NONE OF THE ABOVE

I have always thought that on a British [or any other country for that matter] ballot paper the option ‘None of the above‘ should exist.

Several countries have it and there are a number of different procedures should ‘none of the above’ actually win the election.

In the UK there is a registered political party [NOTA = none of the….] who want to put the option on the ballot but it is prohibited to call a party “None of the Above”.

The reason this would be good is that it would eliminate, at least partially, the ridiculous “if you don’t vote you have no right to complain” argument.

With ‘none of the above’ as an option you can say that you want to vote but not for anything on offer.

In fact, in some countries voting is compulsory and they don’t have a none of the above option. They are forced to vote for someone they may not want to. In that case democratic freedom becomes a sort of democratic tyranny even though that sounds somewhat oxymoronic.

It also might help stop politicians talking about how bad the public are for disengaging with politics. If we could all vote for none of the above we could say in a strong way that we in fact are interested in helping change things for the better… it’s  just that we don’t think you are.

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4 comments

  1. I’ve always loved this idea. In fact, when I was in Uni I almost stood as a candidate for the Student Elections under the banner “Vote for me and I’ll Resign”, with the idea that if I received the most votes, I would resign and so cause another election. I would keep doing it until finally there was a candidate that people genuinely wanted – essentially becoming the None of the Above option.

    Unfortunately I was talked out of it and it hangs there as one of my great regrets that I never followed through with it.

  2. I like what i understand about the Australian voting system (and apologies if i’m wrong)…
    You’re required to turn up at the polling station, but you’re not required to vote!
    So if everyone turns up at the polling station, but only 30/40/50 (insert your own figure) percent actually vote then the essential principle of ‘none of the above’ follows on!

  3. This is a great concept.

    I would have used it at the recent Euro elections but I voted for Tommy Sheridan’s No to Europe, Yes to Democracy party which I felt was a rather more fun way to waste my vote.

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