The Spoil Your Vote website is hoping to appeal to the non-voter:
At the 2005 General election, we want all those people who think their votes don’t count to get out and spoil their votes.
A mass movement of spoiled votes will broadcast a new message: the choices on offer are just not good enough. We demand something better – a different way of doing things.
They seem to be suggesting that it’s antipathy that is stopping people from voting, rather than just sheer-assed laziness wrongly labelled as apathy. You see that’s what bugs me the most. I’m quite happy for people to spoil their vote because they understand the policies proffered by their politicians (ooooh alliteration.. and it’s only Monday!) and can’t bring themselves to vote for any of them, but there is a danger that this idea will be used by those too lazy to be bothered to find out such things. The danger is, of course, once the election is over and these self same people will declare that they have a voice because they voted!
I am not apathetic when it comes to politics. Sure it may bore me on occasion, I may rant and rail at the ways and habits of the politicians, I may moan about the campaigning tactics but those actions confirm that apathy is not part of my political makeup (now ask me about THAT wedding at the weekend, or that old bloke who died last week and I’ll confirm my complete and utter apathy on those subjects is intact and unswerving in it’s motive).
Voting is more than scratching your mark on a piece of paper, it’s more than trying to get parked in the local school playground, it’s more than the slightly, oddly, nervous wait whilst the clerk checks that you exist and that yes, you ARE entitled to vote (is it just me?), it’s about participating and having the knowledge to make a reasoned decision.
By all means spoil your vote, but please don’t use it as an excuse. If you really ARE apathetic (although you shouldn’t be) then don’t vote, but remember that by doing so you are abdicating your part in the running of the country so no complaining when it gets a bit shit.
UPDATE: I’m not going to blogging much, if any, more on the election. I do follow politics but find the election campaigning particularly jarring – so many lies.
Instead I’ll point you to this post which has just about all the UK election links you’ll need.