It is voter despair, not voter apathy

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With recent local and European election there has been much talk of voter apathy expressed by low voter turnout – the assumption appears to be the majority of voters really don’t care who gets in and can’t be bothered to vote – all these non-voters are lumped together and dismissed as apathetic and should consequently be happy with whatever the minority, who do vote, inflicts on them.

There is a very plausible alternative explanation for the failure of many people to vote. This is that they can’t bring themselves to vote for any of the candidates on offer. In these cases, this should be interpreted as voter despair rather than apathy, indifference or laziness – and would really be a vote of no confidence in any of the politicians touting for a job.

Unfortunately, the mechanics of the current voting procedure does not differentiate between apathy and no confidence, or report the true feelings of voters in any revealing way.

I am not politically uninterested, or unconcerned by the havoc caused by the blunders of MPs and councillors of all the main parties, but may well not vote – this is because I cannot see much difference between any of the people or political parties they are puppets of. This exhibits despair rather than apathy or laziness.

Unfortunately, the solution is not nowadays supplied by our democratic voting process as currently implemented – and democracy is not always capable of delivering satisfactory solutions – remember Adolf Hitler was elected to power democratically in 1933.

In my opinion and experience, the other lot is just as bad as this lot (as are the other, other lot, for that matter) in my view – and so I passionately feel compelled not to vote for any of them.

This means that in most constituencies one party or another’s selected puppet will invariably get in whoever he/she is, or has said or done, on a low turnout “zombie” vote – i.e. on the strength of people who don’t think about what they are doing but vote for their “team” no matter what they do, because they always have and because their father and grandfather did.

In order to differentiate between passive “can’t be bothered” and the more active “No confidence in any of the candidates on display” the voting form could be improved considerably by including a “No confidence in any of this lot” box – and a mark in this box included as a valid vote in the count and reported as such.

If this no confidence vote comprises the majority then that democratic view should be respected and no MP/councillor elected until a rematch can take place – at least the region will save on the salary and expenses for a while – and as T. Ashton described in your May 8th issue, most politicians (not just Mr Evans) don’t do anything very useful (apart from useful to themselves) anyway.

If any other employer carried out interviews for a job and all of the applicants were abysmal, he/she would not take any of them on, but would either re-advertise, or make do without that post being filled. I can’t see why politicians should be treated differently.

Of course MPs in Parliament won’t allow this – all parties rely on a combination of their uninformed zombie vote and informed but despairing low turnout caused by despairing voters due to the other lot being just the same as them for their mutual survival – and turkeys are unlikely to vote for bringing Christmas forward, are they!

Incidentally, Adolf Hitler won a small majority in 1933 on a low turnout, but still democratically, on a first past the post system – with many voters not voting because none of the politicians on offer were acceptable to them – if my suggested precautionary system had been in place then, it would, at least, have prevented his election.

Paul Bunyan,

Pendle Stree East, Sabden