Reasons Not to Vote

It, at some level, requires you to delude yourself that the outcome of the election will in some way influence events over the next five years.

Not voting is an abdication of responsibility, and anyone who does not vote should be banned from whinging about politicians after the election.

Use your vote, people fought and died for that right.

Its the very least you should do,in fact you should be on bended knee thanking Christ you can exercise that right.

I fully accept this as a consequence.

I’d phrase it more positively, as “anyone who does not vote should contend that they see all possible electoral outcomes as being of equal value”.

People fought and died so that Christianity would remain the dominant religion in Europe. Should I go to Church?

You Better!

Otherwise the greatest democracy in the world will make you!

Cynicism is easy. Change is difficult.

Democracy is pretty overrated if it means we have to sit impotently watching the country being looted whilst waiting for the loony Greens to vote on NAMA.

True. So how do you think those people (the ones who cared enough about political freedom to die for it) would react to the idea that people should be forced to vote? Concurrent with the right to do anything goes the right not to do it. And it is a right to choose that they died for, not an obligation.

So are you going to vote against the clowns who passed it? Or just sit back complaining they’re all the same?

Removal of FF/GP from power sends a clear message that NAMA and other govt decisions are not supported by voters. I believe it’s called accountability, something Irish people appear to have great difficulty with.

I’ll gladly vote for the party that promises to declare the guarantee a crime, promises to arrest the bankers and politicians that conspired to commit this crime and promises to renege on bailing out the banks.

But that would require accountability to be directly administered to the political and banking classes… something politicians appear to have great difficulty with.

Choosing not to vote is a completely valid and moral exercise of individual liberty.
If I believe that all the candidates on the ballot paper are crap, I wouldn’t want to vote for any of them and I would actually feel violated if forced to do so. If I think one or more candidates are ‘good’, then I will vote for them. My choice.
As a compromise, every ballot paper should have the option ‘None of the above’. Then I can cast a valid vote every time and everyone would be happy.
It’s all a moot point anyway – Ireland will never change!

Demos (people) -kratis (power, rule)… You feel like you’re making a difference ‘tactical voting’ and the like? Fine Gael are our saviours. Labour is the hope of the working man. One day (maybe you’ll grow up).

I wonder how Michael Collins or Daniel O’Connell or James Larkin would describe Mary Coughlan or Mary Harney, or The Greens?! How would they see the IMF debt collection agency or the haircut the senior bondholders are not being asked to take? :open_mouth:

I think non-voters are idiots frankly. But they have every right not to vote if that is their choice. There are countries with compulsory voting (enforced by fines). But then you can spoil your votes if you see fit.

But lack of engagement with politics is the single biggest cause of problems in Ireland, and in many countries in the west. On holidays in France last year there were two separate national protests in the space of a week against government policy. Would that a similar force was mobilized here against NAMA and the Anglo bailout, which passed with a minimum level of debate in the media or community. Attending a recent political meeting the membership was largely comprised of over 60’s. That should tell you why pensions aren’t being cut. More young people need to get involved in politics if we’re serious about change. Easier to sit and bitch about it on facebook I suppose… :cry:

I’ve been interested in politics for years, but my level of interest dipped massively when Bertie was in charge, largely because the social partnership consensus, and the celebrity status of Ahern, made politics seem irrelevant and dumbed down. The consequences of that dumbing down are what we feel today. Now that the excrement has well and truly hit the fan I get bored stupid by recent converts trying to pass on their new found political and economic knowledge which is about two years old and utterly juvenile. Still at least they’re showing interest which is a step in the right direction.

Enda K and Joan Burton will be rightly pleased with this one

Absolutely, and change is necessary as well as difficult. I just don’t see how trotting out to vote promotes change.

Have I a clear alternative? No. I just feel that disconnecting from the election is a necessary change, as I don’t expect the essential realities we face will be any different under any Government. And I don’t expect Government responses to those realities to be substantially different, no matter who was in power.

But a clear message to who? And how is the message so clear?

Did the result of the General Election in 2007 send a clear message that voters supported decisions up to that point?

Does the clear message that voters will send in 2011 mean they clearly support any actions the new Dáil needs to take in 2012? If so, why does the result in 2007 not cover the guarantee given in 2008? If not, has the concept of parliamentary democracy any validity or legitimacy at all?

“Change only happens when the pain of holding on is greater than the fear of letting go.”

In a deeply conservative country like Ireland, the impulse is always to maintain the status quo and the political parties cater to this. Fianna Fail and the Greens failure has been not maintaining the illusion of that status quo. Fine Gael and Labour will now make their pitch with slogans of “Is Fearr Linn” (yes we can) and “change 2.0 you can believe in” and variations thereof, while at the same time promising to maintain the illusion of the status quo. The only change you are going to see from these parties are the coins you are left with after you’ve paid your taxes and other bills as the cost of living keeps rising due to all the monetary inflation of the bailouts.

Be in no doubt though, change is coming. It won’t be the politicians bringing it.

One of your better posts, BR.

Mixed with blah…

Bunkum. Give the vote to the person who represents your views. If he/she is not on the ballot, don’t vote.
The right not to vote is also a democratic right.
Are you suggesting a Communist living in the States MUST vote either the Democrats or Republicans.
Or an Anti GFA Republican MUST vote for one of the Pro GFA parties in Ireland.
Or someone with strong Pro Life views MUST vote, even if none of the partys standing share the same views.

If I lived in a consituency with Peter Matthews or Peter Somerville, they would get my no. 1. I agree completely with these guys who appear to be a force for change and are willing to stand up and be counted. When you don’t vote/spoil your vote - a Fianna Fail diehard will use his or hers - and whose vote will actually count? If you said you were going to vote for SF/ULA/ independent/ anti-eu candidate or run yourself, then fair enough. I don’t agree but you are sending a message to politicians that they won’t remain in politics for long by making decisions that aren’t in the national interest.

Spoiling your vote/not voting in a PR system where every vote will count - for what?

No better that these guys!

**(Much of post copied from Edo on, but happy to express his views as mine) **