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Who do I vote for?

3 min read

So, we have the EU elections coming up, and we're now one year away from the UK general election.

This puts me in a bit of a moral dilemma, since I can't in good conscience vote for any of the available options. Democracy in most countries is a choice from a pre-selected list of virtually identical options; like in that episode of Faulty Towers, this is fine if you like duck (and mid term, you'll find that your promised duck has turned into trifle).

This is an illusion of choice, and whatever your choice is, it doesn't matter.

A recent study showed that the voting preference of the vast majority of voters in the US had no effect on the outcome of key policies, when compared with the voting preference of the super rich and corporations. This officially makes the USA an Oligarchy, and while a similar study hasn't yet been conducted in the UK, I can't imagine the result would be too dissimilar.

There is some merit to the argument that you should vote because the supporters of the extremist parties like the BNP and UKIP (who are essentially the BNP dressed in Big Boy clothes) always turn out on polling day. This is not entirely unlike the Allies siding with Stalin because Hitler was a lot worse; necessary at the time, but hardly a ringing endorsement... and certainly shouldn't be taken to mean that we approved of the gulags or the forced famine in Ukraine.

However, unless the voting system is PR (which the EU one is I think, but the UK one most certainly isn't), this isn't much of a consideration in any case.

So, until they put a "none of the above" option on the ballet, and unless someone has a better idea, I will be staying home on polling day. That is not to say that I am apathetic, far from it. However I think it is now clear that the vote, hard won that it is, is the least effective way to exercise political power available.

At the very least, I have stepped up my donations to organisations who lobby on issues I care about (Liberty, Open rights group etc), and I will use what skills I have to engineer the world I want to live in (for example by building tools to help people communicate freely). But right now, I can't in good conscience endorse a fundamentally flawed system by taking part in it.

These are my rambling thoughts, what are yours?