Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Re-engaging with politics

Mr Raft has an intriguing idea.  Everyone is used to casting one positive vote but what if they also had one negative vote to cast?  A vote which expresses your attitude towards the person you'd least like to see anywhere near the levers of power.

A candidate's final tally would be their positive votes minus their negative votes, which would deny some of them the smug comfort of their wide majorities.  It would make visible those who care enough to cast a vote but whose opinion is that they are all rubbish. At the moment, these voters have little option but to stay away or spoil a ballot slip, neither of which have an electoral effect. Now they have a reason to turn up.

There would be no obligation to cast both votes. You could leave it at who you really, really hate and know that your little vote helps make sure they can't easily get in.

It might be that no candidates end up with a positive tally.   A wannabe could get a seat by being the least-hated contender  which should stop them comforting themselves that they have 'a majority' or that they 'won' the seat.  

Admittedly it would cost more to administer and take longer to count, but it's worth thinking about.


Barnacle Bill said...

A very interesting concept, might need a little bit of work on it, but could just get people back to the polling booths.

Even if only to show their loathing of a candidate(s)!

MTG said...

The proposal is not new and a vote for one candidate has the effect of voting against other choices. It does however, represent an opportunistic wedge for Mr Jobsworth whilst providing Mr Apathy with a further excuse to avoid a perceived inconvenience.

I support Mr Raft's enthusiasm for bigger turnouts but my preference is for reinstatement of the old fashioned pitchfork, tarring and bonfire process.

Woman on a Raft said...

Alas, MTG, we have to show our loathing in symbolic fashion in these enfeebled days, but I prefer your suggestion.

How about a compromise? The weight of votes result in ducking the losing candidate. Bill can be in charge of designing the ducking stool.

If the chance to affect that outcome doesn't get people to the booths, they don't deserve democracy.

Macheath said...

Ducking stool? Inspired!

Any chance of getting it through in time for the Mayoral election in London?

Wiggy said...

Hmm. I think this idea does have some merit.....!

SadButMadLad said...

Don't we already have a good indicator of a negative vote? That of voter turnout or apathy.

If someone is elected on a turnout of 10% are they really demcratically elected. They might as well keep the job 'cause of the expense of having a repeat election with possibly no change in the candidates. But they can never vote themselves as they don't have a mandate.

Me? I'm going to leave my ballot blank as a vote for none of the above.

Michael Fowke said...

No, no, no. Let's just ignore these awful human beings.

Michael Fowke said...

Or inhuman beings.

Woman on a Raft said...

Spoil sport. Just one little ducking. Or putting them in the goo tank like they used to do on childrens telly.