ideology generally but often when you you get down to local issues you want someone who won't always toe the party line. Do some research and 5efinitely vote

WiseKneeHair Sat 06-Oct-12 08:18:43

It's difficult and I feel as if I am in the same position.
However, I agree with Seeker that this is how extremists get in.
I think that the Lib Dems are really going to suffer next time and I don't think Labour have enough support to get in, so the result could well be an overall majority for the Conservatives.
Out of the frying pan into the fire...

catgirl I like your idea of standing as an independent - free chocolate and gin for all mothers! Vote for Joyful! grin

See that's just it seeker, the idea of not voting just isn't something I would normally consider. I think you're right, least worst it is!

Iggly Sat 06-Oct-12 08:23:31

YANBU

I'd rather that people who didn't vote because they had no faith in any party would spoil the ballot quite frankly.

seeker Sat 06-Oct-12 08:23:33

"At least spoiling the ballot is not "not voting" which I feel to guilty about to do."

They have exactly the same impact on the result, though.

In a constituency of 300 people if 140 don' vote and 140 spoil their ballot papers and 20 vote BNP* you get a BNP* member of parliament.
( *for BNP insert extremist of choice)

Iggly Sat 06-Oct-12 08:24:49

But seeker what if 140 who wouldn't have voted at all came and spoiled their paper?

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Oct-12 08:31:22

You have my vote Joyful grin

Where I live there are (thankfully and so far) no BNP candidates etc. If I lived somewhere where there was I would vote for the least worst. I have never not voted, but as things are I would struggle to pick between the atm.

I expect I will still vote Lib Dem, but it's with an air of resignation and purely because I feel obliged to vote for someone.

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Oct-12 08:32:49

Oh also - where I live, it will actually make very little difference on a local level as it is Tory, always has been Tory and as far as I can tell will remain Tory for the forseable future.

I still vote though, despite the futility

seeker Sat 06-Oct-12 08:33:13

Iggly- wouldn't make any difference- the person who got the votes would get in.

I don't know if there are BNP candidates here - I only moved here last year. Where I lived before there was quite widespread support for them - in the general election I think they came a very close third (out of about 10 parties in my constituency).

I think that's an interesting point though - if there are idiots like the BNP or the English Democrats standing then a spoiled ballot could have far more serious consequences than if it's just a straight choice between Labour, Lib Dem and Tory.

ZombTEE Sat 06-Oct-12 08:37:16

“If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and measures you want to vote for… But there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong. If this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way. This enables you to be a good citizen (if such is your wish) without spending the enormous amount of time that truly intelligent exercise of the franchise requires.” – Robert Heinlein, speaking through Lazarus Long in Time Enough For Love

catgirl it's the same here (Sussex coast). True blue forever... hmm

wigglesrock Sat 06-Oct-12 08:38:33

I've spoilt a vote before, I think its important to get out to vote and I don't agree with voting for the best out of a bad bunch - imo that's how parties are allowed to flourish when they're shite. I think a spoilt vote is just as valid a choice as a vote vote.

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Oct-12 08:39:48

I'm NW - but it's a coastal town for the elderly to retire to smile Sounds like we live in similar places Joyful. Shame I can't vote for you sad I like your gin policy.

Iggly Sat 06-Oct-12 08:42:04

But we're not really at risk of extremist candidates getting in on a wide scale. The turnout for the last election was 65%. If the other 35% spoiled their papers, we'd have the same result yes but at least there's be a recognition that people don't like any of the other parties.

seeker Sat 06-Oct-12 08:42:16

". I think a spoilt vote is just as valid a choice as a vote vote."

But it isn't! It doesn't actually count for anything.

Iggly Sat 06-Oct-12 08:43:51

It does in the uk - they count them. So it would count as a political statement.

Sirzy Sat 06-Oct-12 08:45:13

But it wouldn't make any more difference to the outcome than not voting would

wigglesrock Sat 06-Oct-12 08:46:42

Yes, it is - its my choice not to simply stick an x beside the party that my parents vote for, that I agree with 90%, 50% of their policies. I've heard people wonder how certain parties came to be the ones with the mandate in NI (where I live) - just voting for the sake of it is how.

seeker Sat 06-Oct-12 08:48:11

But the person who got the 40 votes would be just as much an MP as he would have been if everyone had voted for him.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sat 06-Oct-12 08:48:35

I'd vote for you Joyful!

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