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.

wigglesrock Sat 06-Oct-12 08:51:11

Yes but if I spoil a vote I can legitimately rage against them and despair of the people that voted them in grin instead of being complicit when some of the dodgy ideas/policies float about, the perfect example being Jeremy Hunt, not that I can vote in manland elections but you know what I mean.

picnicbasketcase Sat 06-Oct-12 08:53:39

I'd be very surprised if Lib Dem got anywhere near the votes they got last time. Always a race between Conservative and Labour, people try to give another party more of a chance.. And they turn out to just be more Conservatives. I read a poll somewhere that said if a GE was held tomorrow 81% would vote Labour. Yes the country's in a load of financial trouble, but people were happier when the NHS, schools, benefits system etc etc were not being royally fucked over by people who can afford to not need them anyway.

wigglesrock Sat 06-Oct-12 08:55:54

manland elections grin, how apt, obviously I meant mainland.

OOAOML Sat 06-Oct-12 08:56:34

I spoiled my ballot at the last council elections. I knew it wouldn't have much impact (we have multi-member wards and rank the candidates) but over the last few years pretty much every party has p'd me off locally - crazy policies, supporting other parties crazy policies, not standing up to crazy policies etc. I wrote them a note explaining why I didn't feel I could vote for any of them as there were claims last time that people accidentally spoilt their papers because they didn't understand how to vote hmm

I did feel bad about it, but there were no parties standing I could vote for, no fringe extermist parties to keep out, so it seemed the best way of getting my point made (I've counted at elections before so I know the candidates/agents look at the spoiled papers)

RatherBeOnThePiste Sat 06-Oct-12 08:56:50

Where we are we have to vote tactically to keep folk out, and have always been a lib dem area, really not sure what will happen next time. Spolit papers would just let the tories roar through sad

seeker Sat 06-Oct-12 09:05:58

" instead of being complicit when some of the dodgy ideas/policies float about."

But you are complicit!

Iggly Sat 06-Oct-12 09:06:09

And that mp would be on shoddy ground if they only got 2% of the vote.

I think spoiled ballots are better than none.

Iggly Sat 06-Oct-12 09:07:28

Just to be clear - in talking about people who don't bother voting because they see no choice. Not tactical voters, swing voters or can't be assed voters.

seeker Sat 06-Oct-12 09:09:58

It doesn't matter why people don't vote.

The effect is exactly the same, regardless of motive.

ZombTEE Sat 06-Oct-12 09:13:06

The effect is the same. But the reason does matter.

If you don't vote because you don't care, that's one thing, and your right.

If you don't vote because you feel nothing ever changes, that's another thing, and also your right.

It's always your right to not vote as much as it is your right to vote.

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 09:13:18

Can't you vote for the "anything but the Tories" party? I know the other parties are not exactly inspiring at the moment, but the Tories are dangerous. We will all suffer because of their policies, the longer they're in the more damage they will do.

Have you seen their latest plans on benefits for example?

If you don't make the equivalent of the national minimum wage, 35-hours a week, you'll lose Universal Credit - a payments you may well rely on for rent. (This is an incentive to find more work, apparently. It takes no account for the fact there may well be no extra work available).

If you work part time, you'll have to attend the job centre, the same as unemployed people, and prove that you're trying to get a full time job. If they find a job with more hours, or a better paid job than the permanent part time job you're in, you'll have to take it, even if the new position is a temporary one, or one with worse prospects long term.

If you're self-employed you'll have to get a panel at the job centre to approve your business plans. If they approve it, you then have a year to make it work. After that your business must make more than the equivalent of 35 hours a week at national minimum wage. You must submit your accounts monthly, and they do not take account of any outlay on tools / equipment / training etc - those costs comes out of what they see as your profit. If you don't meet the minimum income requirement that month, you will lose entitlement to any UC, and they may demand you attend activities designed to get you back to work (thus getting in the way of you actually making a living). It totally ignores seasonal work or work which naturally takes over a month to see a profit. Currently the tax man allows looks at the whole year, which allows for some fallow months, and seasonal businesses. The new plans will remove help in those months when people need it most.

This is the important bit They are changing the minimum wage from something employers have a responsibility to pay you, to something you have a responsibility to earn - don't meet it and you will be penalised.

It's insanity, and will drive many people into homelessness and poverty.

More info here

Iggly Sat 06-Oct-12 09:13:20

I think an individual spoiled vote isn't worth anything but a huge proportion of them is, as a statement. It says something different to appearance of apathy.

seeker Sat 06-Oct-12 09:19:21

But the BNP candidate is still elected. And has exactly the same powers that he would have if he had got 100% of the vote.

wigglesrock Sat 06-Oct-12 09:22:03

See, I feel differently, I feel a spoiled vote is a vote just not for any of the above candidates.

I think, I may be completely wrong but Australia may have a "spoilt vote" box to tick? Of course that could just be info from a strory/ shite mini series etc blush that has just entered my head.

seeker Sat 06-Oct-12 09:25:08

Australia has a none of the above box. But we don't.

Are you saying that the % of the vote a candidate gets has an impact on their position once elected?

Iggly Sat 06-Oct-12 09:27:29

Yes the BNP still gets in but in the knowledge that they were on thin ground. Politicians work to the public. If they know that there are voters out there who can be bothered to spoil their paper, then they know they can come up with policies to make them vote for them.

wigglesrock Sat 06-Oct-12 09:31:26

Yes, I am saying that.

BitOutOfPractice Sat 06-Oct-12 09:33:24

I live in a staunch Tory area. I am a member of the Labour Party. At local elections, I rarely have a Labour candidate to vote for so I spoil my paper by writing "none of the above" on it. I hate doing it but don't want to vote for any of the others

At the general election I briefly considered voting libdem as the best chance of getting the Tory out (libdems 2nd here). I am SO bloody glad I didn't. I wouldn't like to feel even responsible by proxy for this government

ZombTEE Sat 06-Oct-12 09:33:36

aufaniae as a self employeed person, I will starve before I go through their hoops to prove my worth. I'm very lucky in that my husband makes a good salary that gets us through no matter how lean my months are. We currently don't get any WTC or CTC due to his salary, so we won't be any worse off if we don't get any UC.

It should also be noted that I am not a citizen of the UK and don't get a vote. And that I live in NI so our parties are a bit different on the local level anyway.

skrumle Sat 06-Oct-12 09:38:08

i got elected in may, and we saw the spoiled papers during the count. most were people who didn't understand the multi-member ward system or left the paper blank, but a reasonable number were people who wrote things like "why no labour?" and "i wanted to vote socialist" across their paper.

while i think this is a valid form of protest, a much more useful form of protest would be to write to the local labour party and ask why no-one was standing, or to actually join the labour party...

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 09:49:08

ZombTEE sadly many will find themselves with not enough money for food should this come to fruition sad

OP, yes YABU to spoil your paper when you might have a chance to help get this lot out of power.

God forbid you fall on bad times, or get ill, or need a safety net of any sort, and the Tories have got in for a second term.

aufanie sod off with your sanctimonious attitude. I am unemployed due to physical and mental health problems and fully aware of what it's like to choose between paying for your child's winter coat or food.

I am no fan of the Tories but frankly as far as I can see the Lib Dems are pretty useless and Labour bear a lot of responsibility for the economic situation as it stands so I wouldn't trust them either. Hence my dilemma in the OP.

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 10:22:12

I'm sorry if you find me sanctimonious, but I am stunned at what I'm learning about what's planned for UC.

It's absolutely barbaric IMO, and I'm trying to make people aware of what's going on.

Are you aware of This and this?

Thousands of families will face homelessness and be pushed further into poverty once the Tories' plans start to take effect. This is not about the economic crisis - this is about the Tories using it to drive through policies which are ideological and which will be hugely damaging to our society.

A spoiled vote is a wasted vote IMO. There is always a least bad option, and the ones in power are the worst by a long way IMO.

aufaniae Sat 06-Oct-12 10:26:04

No need to get personal btw, I thought my point was a valid one. I took your question seriously and offered my viewpoint.

Or do you only want people who agree with you to post hmm

Sorry, I overreacted a bit there - I can be a bit oversensitive about my situation, which of course I realise you couldn't have known about.

However I did point out in my OP that a spoiled paper is a waste of a vote, which is why I'm uncomfortable with the idea.

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