Sunday, January 30, 2011

Voting None Of The Above

Until very recently I found it unthinkable to "spoil my vote". However, faced with a political menu full of candidates and ideologies which are well past their sell by date, I feel I have no choice. Rather than simply not turning up at the polling station, I will turn up and cast my vote and it will be counted. My hope is that the total valid poll will be significantly lower than the total poll. This will show that a lot of people chose to turn out and register their disaffection with the state of our political system by enhancing their ballot papers with their vote going to "None Of The Above".

In many democracies "None Of The Above" is a valid option on ballot papers. The rationale behind this is that voters should have the option to register their disapproval of all the candidates or parties being put before them. If the recent troubles we have endured have taught us anything it is that our political system is in need of serious reform. We have so many overpaid public "representatives" that it is possible to make a lifelong career from politics without ever working a proper job (take a bow Eamon Gilmore). Our politicians are not in touch with the people. They live in a world of vast salaries, state cars and expense accounts while we deal with redundancy, pay cuts and poverty. We need a political system that allows us to reject all the dross put in front of us in an election - None Of The Above would be one such mechanism.

Why should we be forced to vote for some Fine Gael, Labour or Sinn Féin muppet just because we are outraged with the mess Fianna Fáil made of the country. The truth is that the opposition would have made just as bad a job of things as Fianna Fáil. The politicians of this country are cut from the same cloth - selfish, arrogant and greedy. I refuse to endorse any of them. If enough Irish voters have the courage to enhance their ballot papers on election day we will see a massive proportion of "spoilt votes". This will send out a message to the rotten apple cart of Irish politicians. While they might have a technical electoral mandate - they will have no moral authority to govern us. They do not represent us, they do not know what is best for us and, if they are not careful, a mass of spoilt votes will be the least of their worries.

So if you find yourself torn between voting for Fine Gael and its simpleton leader, the communist manifesto of the Labour Party, the fantasy island politics of Sinn Féin or if you are planning on voting for Fianna Fáil because that is what you always do. STOP. You have another option - ballot paper enhancement - vote None Of The Above.

1 comment:

  1. I actually had a similar thought and I have decided that I will also vote ‘none of the above in this election. I did try and start a page on FaceBook but I cannot seem to get it as I want it, so that campaign is not going very far.

    Do you know what the procedure would be to actually have NOTA added to future Irish ballot papers?