Thursday, 25 February 2010

None of the above

At the last count there are candidates from the three main parties standing in my marginal constituency. Having researched them, none of them fill me with optimism that they are capable of grasping, nevermind tackling, the big issues confronting the country.

So what are we constituents to do faced with such an abject bunch of candidates? Many politicians are currently held in justifiable contempt and root and branch reform is urgently needed. It is not a time to elect party lobby fodder. At a time of national crisis it is clear that the more we divide the more we fall.

It is highly likely that voters faced with third rate candidates, peddling vague pledges about the economy, will stay at home on Polling Day. This would be very worrying. It could appear by not turning out that people do not care or cannot be bothered when in fact they feel ill disposed to our rotten system. One solution is to register our displeasure by writing ‘None of the above’ on the ballot paper. Rather than appearing as ‘spoiled ballots’ these votes should be recorded. That way the political establishment would get some idea of how disaffected people are. And then, just maybe they will begin to grasp that we are fed up with petty point scoring from a party political system fighting over the same centre ground.

In future elections and if such votes form the majority then the election in a constituency would be declared void. Parties would then need to hold Primary elections to select more effective candidates. The voters in a constituency would then be actively involved.

It is time to regain some control from the political class and rescue democracy from the mess it is in.

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