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I refuse to vote

From John Hartley

Monday, 16 March 2015

Quite simply put, I will not be voting. I understand some will think I have then given up my right to moan or complain about politics, having no doubt been brainwashed in the past though adverts on tv saying the same. But I will not be choosing who may burgle my home or pick my pockets either.

Find me some-one I can trust and believe, then maybe, just maybe!

From Joe Ridley

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

I too will not be voting (for the first time since I became eligible).
The political system is corrupt, ineffective and way past its sell-by date.

I don't need somebody living the high life in London to represent me. I don't need anybody to represent me.

If we all stop voting, the political system together with its useless adherents will wither and a new modern localised system dependent on modern communications can take its place.

Don't give them the legitimacy to, as John says, "pick your pockets".

If they really respected our vote they'd give us a 'non of the above' box to tick.

From Maureen Brian

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

You'll still call the police, though, if there are any left. And, I bet, have a good old moan if they don't have the resources to deal with such trivial crimes.

Not voting is a choice. You'll be equally responsible for the consequences of it.

From Phil M

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

This time more than ever its imperative to use your vote and use it well..
With all the misguided UKIP voters and the threat of the Conservatives getting in and finishing off Maggie's agenda… surely… use your vote!!

These 2 reasons alone make it a done deal for me.

From Justin Albarn

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

I respect your opinion but we live in a democracy and have the right to vote so why not do it? Spoil the paper! Whatever… but please make the effort!

From Mo Norwood

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

I want to be represented by Josh Fenton-Glynne in parliament.
I have listened to him and talked with him. I see no reason not to trust him to support the people of the Calder valley. He is our best bet for an MP of ability, conviction and sheer hard work beyond personal interest.

From Julie C

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

I'd like to encourage Forum followers to read (in the Hebweb News section) the report from Local History on Workhouse history, before making a definite decision on who to vote for, or if to vote at all.

The Tory party are about to return us to the world of the 19th Century, no public services, no protection for the vulnerable, no NHS, and a tiny wealthy elite ruling the roost. The Labour movement grew out of the struggles of people for a better life.

Dickens wasn't just telling stories, he was trying to awaken the consciences of his readers to world of the voiceless. Re-read the beginning of Oliver Twist and remember the fate of a single mother and her child at the hands of the Workhouse. Don't let's go back there. Please vote to keep the Tory party out.

From Pedro de Wit

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

I can sympathise with people who choose not to vote. It is sometimes hard to see what parties stand for these days. In the past Labour supported the working classes and Conservatives the ruling classes. That distinct difference is no longer there as society has become much more diverse and complex.

The days of thinking 'left' or 'right' are over. Anyone who still sees Labour as the party for the working classes is living in the pre-Tony Blair era. If you vote labour you will hamper your own job prospects and the prospects of those around you.

Labour says it stands for the poor but in reality its economic policies only serve to hit them the hardest. Therefore if you can't bring yourself to vote Conservatives it is hard to see who to vote fore as voting labour is like sticking a knife in your own back.

From Eleanor Land

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

We are now in the post Blair era. He made two big mistakes. The first was abandoning the working class in favour of the middle class. The second starting an illegal war. Blair was a Tory masquerading as Labour. He left office in 2007, and I believe the Labour Party is very different under its current leadership.

If you vote Conservative you are voting for a party which exists purely to benefit the super-rich. They abandoned the squeezed middle along with the working classes when they gained office in 2010. If you want to support a party which punishes the poor and disabled for the mistakes of their rich banker friends, wants to privatise the NHS to line their donors, pockets then vote for them. I believe this country would be a much happier and equal place without another 5 years of the Nasty Party.

People like Blair, Osborne and Cameron and their cynicism should not dissuade people from voting.

From Paul D

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Very easy to be cynical. But there are good reasons to be suspicious of such cynicism. It's fed by the media, created and constantly peddled in the same places and by the same people who benefit from mass voter disaffection. It means people don't vote. Those vulnerable to anti political propaganda tend to lap it up, to swallow it so completely that it emerges in their head as free will. A protest at cronyism by political cronies of a neo liberal bent. The irony is delicious. The right creates disaffection knowing it eats at opposition to it. Buy a don't vote t-shirt. But don't expect to thanked or taken very seriously. It's a con.

From Lita Hallyburton

Thursday, 19 March 2015

I refuse to throw away what my foremothers died to give me. There is no them and us… only us.

There are millions of us killing ourselves because disability and other benefits don't arrive and folks have nothing to eat, nothing to give the kids, and nowhere to live and no social care services. There are millions of us visiting food banks every day. There are millions of us struggling to stay alive day to day.

Look around!

Don't be manipulated by desperately lying politicians telling us everything is all right. It's far from all right

And we all have a responsibility to make it better.

Write to, and meet, with your politicians.2 months before an election they actually listen to us!

Tell them they are our public servants. And we have expectations. And they'd better do their best to meet them!

And vote!

When we don't vote we are actually giving the power of our vote to someone else who is very pleased to take it and most likely use it to vote against our interests

There are at least 20 million who say they won't vote. I say turn around and cast your vote

I say together we can make a difference!

From Jan Bridget

Thursday, 19 March 2015

I spoilt my voting slip last time on purpose. I was planning to do the same this time but something has changed that. Labour have said they will tackle homophobic bullying in schools. If they get in and do this they will change the lives of thousands of young people, not just those who are LGBT. For this reason I am voting for them.

I would never vote Conservative anyway but having an MP who is consistently homophobic should put off anyone decent from voting for him.

I also feel that we have gone backwards big time on class issues. Labour were traditionally the party of the lower class and I am hoping they will return to their roots.

From Paul Clarke

Thursday, 19 March 2015

I was going to pen an angry response to the apathy lobby but if they can't bothered to take a five minute walk to their local polling station it hardly seems worth getting het up.

But I was struck by the irony of people boasting they weren't voting when next week the Picture House is showing Selma.

In the year I was born a group of African Americans marched over a bridge in Selma to try and get equal votes. The response from the authorities was extreme violence that left many people badly injured. Not for them at that time a quick chat with a nice council officer that we get in a local school minutes away from our house.

It's also worth considering that in some parts of the world people are still literally risking their lives to exercise their democratic rights knowing they could be being murdered before or after voting.

We could also remind ourselves that only a generation ago women and the poor weren't allowed to vote.

A couple of practical points for the apathetic. You can have a 'none of the above' option but it will require to you to register to vote online, take a short walk to the polling station and then write 'none of the above' on your ballot form. It's called a spoilt ballot and is noted by politicians at the election count.

But even better for the truly apathetic you don't even have to walk to the polling station as you can get a postal vote, repeat the process above and then just post it in.

There have been lots of time I have trudged down to the polling station with a heavy heart knowing my candidate was going to lose but to me it is my basic duty as a citizen to vote.

I have never missed a vote as an adult because I am standing on the shoulders of giants when I put my cross on that bit of paper.

And, yes, if you don't vote then you do lose the right to moan… but it won't stop you will it?

From Joe Ridley

Friday, 20 March 2015

Paul Clarke has misunderstood the points made on this thread.

My reasons for not voting have nothing to do with apathy.

Disaffection and a complete loss of faith in the political system and class is the reason I'm not taking part.

If I thought my vote would make a difference I'd use it.

If I believed in the political system created by the political class I'd participate in it.

If I believed that our politicians had real power and could bring about beneficial change to our area, I'd vote for them.

If I believed our local MP cared about his constituency, so much so that he/she are willing to live in it rather than living the high life in London I'd vote for them.

If much of the political power in Britain hadn't been signed away to the unelected in Brussels I'd have more faith in the system.

If a politician stood up and promised not to bribe voters with giveaways and to slash taxes and to roll back the leviathan state then I'd vote for them. Can you name any politician who wants to do this?

Apathy? No!

Thorough disillusionment? Yes!

From Andy M

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Bit confused by your last para Joe. You don't want politicians to bribe voters with giveaways but you do or don't want taxes slashed and the state cut-back?!

From Paul Clarke

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Joe, sadly I have busted you as apathetic as it was you in earlier post that suggested a 'none of the above option'.

I merely suggested you could exercise that right by taking a stroll to the polling station and writing it… hardly a big effort and means you have your say.

As I pointed out you could actually do that from the comfort of your armchair if you could just press a few buttons and get a postal vote.

Who actually goes down to the ballot box thinking our political vote is perfect or agreeing with everything that that party we vote for are putting forward?

The answer is none of us and we have to make grown up decisions based on what we think is the best interests of the country or ourselves. Or we could just throw our toys out of the political pram which achieves exactly nothing.

If people hadn't voted the way they did in 1945 we wouldn't have a welfare state which a great thing, and the reverse can be true so when people voted in 1979 we ended up with Thatcher.

Voting is not an exact science - and can be incredibly disappointing - but it does matter so I hope you will take five minutes out of your day on May 7 to vent some of your anger down the polling station.

From Alisdair Calder McGregor (LibDems)

Friday, 10 April 2015

Hello, I'm the LibDem PPC. Just to respond to Joe Ridley's point:

"Disaffection and a complete loss of faith in the political system and class is the reason I'm not taking part."

You not taking part in the electoral system is the reason things won't change. Unless and until people like you step up and vote for change, it won't happen.

We had the opportunity in this parliament for radical change in the way we voted for the commons, and in getting rid of the Lords and having an elected upper house. The former was scuppered by a campaign based on lies, and the later by Labour choosing to vote with the backbench Tory headbangers to sink the bill.

I understand your frustration with the system, but it's not going to change unless you vote for a Candidate who will do the job of reforming the system. It's not going to happen without you doing something about it.

The Tories won't reform the system - they are fundamentally anti-change.

Labour won't change the system - they designed the current setup of the Lords to use as a combined reward and retirement home for their high & mighty.

In Calder Valley, which is the closest three way marginal in the North of England, the only way to vote for a change in the political system is a vote for me.

From Eleanor Land

Saturday, 18 April 2015

I would not vote for you Alasdair because your party no longer represents change, it has enabled the most vicious right wing party in my lifetime (over 60 years). Now voters have observed your party in government, eagerly following the Tories through the lobby to vote for Bedroom Tax, the privatisation of the NHS via the re-organisation, and the demonisation of the vulnerable, I'm afraid they are all to aware as to what it would do to get back to government.

I shall be voting but I can well understand why even more voters are so cynical about politicians, when they rip up their manifestos for expediency.