Should I vote when I am so unhappy with all parties?
A Vidoyen subscriber asked me the above question. It is not normally my area of expertise, but I enjoyed the challenge of answering it as follows.
This is a hard question to answer. Like voting itself, the question of whether to vote is a matter of individual choice and conscience
The British comedian Russell Brand (former husband of Katy Perry) said last year that he doesn’t vote, as it props up a dilapidated, cruel and greedy political edifice
Many feel that it is a waste of their time, since the parties are all as bad as each other…
Remember the struggles of previous generations to ensure that you could vote…
suffragettes, black voters in southern us who faced lynching before elections, the well worn idea of ‘no taxation without representation’, the 1994 elections in South Africa…
The often used phrase: ‘bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote’.
And more generally, ‘all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing’.
Elections can turn out to be very close. Remember the 2000 US Presidential election of Bush v Gore, that came down to the count of ‘hanging chads’ in the state of Florida?
Not all parties are equally bad, some are worse than others (by whatever criteria you may think important). Voting for the least worst has the positive of helping to prevent the worst.
If you don’t like the choices that you see, be an agent of change…
Go to the parties and tell them, most have ‘open surgeries’, start a blog, have your say, or even stand yourself in an election as an independent.
But also remember that not only did our ancestors fight for your right to vote, they also fought for your right to be free to choose.
If you choose not to vote, then that is your right to do so.
But if you don’t like the way that things are done, remember that you can do other things to make change happen.