Monday, August 13, 2007

The Picture That Shames 39% of Britons

This is the picture that should shame 39% of British adults. It shows a queue for voting at a polling station in Sierra Leone, where a general election has been held over the weekend. Why is it that 39% of people in this country at the last general election took our democracy for granted? More people voted in the Iraqi elections than in Britain. Picture credit: Daily Telegraph


Sir-C4' said...

There is no democracy in Britain anymore thanks to Adolf Blair and the PC brigade.

antifrank said...

I voted at the last election, but I have spoiled my ballot paper in the past. Why? Because I did not consider the choice adequate, there was no candidate I actively wished to vote for or against and I wanted to send a message that politicians were not meeting my concerns.

A better caption would be "The Picture that Shames 100% of Britain's Elected Politicians."

Anonymous said...

I suspect you know the answer to this question Iain.

(1) People can't discern any difference between the main parties
(2) People don't believe anything we change even if they 'do' vote
(3) People don't really care about national politics - aside from single issues that irritate them
(4) People have a large amount of control in the UK over their own lives, stable government and a stable society and take it for granted

Not hard to understand really, is it?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

When you remember that women, (Women for God's sake!) were being imprisoned and force-fed less than a hundred years ago, just so that some git could say, "aah fuck it, it's raining" it makes me want to be sick.

In Russia they are beginning again to throw political dissidents into loony bins..see this

We have allowed the most devious group of shysters since Hitler to run this country and yes I am very mad that putative primative countries outshine us.

On the downside, I don't suppose for a minute that those pictured will achieve anything other than to propel a few savages in suits into luxurious homes with humvees parked outside.

vanfuertes said...

Everyone should vote, people fought and died for it. However, first past the post means plenty of people know their vote counts for nothing. A Tory supporter in Manchester Central feels they needn't get off their backside. Likewise a Labour supporter in Wokingham.

I think PR in some guise would greatly help with this. In Scandinavia they get 80 per cent plus turnout regularly, and they're stable democracies where people have a decent degree of control over their own lives.

Liberal Republican said...

the problem is most people think it's more important to vote on Big Brother than a general election.

Weygand said...

This view shows the mindset of the political 'insider'.
When political parties represented the views of their members most people used to vote.
Now for all major parties a small cabal determines that party's policy and carefully controls the list of candidates. The parties now give the impression of being commercial enterprises selling a product not representitive organisations. Should I choose Flash or Fairy Liquid?
As has been seen in France recently, people will vote when they believe there is a point in doing so.
The highjacking of the democratic process by political parties is responsible for the voting crisis, not the electorate.

Anonymous said...

It would be futile to queue to vote here when there is so little distinction between the electable clowns on the ballot paper. Visiting the polling station this October (if that's when the next general election is held) will be a complete waste of 5 minutes. I'd rather brew up rather than be shamed by soiling my hands by participating and supporting the current system. Once of a day the tories would have been worth a cross. Sadly, they haven't been for quite some time and we don't yet have a viable replacement.

Newmania said...

Vulva is on good form his point 4 is excellent his summary on the BBC was also good .

It just goes to show Iain that vulgarity and a huge pulsing brain are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps you shoud allow swearing from people who contribute well otherwise like VV

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's because voting in Sierra Leone matters? Casting a vote in Britain today is like choosing whether you want KPMG or Pricewaterhouse to administer the country.

Besides, it's an equal right not to vote. Just that you shouldn't complain if you didn't vote.

Manfarang said...

Why is it that 39% in this country at the last general election took our democracy for granted?
Not having military coups is probably why.

AndyR said...

I agree 100% with the Vulcan. It's not shameful, it's not a 'sign of diseased democracy' or breakdown in voter trust, or whatever.

People are relatively comfortable, relatively happy, and the economy is relatively good. Neither of the other two parties are offering a significant change in any direction, so people feel that their lives will not really be affected too much, whoever gets in.

All of the big fights were won in the 1980s, and there's a post-Thatcherite consensus about how to run the country that is shared by all the parties.

The only things left to decide are constitutional issues (treaties, the euro, the status of scotland and northern ireland), and people will assume that there will be referenda at the time (or if not, they will kick up a fuss... but not until).

If there really was an issue at stake, people would go and vote in droves. Don't forget that the 1992 general election had the highest turnout (almost 80%) for 18 years, all because of a man in a lightbulb...

Anonymous said...

All this anger at non voters is pious nonsense. There are many reasons and motivations for not voting. Some are a bad reflection of the individual and some reflect badly on the politicians but some are no negative at all. Voters could be genuinely undecided, they may have consciously decided to vote for none (going all that way just to spoil your paper will appear pointless to many) or they may be unable to (I couldn’t vote at the last by-election in my constituency because it took place on a working day). Ultimately there is no moral obligation to vote and not voting is not a sign of degeneracy.

In this country the two parties capable of winning an election are going after the same political ground. This alienates the traditional ‘core’ and leaves the centre indifferent to who wins. Add that to the fact that many constituencies are two (or less) horse races and it is no surprise that many do not vote.

Politicians (and wanabe politicians) shouldn’t berate these people for their decision not to vote. Instead they should try and understand why and then motivate them but accept that some will not vote as a conscious deliberate decision.

If I could butcher Voltaire;

I may not vote but I would defend to the death my right to vote.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

I think that the pervasive and contagious arrogant contempt that a large minority of the electorate holds for candidates is particularly helpful. People like "kettle's on", who waffle that there is little distinction between the 'electable clowns on the ballot paper'. Of course, for that, you would have to know something of candidates' records. People I come across with that attitude instantly regurgitate the "they're all the same line"- perhaps candidates could say the same about the electorate, with their faux omniscience.

Not to excuse the number of incompetent candidates, but to dismiss every one of them as being the same is ridiculous. I know for a fact that that isn't the case.

Besides, if people don't like the choice on offer, why don't they get off their fat, moaning, lazy, ignorant arses and do something about it? They could at least send a message by increasing the vote of a fringe candidate- a token gesture.

Anonymous said...

I'm Maltese and in my country the average turnout for elections until we joined the EU was around 98% per election. The country is split down the middle between two hopeless parties (Christian Democrats and Labour) and yet people insist to go out there and vote and very few abstain on D-Day. Political gurus would tell you that a low-turnout is a good sign for democracy because people are not sufficiently instigated to vote for change and/or any of the options will do.

I worry constantly that "sufficient" politics is lowering the standard of governance Europe-wide and it is not so much a matter of turnout but rather the fading ideologies and the replacement of political values and aims with spin and media-driven campaigns.

The irony is that people are fed up but have also lost faith in the whole works and therefore will constantly show up as the false statistic of the silent content. Will Europe and the Europeans (and personally I do not really think there is a wide gap between English and continental politics) ever get down to starting a movement of change?

the French turned a cold shoulder on Bayrou's reform movement and chickened out to the relative "safety" of the known enemy. Italian politics is reshaping and we have still to see the effect of the formation of a US style Democrat party encompassing many parties of the left. Will the UK find its reform party? Will it be a new new Labour? A Revived Tory? A last minute Lib-Dem run?

In any case I think we are stuck in the conundrum of Il Gattopardo for many years to come. With the current generation of politics Lampedusa's adage still holods strong: If we want everything to change then we must leave everything as it is!

Mulligan said...

Kelly, Prescott, Straw, Cooper, Balls, Darling, Smith, Abbott etc etc

Looking at this list I rather think the people who should be ashamed of themselves are within the 61% who did vote for such useless, inept "public servants".

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that at the 2005 election, fewer people voted than in 1918. Also, the much-trumpeted three-in-a-row for Labour was on a diminishing vote each time. It's political parties we vote for, right? So how come the Labour Party membership has decreased so much in the last 10 years? As far as I'm concerned, I will continue to exercise my democratic right to vote, but until the young Cameron (or anyone else for that matter) grows the balls to propose MAJOR CHANGES (like PR and more referenda), then it won't be worth our while, will it? There's no point in replacing one corrupt oligarchy with another. Finally, we must have NONE OF THE ABOVE on our ballot papers!

Anonymous said...

Because you can only vote for what is put in front of you (or stand for election yourself if you can be bothered).

Anonymous said...

no, it demonstrates how irrelevant politics has become in the UK today, and how little choice we are offered. The two major political parties basically offer the same thing. so what is the point.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago I was roped in to be an election monitor (who knows why??!) in an African country. I spent the whole day going round the various polling stations, and most of the night supervising the count at one of them, in my designated area and each one was just like the picture above; animated, excited people exercising their new-found right to vote. However, in talking to some of the queuers it transpired that they knew who they were voting for but not what they were voting for - ie personalities rather than policies. I suspect that it will be much the same in Sierra Leone.

Tapestry said...

Stephan Sheakspeare has written on same topic on CH today. Voting is an illogical activity, apparently he says.

A single vote changing the outcome of an election is unheard of.

We need to move away from logical explanations of voting to emotional ones.

Does it give you a feeling of hope?

Or are you afraid of some threat?


You are attracted to a particular person.

you want to feel part of a big event.

etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Given that very few elections are won or lost on a single vote and that one person's vote in no way influences another's, it's a wonder that anyone bothers to vote...

Anonymous said...

Simple answer really.

There's one candidate missing from every ballot sheet.

"None of the above".

I have spent a number of years 'spoiling ' ballot sheets with that comment and now just can't be bovvered.

I have no voice in any election.

Just Google or Wiki NOTA for details.

See, look, face, bovvered?


Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Mania.

As usual you are too kind!

A lot of people seem to dislike "vulgarity" but I make no bones about mine - I do exactly what it says it on the tin ;-)

It helps me feel better. Venting anger on the issues that p1ss me off is theraputic and adds extra punch to a point, I find.

Despite its baseness, all men swear. Not to do so is un-natural.

Also, some people need to be told, in no uncertain terms, *exactly* what I (and everyone else) thinks of them.

Otherwise, they just don't "get it" ;-)

towcestarian said...

Ian, you have a cheek pontificating at us non-voters like this. In a country where (as christianity is not left wing points out - a bald man has no chance of being elected and where there is no option to vote for "none of the above", expecting intelligent people to be bothered to vote is bordering on Stalinist.

If there was a halfway decent and credible right-wing party to vote for I might be bothered, but without that option, why should I? It is politicians that are to blame for voter apathy, not the voters.

Anonymous said...

Of course you didn't mention, if it hadn't been for the present government there wouldn't be any democracy in Sierra Leone. 'Thank you Tony Blair for sending in the troops and saving the country' isn't that what those [eople are saying. Bet you would have mentioned it if it had been Cameron, but then as he'll soon be joining IDS on that ever growing list of Tory hasbeens not very likely is it!

Anonymous said...

I assume the recommendation for NOTA above was for 'None of the Above' and not the 'National Organization for the Treatment of Abusers?'

Reluctantly, I can start to see merit in PR. In Scotland, a Tory vote is a wasted vote - why bother?

John Trenchard said...

sierra leone: people vote - government is elected. government passes laws and is democratically accountable.

uk: people vote. government is elected.
Unelected and unaccountable Brussels technorats pass laws that get enacted by uk government.

see the difference? thats why people dont bother voting.

Johnny Norfolk said...

You cannot blame the people. Our power has been taken away.

See what the turnout would be if it was a referendum about staying in the EU.

We are governed by an unelected body in Europe so no one is intersted as no party will do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

Sadly Iain most of the comments just prove that it might be best for some people to have their vote taken away from them - then see how they like it!

You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

My friends in Africa and Iraq take voting very seriously indeed. I just wish the same level of responsibility could be excercised in the UK.

It's very simple - if you don't like your politicians, stand for election yourself.

Anonymous said...

"Why is it that 39% of people in this country at the last general election took our democracy for granted?"
Simple - The Lib/lab/con are selling a product that nobody wants to buy.

Anonymous said...

Wrong Iain, when you say 39% at the last election took our democracy for granted - that 39% did not vote for very the very reason that they do take democracy seriously, AND they despise what has become of what you call "our democracy".

The behaviour and lack of apparent ethics or morals among most of the political elite in the UK leaves it increasingly detached from the rest of the population.

Those of who do care about democracy have been banging on in recent years about this trend as one of the most significant challenges to the UK political system. With respect Iain, the 39% are not going to take patronising lectures about democracy from those among the Metro London political elite that is the driver in the decay of our system.

anthonynorth said...

It isn't the electorate being a disgrace to democracy, but political parties being a disgrace to the electorate.

Roger Thornhill said...

antifrank - yes, if that is your only means of saying "I want to vote, but you scumbags are just dilute urine§"

vanfuertes - PR will create nothing other than a dismal, centrist, weak "consensus", and that only after marathon hores-trading and negotiation which just puffs up the egos of those involved. A camel of a parliament will be the result where factional, religious, ethnic and moonbat causes can get involved. Once you go down that route, forget it.

morevulga - People are not really free. We have been encircled by fence posts. Just because the walls are not solid, does not mean we can pass freely through them.

rk - not voting/spoiling is a sign of abdication. It will embolden the authoritarian and corrupt.

§ can we say "urine"?

strapworld said...

The political classes of our country have brought this upon themselves. There is hardly a cigarette paper between the parties now. Not one Oppose the EU! Not one advocates an English Parliament yet they all support devolution in Scotland, Ireland and Wales! Not one speaks up against mass immigration,political correctness and the legislation which is closing down our once Great country. Human Rights? Health and Safety! you name them and they all start in the great democratic organisation the EU.

Yes, we would like a referendum on the EU but also on other great issues, such as punishment and the courts! the National Health Service etc.

But we are led by politicians who believe they know best and do not want to hear, or listen to the great British people.

If the Conservatives had won the last General Election. Would they be proposing a referendum on the EU now? I very much doubt it and that sums up why so many people do not vote.

I have never met so many people who are considering voting for the BNP as they consider that ghastly party is the only one that will speak for the people.

Anonymous said...

It makes me want to cry reading people bleating here about the UK having no democracy etc etc

You all live in a free society living your lives as you wish, saying what you like with no fear of retribution, torture, imprisonment or rape.

Get a grip. You just make yourselves look stupid.

vanfuertes said...

"Simple - The Lib/lab/con are selling a product that nobody wants to buy"

I couldn't agree more. That's why PR would be such a help. As well as convincing people that their vote counts, many parties would have a chance of power.

For example, if you are on what is sometimes termed 'the Radical Right', the Conservatives are too moderate and don't represent your views. Therefore you might not bother voting. However, a PR system might enable a party like this to gain 5 per cent of the vote. That's 30 plus seats by my maths. All the more significant since coalitions are almost inevitable in a PR system, meaning genuinely right-wing ministers a distinct possibility in a Conservative/Radical Right coalition. Exactly the same argument applies to the Left, or any group that is not properly represented in parliament.

The other benefit of PR is that no single party would be able to take power, meaning we could abolish the utterly pointless 'revising chamber' that is the House of Lords.

Anonymous said...

Spot on, more vulgar than a vulcans vulva. Democracy includes the freedom to choose not to vote if one wants to express dissatisfaction with the choice on offer. The fact that the Government was elected by only c.29% of the electorate in 2005 should not just be interpreted as a victory for apathy.

David Lindsay said...

People would vote if they were given anything worth voting for. Some of us are trying to re-create just that.

Yak40 said...

Maybe because city centres often look like Hogarth's Beer Street or Gin Lane ?
Keep 'em drunk, they're easier to control.

Madasafish said...

Why should I vote for politicians who:
1. change their mind almost monthly on what they will do IF they win power
2. Say they will do something if re-elected.. and then don't.

One lot are as abd as the other.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:50pm - You really are a naive muppet! I would recommend you read 'Taking liberties since 1997' by Chris Atkins, Sarah Bee & Fiona Button (Revolver books ISBN 978-1-905978-03-8).

How many new laws have been passed since Year Zero, sorry, 1997? I'll bet even you have been criminalised without your knowledge!

Anonymous said...

My father and five of his brothers all fought in the war but not for the vote: they thought if they and others didn't then we would be invaded. If they had known the way things have turned out they probably would not have bothered fighting at all.

As there is not a fag paper between the political parties what is the point? And as the parties are happy to say one thing before the election and do the complete opposite after it the vote is increasingly valueless.

Once the novelty wears off the folk in Sierra Leone will see the futility of it too.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the reason why people have become too apathetic to vote in the UK might just have something to do with the picture that preceded this post.

Sadly, the Rt Hon John Prescott is just one of many who have used and abused their position for personal gain and gratification.

Sadder still is the fact that it's apparently a disease which affects too many politicians from across the political spectrum.

Hence - so many people express their disgust by voting with their absence.

Why should politicians be surprised?

Anonymous said...

Politicians like high turnouts because it gives a sense of legitimacy to their abuses of power.

A Labour politician (in a nutshell) is somebody who makes a living saying “I am going to help the poor” and once elected gives himself 100,000 to spend on upgrading his office.

The chief value of democracy is that allows you to take away politicians power when their arrogance and greed becomes so blatant people begin to notice.

Which raises the question why they are the Labour Party currently ahead in the polls?

Well as one of the Labour sock puppets explained the other day, it is your client base innit.

You justify re-distributing ever increasing amounts of the money from wage serfs by expanding your client base - yes all those lazy, arrogant, pension hungry, public sector worker have to be paid – and then remind them that they would not have a job if they had to compete in a free market with those who work harder and are more competent.

Of course the numbers do not quite add up (in the long run the economy will collapse” and so it has to be accompanied by a propaganda campaign telling you how well the government is performing, and that anybody who dares does not have the correct thoughts ought to be punished in some way - indeed you might even put some legislation in place to make sure.

It is hardly a new strategy. Socialism is just a variation of an ancient theme – great for politicians, good for their clients, and a source of great satisfaction for the terminally resentful, but bad for everybody else.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dale

I understand that according to official German statistics about 80% (8 out of 10) of Germany's laws derive directly or indirectly from EU directives, put forward by the unelected EU Commission. What same person could imagine that the position in the UK is vastly different? (The British Civil Service conveniently do not keep such statistics, so we cannot know for certain.)

If approximately 8 out of 10 new laws in the UK are simply EU directives gold-plated by the British Civil Service and then rubber-stamped by Westminster without proper debate, would you please tell me why we should bother voting at all?

In the International Currency Review Vol 23, No 4, 1996, your very own Kenneth Clarke boasted that "I look forward to the day when the Westminster Parliament is just a council chamber in Europe".

Well, he has got his heart's desire. He, and all the others of like mind, must now face the consequences of their treason.

Anonymous said...

If referenda were held on bringing back the death penalty for murder, devolution for the English, the right to defend your home and family, strict control of immigration, an independent body to control MPs pay pensions and allowances, abolition of real racial and religious discrimination, proper control of political patronage by an independent authority and a host of other causes now held to be outside public discussion, all would be won with handsome majorities. Only our elected representatives block all of them.

Anonymous said...

Slim Jim @ 4.51 pm

I suggest you quickly make your way to an opticians as you quite obviously cannot see futher that the end of your nose.

You may revel in your 'little Englander' mentality, not all of us do. You obviously also do not have friends, as I do, in Iraq and Zimbabwe, some of whom I fear are dead, fighting for their freedoms.

You may think me a 'muppet'; at least I'm not a puppet, letting my stings be pulled by others.

Try thinking of others less fortunate than yourself for a moment.

Mulligan said...

"A Labour politician (in a nutshell) is somebody who makes a living saying “I am going to help the poor” and once elected gives himself 100,000 to spend on upgrading his office."

A perfect description Mr Goodman if I may say so..

"The chief value of democracy is that allows you to take away politicians power when their arrogance and greed becomes so blatant people begin to notice."

One of the biggest problems in our democratic system is that the biggest abusers of this power tend to be those in seats so safe that the electorate would never elect an MP of any other party. That is why so many of us have got so disillusioned.

The Hitch said...

Come off it
That lot are voting for whoever offered them a bag of maize.
As to voting why the hell should I encourage a group of people that I despise?
It only enourages them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:34 - I take it you haven't read the book then! Look at how recent terror laws have been abused. Remember Walter Wolfgang? No doubt such laws will be used against the Heathrow protesters. As for your pals in Iraq and Zimbabwe - just what exactly has this government done to help them? The point I was illustrating is that we are sleepwalking to tyranny, and I would suggest it is you that needs an optician if you can't see that.

Anonymous said...

Of course not all public sector workers are lazy and arrogant, some do a superb job, but they do it despite the fact that they are in the public sector, not because of it.

When I think of public sector workers I think of my old comprehensive school maths teacher who spent each lesson reading The Guardian. He was the local NUT representative I recall.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3.50 & 5.34
I, m also a little Englander, if by that you mean an Englishman proud of a glorious English history and a desire to have a free England. As far as your Zimbabwe friends are concerned, I seem to remember that not so long ago they were all falling over themselves to vote in Robert Mugabe. Well, what you vote for is what you get in modern democracies. Ah! they failed to do what they promised? How surprising.

Anonymous said...

After opposing PR for years I have at last seen the light! Its one of those things that when you get up off your behind and look at it, which the LAB/CON commisars dont want you to(why?)the good points stert to become apparent!
May I offer my humble appologies to all LIBDEMS out there that I ever critised you without looking at the facts first!
PR may just save our decaying and festering political system!

John Trenchard said...

"After opposing PR for years I have at last seen the light!"

go live in ireland for a while. you'll soon get the hang of it and wonder why the hell we dont have it in the uk.

you have to experience PR to really understand it - it's a very grassroots thing. and there is an added bonus to the irish PR system - EVERY vote counts. there is no such thing as a wasted vote.

John Trenchard said...

"it's very simple - if you don't like your politicians, stand for election yourself.

August 13, 2007 3:27 PM "
what an arrogant comment - bereft of ANY understanding of what democracy actually is - government of the people, for the people, by the people. that is what it is.

so you honestly think that if I myself stood for election as MP , and i got elected , would that make a blind bit of difference to the stance of the major political parties?

of course it wouldnt. the Brussels gravy train will still roll on, irrespective of whoever votes for whoever in this country. WE HAVE NO SAY IN THE MATTER.

it is time people like you woke up.

John Trenchard said...

"meaning genuinely right-wing ministers a distinct possibility in a Conservative/Radical Right coalition.
August 13, 2007 3:55 PM "

look at ireland.

the ultra free market "progressive democrats" only got a few percentage points , but were in coalition and were able to persuade the nationalist Fianna Fail on their policies.

end result - celtic tiger.

it works. big downside, is that it could equally work the opposite way with communists dictating policy.

but the end result is that the VOTER feels empowered - even if they voted for a minority party. they dont feel excluded. and that counters apathy

pxcentric said...

Large numbers of people not voting worries the pols. Large numbers of people voting reinforces the idea they can do what they want.

We have a government that took us to war on a false premise and an opposition what applauded the man who sold us the lie.

Only by not voting can we make them understand their behaviour is unacceptable.

David Lindsay said...

I've tried to believe in PR, I really have. But I just don't see how it would work in rural areas, even less at municipal than at parliamentary level.

Councillors would never do anything except drive around their vast wards, arriving hopelessly late for everything and then having to leave everything absurdly early in order to get to the next one (hopelessly late).

Not even the fact that PR owuld kill off the Lib Dems overnight (which it would) quite does it for me.

vanfuertes said...

"Not even the fact that PR owuld kill off the Lib Dems overnight (which it would) quite does it for me."

They'd have 50 more MPs at Westminster you mug.

Manfarang said...

Johnny Norfolk
The last time there was a referendum on Europe (1975) the turnout was 64.5%.The Yes vote was 67.2%.(Margaret Thatcher voted yes)

Anonymous said...

Hans-Herman Hoppe and others have shown that democracy is the enemy of civilization, that democracy is much worse than the absolute monarchies it replaced, that recent human progress happened in spite of, rather than because of democracy, and that the modern Western democratic welfare-state, far from being the summit of social evolution, is a dark blind alley.


Anonymous said...

Why people don't vote? Because they have worked out- you get nowt ( only if you're a criminal, a member of an ethnic minority, an immigrant, an OAP, Rich, Very Poor, a lawyer). Politicians have ruined the country- the EU, the state of publuc services, virtually unlimited immigration, an anti-english attitude permiating the establishment....Perhaps we should do away with the lot of 'em, and end the farce of 'representative democracy'.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, democracy in Sierra Leone...all thanks to the intervention of our Lord Tone and wee Robin Cook, bless his departed soul. Pity Tone bit off more than he could chew in Iraq...maybe should have gone to Zimbabwe instead?

Anonymous said...

Put simply Ian, because the British people have learned from bitter experience that whoever they vote for, it is Whitehall that tells them what they must do and what they must believe, and not the other way around.

Regardless of what the people vote for, the British Parliamentary system does what Whitehall tells it to do, because Whitehall controls the flow of information to ministers and to Parliament itself.

The next election will see another record-breaking low turnout. Try not to be surprised, Ian.

Anonymous said...

Iain, the difference between voting in Iraq and Sierra Leone and voting in Britain is that a vote in either of those previously democratically deprived nations can actually change things, hopefully for the better. A vote here doesn't change much at all and with Cameron now choosing to offer voters very little at all to differentiate the Conservatives from the other two Social Democratic parties it is very likely that even less people will bother to vote, because they have nothing to vote for.

After all, as the Anarchists say: " Don't Vote - It Only Encourages The Lying B*****d Politicians".

Anonymous said...

"it's very simple - if you don't like your politicians, stand for election yourself.

August 13, 2007 3:27 PM "

Yes government 'of the people, for the people, by the people'. Exactly my point.

You and others may think you live in this country under some form of tyrranical rule but you don't.

Come back and moan when your live expectancy is 40, you can't voice an opinion for fear of death and you can't afford a loaf of bread.

Anonymous said...

The democratic sham that has the ruling elites laughing their arses off...Which puppet on a string party do you want in power?

Drew said...

The parties are too alike and turn a blind eye to the issues which concern me - increasingly uneven devolution is one of those.

When a political party is willing to look at the glaring breakdown of democratic rule in England, the West Lothian Question, the Barnett Formula, health apartheid, our non-representative PM who rules England with no mandate and is not even accountable to his own constituents on a large number of Scots devolved issues like health and education, then I will vote.

This current set-up is a travesty. I would feel far more ashamed buying into it by supporting any of this crowd of elitist "Celtic" racists and gravy train riders than by abstaining.

Some of us still think that democracy matters.

Mountjoy said...

It's because we've forgotten we had to fight for democracy in the past; for reform; for votes for women. The people in the picture haven't forgotten: they don't take the vote for granted.

Fidothedog said...

Because a lot of people, that 39% feel that they are wasting their time voting for people who quite clearly have nothing but complete contempt for them and all they value:

Here is one example I found with regards my local MP, proven liar and libelist Paul Flynn. This shows his contempt of the countryside and all who inhabit it, make a living from it.

It is taken straight off of his site:

"I HATE the countryside and everything to do with it, tax-avoiding farmers, blood-lust yokels and inbred simpletons, four-wheel-drive snobs, gun-totting toffs, meat-eating murderers and – finally – I deplore the rural set, who think themselves above anyone else and are wholly out of touch with modern society."

That the opening sentence of an article today by former Countryside Alliance lackey Mark Hinge who now cavorts around Cardiff Bay as a lobbyist.

Got it in one, Mark.

And there Iain you have why 39% of people hate MP and think that an afternoon with the wife and kids is better quality time than voting for proven liars.


Snafu said...

The photo doesn't shame me! None of the major parties offer any hope or any solutions to the problems facing Britain today as they all pander to the media set in London and are not prepared to stand up for what they believe!

How do we vote out quangos or show our contempt for NICE?

How do we show our contempt for the European Union?

How do we show our disgust at judges passing sentences that do not fit the crime?

How do we vote in favour of welfare reform?

How do we vote in favour of tax cuts?

Access to NHS dentists?

How do we vote for immigration controls that benefits Britain rather than the immigrant?

How do we vote against PFI deals?

How do we vote for smaller Government?

How do we vote for good standards in education?