Democracy fail

by Richard on November 15, 2012

Bishop Alan on today’s gripping elections.

Thursday 15 November, and Election fever grips the Land. Three cheerful tellers sit behind a table in our village hall like the wise old monkeys they probably are, as the People Decide. The girls and boys in political rosettes have stayed away, I notice. Or maybe the Three Wise Ones are political, but hiding it in the interests of Police Impartiality.

The UK Police and Crime Commissioner race is on, and so’s the Kettle.

This is British democracy at its glorious best and awful worst.

Like the good bish, I’m a voter.

But for the first time ever, I’ll be deliberately spoiling my ballot today.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Simon 11.15.12 at 3:00 pm

I really can’t decide between not turning out and so keeping the turnout low, and spoiling the paper. The thing is it’s a very rare election (in England at least) that’s not first past the post. The two columns for two preferences will probably cause lots of well meaning voters to cock it up, meaning that the number of spoiled papers will be quite high anyway, so I’m not sure how much of a statement deliberately spoiling the paper is (beyond to the person who gets to count that particular one)

2

Richard 11.15.12 at 3:38 pm

The trouble with not voting is that it can simply look like apathy. But you’re probably right that in the end there won’t be a distinction between accidentally and deliberately spoiled papers either. However, if a large proportion of the ballots were spoiled, I do think that would send a message.

3

Mark Byron 11.16.12 at 12:34 am

I’m not quite getting the rationale behind spoiling the ballot. Is this something that should be left to the government at large? Should it be non-partisan? Should the preference stuff be scrapped? All of the above?

4

Richard 11.16.12 at 7:27 am

I spoiled my paper because
1. I don’t believe that police appointments should be politicised
2. This electoral process has been deeply flawed- candidates have not been enabled to make direct contact with the voters

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