Saturday, May 07, 2005
ELECTORAL REFORM: NON-VOTING
As always the elction should lead to a discussion of the electoral system. I’ll be posting my random thoughts on this over the next few days.
The one one point I would just make in advance is that I don’t accept the claim that “Blair has won on the smallest majority ever and how can that be allowed”. To be clear, in effect Blair was returned to office with 76%, because effectively the 40% of voters who couldn’t be asked to vote thus signalled their acceptance of and consent to be governed by whoever won, which in this case is Labour. Equally, when the Tories win in the next general election 2008-2010, this figure will support them.
I’m sorry, but if people aren’t willing to exercise their right to vote I don’t think there’s a problem. These people will generally speaking be either not interested, not informed or not serious about the political process so in fact it improves the quality of the outcome. If people don’t like the choices on offer, they could simply go and spoil their ballotts so I don’t think that excuse has legs.
But this does lead me to support the idea to put the option of “none of the above” on the ballott paper. In such a case, should this option get the majority of the votes, there might have to be a re-run. Either way this is worth a thought.