Simon Pardoe, "How voting 'none' in May could transform UK politics", Positive News (16 April 2015)
As this year's UK General (S)election approaches, many are wondering if there's any point in voting at all. Those who exercise their very reasonable right to abstain and decide not to 'turn up' at the polling stations, will be officially dismissed as disengaged from politics altogether (given that the establishment view of political engagement equals participation in the party-political charade). Those who protest by spoiling their ballot papers will, under UK Electoral Commission guidelines, find their political statements categorised as "voter's intention uncertain" along with those who misunderstand the voting process and vote for more than one candidate. So what's to be done?
Simon Pardoe suggests two options: either vote for a party you think will make a difference (which wasn't the advice that prompted me to share this article), or provide your own unmistakable category on the voting paper by writing: "NONE".
"If just some of the unheard 34 percent vote ‘none’ clearly, beyond dispute, then the sheer numbers of ‘uncertain votes’ will be newsworthy and make that classification indefensible. It can establish the protest vote as a healthy barometer of political dissent."
[See also "Making Protest Votes Count" at VoteNone.org.uk]
Vote Or Vote NONE
Slide show image: "None of the Above (NOTA)" by Descrier on Flickr (CC BY 2.0); resized, stretched