Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Elections are very much in the ether at the moment. Japan has just got over it’s local elections, the UK has just had its own with a referendum on the alternative vote thrown in and Canada has just had its general election. Internationally, the latter was embarrassingly eclipsed by the death of Bin Laden and the UK’s vote. However, Canadian people very much noticed the election and after the Conservatives’ victory one Canadian friend wrote me, “OH GOD THE COUNTRY I LIVE IN IS FULL OF COMPLETE FUCKING IDIOTS” and then ruined the thesis by pointing out that the New Democrats came a respectable second (not as good as a respectable first, but you know what I mean), ie, quite a lot of people didn’t vote Conservative, so not everyone is a fucking idiot.

My good friend Nagaijin posted on Facebook this quote from Plato: “The penalty for not participating in politics is to be governed by your inferiors,” to which he joined an exhortation to go out and vote. Which brings me to the point of this posting because I have some recommendations for voting reform and an alternative vote of my own.

You see, I responded to Nagaijin’s post that although I completely agree with the sentiment, voting for any of the big three parties in the UK is like voting for bacteria. I am no expert on Canadian politics, but I have a suspicion that I would feel the same if I lived there. I would like to vote Green but that party rarely fields a candidate in my constituency and I don’t want to vote for any of the others because I simply don’t have any respect for them or their policies. Once upon a time I would have voted Labour as a default alternative to Green but Tory Blair put an end to that and Mr. Miliband is well, Mr. Miliband. Clegg is a disaster and if I had voted Lib Dem in the last election I would have been spitting furious that he pissed all over liberalism by teaming up with Camoron.

It needs to be pointed out that the three big parties in the UK add up to a massive electoral fraud. The three of them are as useful as chocolate teapots — very dimwitted, cynical, self-serving and not terribly honest chocolate teapots. Better than no chocolate teapots at all, I have to say, thinking of Libya and Syria and Burma and North Korea and Iran and the USA and so on, but chocolate teapots nonetheless. And they are not getting my vote at all, not even a little bit, and not even out of a sense of civic responsibility.

So when there’s no Green candidate, and there usually isn’t, I am thoroughly stuck.

So here’s my proposal.

I suggest an extra tick box on the ballot. You’d have the usual list of names and the usual tick boxes and then the extra one which would be labelled ‘None of the above.’ And if you tick that option, that would be counted as a definite vote … but for no one. You could register your electoral disapproval (if you have electoral disapproval, and not everyone does) without having to spoil you ballot paper by childishly drawing genitalia all over it.

The ‘None of the above’ votes would be counted and if they outnumbered the votes for actual candidates there would a re-run of the election, It would be like a report card to the politicians saying ‘must try harder’.

A brilliant idea, don’t you think? It would be a sort of interactive voting. And I think there would be a lot of soiled underwear in the various campaign HQs of the main parties.


By chris page

Magazine editor, writer of fiction and non-fiction; exile; cat person; red wine for blood and cheese in his soul. Chris Page is the author of the novels Weed, Sanctioned, Another Perfect Day in ****ing Paradise, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree. He is also a freelance journalist, copywriter, editor, cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in the use and abuse of false moustaches (don’t wear them — you’re welcome — the invoice is in the mail).

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