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How many eligible voters are not going to turn out?

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QmunkE | 00:14 Thu 05th May 2005 | News
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Anyone here eligible to vote and not going to? Any reasons why? What sort of party would you like to vote for?

Tomorrow is the first time I'm going to be able to vote in a General Election. I can't understand anyone not wanting to express their preference for who governs our country.


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GuavaHalf, I don't want to appear lazy or take the easy way out of answering your question, but I really do think it would be far simpler and take up less of your and my time if the question were reversed and you gave just one or two examples of a politician actually telling the truth.

ICEMANSAV has put all my arguments for not voting into words in this thread far more eloquently than I could have done...... now, that's lazy and the easy way out for me!!!

I thought I might not vote - then I was listening to the radio and they had a lot of VE day stuff on. Made me think about what voting represents. So I voted.
hi i was 18 last october but didnt get a voting card though my dad seems to think im not on the electorol roll yet...why not as mates of mine who have turn 18 after me have recieved theres and are able to vote. this isnt fair as im paying n.i and income tax yet cant have my say!!! who do i turn to to get this sorted???
If you're voting because you saw stuff about VE Day and how people fought to preserve our freedom, then you wouldn't want to be in my constituency. We have four candidates: three peddling alarmingly anti-libertarian platforms, and the fourth arguing for closer integration into Europe!

I do not feel at all ashamed at not voting. It's your democratic right not to vote. Democracy is the worst form of government other than all the other forms we SO FAR know. A lot of people here have got a little carried away with the idea that democracy will protect us against all evil and seem to have forgotten that Hitler was elected with a massive majority.

In any case, politicians are the same everywhere: they promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers. They do very little to change the world; the very nature of adversarial politics forces them to lie and favour the status quo. They approach every problem with an open mouth. So no matter what government gets in, we will still have the homeless, ruthless big business, global poverty, war &c.

No wonder Albert Camus once wrote: "Politics and the fate of humankind are shaped by people without ideas and without greatness. People who have greatness within them don�t go in for politics."


Well said paidinfull.  I couldn't agree more, though I tend to go with the Billy Connolly approach i.e. the desire to even become a politician should automatically bar you from ever becoming one!

I've often wondered how those who claim to represent 'the people' have highly paid executive jobs on the boards of companies, beside their MP salary or three or four different sumptuous properties scattered around the country!  Hasn't Mr Blair got a property in London(no, not Number 10!) worth a couple of million?  Will he really need it with some of his offspring due to 'fly the nest' in the not too distant future?

Thanks Philtaz. If you really wanted to help the world, you wouldn't become a politician. Just think, for instance, how many more would have starved to death had Bob Geldof decided to stand for office. To paraphrase Ghandi, we must be the change we want to see in the world.
Ok, let's assume that they're all self serving nest feathering scumbags.
(I don't believe they all are, but let's assume it). Surely you'd like a say in which set of scumbags governs you and makes decisions that are going to affect your life?
Anyway, anyone who didn't vote for change
(including those who didn't vote at all) helped to maintain the status quo, which makes you all Blair supporters whether you like it or not.
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yup good post, most of which I agree with, however the thought that we just sit back and let these people do what they want is so damn depressing I felt like at least having my .00002 in it. But I guess they do it anyway. Interesting point about democracy (not that our country is a democracy - voting every 5 years for 650 odd very unaccountables). I personally believe our system has to evolve somewhat, the party system itself is a horrendous relic. Mind you, dictatorship is the most effective form of govt and we dont really want that. Unless it's me . . .

hi i was 18 last october but didn't get a voting card though my dad seems to think im not on the electorol roll yet...why not as mates of mine who have turn 18 after me have recieved theres and are able to vote. this isnt fair as im paying n.i and income tax yet cant have my say!!! who do i turn to to get this sorted???

The electoral register is compiled once a year by the local authority, which sends a form to each household in about September.  It requires the head of the household to fill in the names of everybody in the household who is (or will soon be) 18 or over on the qualifying date (which I think is 10th October).  The register then comes into force in February for 12 months until the next year's register is compiled.  If you are only 16 or 17, then the person should put you on the list but also write in your birthdate so that the electoral register will know the date during the forthcoming year on which you become 18.  If you have not been included on the register, then the most likely reason is that the form was filled in incorrectly by the head of the household.  So if you are not on the register - and if you were therefore not allowed to vote - then it's your parents fault for not filling in the form properly.  The only thing you can do about it is to have a big argument with them for being stupid and incompetent.  The deadline for getting on the electoral register in time for 5/5/05 was 11/3/05, so it's too late anyway.

Incidentally, for the opposite reason, sometimes polling cards are sent to babies or pet dogs because the person in the household listed everybody instead of just the people over 16/17ish.

The Electoral Commission has a website -

aboutmyvote dot co dot uk

which has information about how to get onto the electoral register.  They have what is called "rolling registration" now - you don't have to wait until the autumn for the form to arrive as they now update the register every month.

You can download the form from the website and if you put in your postcode it will even tell you the right place to send it.

I think the reason peole don't vote is because;

a) they can't be @rsed to walk down to the polling station, as ludwig so appositely put it  and

b) they wouldn't know who to vote for anyway because like the vast majority in this country, they are politically unaware .

This doesn't stop them from grizzling and whingeing about the government for the subsequent five years however! 

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