Spoilt ballot paper as valid protest 'vote'?

(42 Posts)
Gashtray Thu 06-May-10 21:17:08

Not telling whether or not I did this, but what do people think about the validity of spoiling one's ballot paper as a form of protest?

Genuinely interested to hear views on this.

scurryfunge Thu 06-May-10 21:18:02

Completely pointless

Lulumaam Thu 06-May-10 21:18:19

think it is pointless

better to do a tactical vote or vote for a local independent party

Hulababy Thu 06-May-10 21:18:52

Can see the point.

MegSophandEmma Thu 06-May-10 21:18:55

I think fair play to them. At least they made their point.

CharlieBoo Thu 06-May-10 21:18:57

Waste of time

Cobwebsontheceiling Thu 06-May-10 21:19:36

Stupid waste of time

traceybath Thu 06-May-10 21:19:56

Depends how you 'spoilt' it.

The people counting it might just think you were a bit dim and didn't know how/where to put a cross wink

I don't think the people counting put spoilt in a special section saying 'protest' do they?

textpest Thu 06-May-10 21:20:10

It is stupid, sorry to be harsh but if you don't vote you can't complain! Plus the vote counters just send them for shredding and have no idea who wastted their vote.

PricklyThistle Thu 06-May-10 21:20:29

Would consider doing it if there was absolutely no party I could support.

ASecretLemonadeDrinkerDAVE Thu 06-May-10 21:20:39

I think it makes more sense to write "no suitable candidate", but I guess that counts as spoiling? Or write a dirty joke grin

ASecretLemonadeDrinkerDAVE Thu 06-May-10 21:21:43

The vote gets counted still though, for turnout, so better than staying at home...

Rosieeo Thu 06-May-10 21:22:39

Yep, I considered it. Spoiled papers are registered and if you really feel you can't vote for a party, I can't see the problem. At least you made the effort.

ASecretLemonadeDrinkerDAVE Thu 06-May-10 21:22:49

I guess if one year it all went tits up and like 50% spoilt their vote in protest, it would spark some kind of reaction?

AmazingBouncingFerret Thu 06-May-10 21:23:18

My sister said she was just going to write "I dont want to vote for any of the bastards" on hers. But im not sure if she was serious or not. confused

OP You're not my sister are you?? grin

KurrisSeatisNotMarginal Thu 06-May-10 21:25:05

Well the spoilt ones get counted in the turnout figure AFAIK, so if a huge number of people did it, it would probably make some sort of statement.
But if there's a reasonable range of views covered by candidates, I think most people would be able to make a choice. If it was for example only v. right wing parties on offer, I would probably spoil mine.

TidyBush Thu 06-May-10 21:25:36

I did it one year when one of our local councillors died a few weeks before the local elections. Instead of waiting for the scheduled election the majority party insisted on calling a by-election, so we had two elections within a month.

I was so annoyed at the amount of money this must have cost that I wrote my opinion on the ballot paper for the by-election and then voted at the scheduled election.

I would never not vote, but would mark my paper "none of the above" if I really couldn't choose.

chaosisawayoflife Thu 06-May-10 22:14:14

Somebody on here the other day (sorry, can't be bothered to hunt for link but I think it was in Politics) said that all spoilt votes are put before representatives to the candidates to decide whether they are spoilt or genuine votes for a particular candidate. One person had written 'bastard', 'bitch' etc next to all of the candidates apart from one where they had written 'this one please' and that was considered to be a legitimate vote. So all spoilt votes are seen by the parties (locally).

Gashtray Thu 06-May-10 22:42:52

Chaos: interesting - I didn't know that spoilt votes are put before representatives. Love the story grin.

In one of the most solid Tory seats in the country, a spoilt ballot seems no more a waste of time than, say, voting for an independent.

I think no action that is counted in the voting turnout is a 'waste of time'. I do accept that when you spoil a ballot, your reasons for doing so are not registered in any valid way, but the same applies if you vote for (for example) the Greens as a way of avoiding voting for (for example) Labour rather than for their policies.

SpiderObsession Thu 06-May-10 22:45:38

I'm all for it if that's what you want to do. It's better for a spoilt vote to be counted as a protest vote than to be lost in the apathy of not voting.

NathanBarley Thu 06-May-10 22:54:34

I think, go for it. If you do a good swear you might at least shock an elderly volunteer.

oceryo Thu 06-May-10 22:54:39

I think it's a waste of time.

I also think it's a useless way of "protesting". Has anything ever changed as a result of people spoiling ballot papers?

Even if most papers were spoiled, then what? What exactly would change? Politicians would "sit up and think what to do differently"? Each party is already doing what its members think best, and a spoilt paper doesn't tell them anything at all about what exactly you want them to do differently. If it is a "protest" it's about as unspecific as you can get.

It would be far more positive even just to vote for any of the parties except your least favourite(s).

thegirlwithsomethingextra Thu 06-May-10 22:56:24

I can see the point of it. My mum did it in the local elections because there were no candidates standing that she would vote for.

2rebecca Thu 06-May-10 22:59:19

If you try and get PR then it's more likely there will be a candidate you want to vote for as minority parties with no rich donors can stand without losing their deposits.
I think a spolied ballot paper is a cop out.
Life is often about choosing the least worse option.

Buzzybb Thu 06-May-10 23:05:50

Love that story Chaosis I was involved in previous elections and yes all ballots that were 'questionable' were put before the candidates and or the party reps. The debates were interesting and we always knew who needed the vote by how indignant they were. Fun times, but because of this and the fact that your vote may be used to benefit a party/person you did not want I always advocate tactical voting,

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