Poll: One from A and one from B please.
Poll Options
View poll results: One from A and one from B please.
A. Spoiling your vote is a legitimate political act.
71 66%
A. Spoiling your vote is a waste.
60 56%
B. I have spoiled my vote before.
37 34%
B. I have not spoiled my vote before.
79 73%
Voters: 108.
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#1
I did not vote this time round but, had I voted, I would have definitely written some obscenities over my local election form (long story short - I don't believe in any of it anymore).

My housemate said this was a waste, but I claimed it was a legitimate political act; what if everyone spoiled their votes? Would politics even exist?!

Anyway, just wanted to know what The Pit thought. Also, does anyone know if they keep count of the amount of spoiled votes?
#2
I'd rather not make the effort of going to the polling station than go and waste my time.
#4
inb4 everyone picks every option
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#6
i have voted twice federally and havnt spoiled my vote nope
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#7
why?

the politicians your bitching about doesnt see what you wrote, its the poor sod who has to help count them that does.

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#9
Quote by Tom 1.0
why?

the politicians your bitching about doesnt see what you wrote, its the poor sod who has to help count them that does.
Spoiling your vote doesn't have to mean writing obscenities. As to why, it communicates the fact that you do not feel any of the people running are fit to represent you, as opposed to you simply being apathetic about the election.
#10
Quote by Tom 1.0
why?

the politicians your bitching about doesnt see what you wrote, its the poor sod who has to help count them that does.

iirc they have to show spoilt ballots to the cadidates to show why they were discounted.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#11
What? As in rub feces on the ballot paper or something?
I was meant to vote this year, but I had no idea there even was a vote tbh.
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#12
It does nothing.
And it won't, no matter how eye catching it is. Maybe if you write something funny you'll amuse the guys counting the votes, but that's about all you'll do.

Some guy today was telling me how his Dad wrote "I'm not going to vote as these options do nothing for me" and he thought it was some grand gesture.

It's a wasted vote.
I'm not saying that because I don't appreciate people's right not to vote. It's because you're going down to vote, purely to not vote...

What's the point?
#17
Quote by hawk5211
I ****ing hate people who spoil their ballots and say that it's in "protest." Grow up hippies...

The idea of spoiling one's vote is to indicate that none of the choices are satisfactory. This is done in the absence of a RON or None of the Above option. It's a completely legitimate political act, and one that more people should do when they feel that the choices offered are poor; instead people tend to stay at home which is why we see very low voter turnout in places like the USA where the candidates are all very similar. A large spoiled vote contingent would seriously reduce the legitimacy of the elected candidates mandate.
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#18
Quote by Kumanji
Spoiled my ballot this year. Couldn't bring myself to vote Green.


So why did you go out and vote at all? Why not stay home and have a cup of tea instead? The end result would have been the same, with the second idea providing a bonus cup of tea.
#19
Quote by hawk5211
So why did you go out and vote at all? Why not stay home and have a cup of tea instead? The end result would have been the same, with the second idea providing a bonus cup of tea.

Except it wouldn't have been the same. I've been out and registered my political opinion: that no party in my ward represents my opinions or interests. If I'd just sat at home, I would not have expressed a political opinion.
#20
I spoiled my ballot in the Canadian federal election a few days ago. I refuse to vote for anyone running in my area for two reasons, 1) The guy who won doesn't represent anybody except for white males over the age of 40 and 2) he was guaranteed to win and a vote for anyone else is a wasted vote thanks to FPTP. I think it's important to not take democracy for granted though, so I still took the time to go down there, even though I didn't technically vote for anyone.

I don't think my spoiled ballot is going to change anything, but neither would my vote. It's more just for my own peace of mind to say that I didn't positively affect anything about this election, but still voted.
#21
Quote by Kumanji
Except it wouldn't have been the same. I've been out and registered my political opinion: that no party in my ward represents my opinions or interests. If I'd just sat at home, I would not have expressed a political opinion.

You'd be expressing the exact same opinion; that none of the candidate's deserve your vote.
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#22
Quote by Ur all $h1t
The idea of spoiling one's vote is to indicate that none of the choices are satisfactory. This is done in the absence of a RON or None of the Above option. It's a completely legitimate political act, and one that more people should do when they feel that the choices offered are poor; instead people tend to stay at home which is why we see very low voter turnout in places like the USA where the candidates are all very similar. A large spoiled vote contingent would seriously reduce the legitimacy of the elected candidates mandate.


The people counting the votes do not care. The party that wins does not care. The parties who lose do not care. Spoiling your ballot is not a part of a democratic election.

I would rather see low voter turnout (like the 61% in our election this past week) than people thinking that they are making a profound political statement by wasting their own time and the elections officials time by spoiling their vote.
#23
Quote by Random88
You'd be expressing the exact same opinion; that none of the candidate's deserve your vote.


You have to do something to express an opinion. There's a huge difference between apathy and not feeling represented politically.
#24
Wanna know what REAL "vote wasting" feels like? It's called "strategic voting"

Voting for a candidate or party you don't agree with just because he's "more likely to win anyways" or (slightly more logical, but still pretty wrong -> because there's another party or candidate you REALLY don't want to win, so instead you go with the "other big guy". Of course, by doing so you're contributing to a system where there's 1 or 2 parties that are virtually unbeatable...

I did that once, and it felt pretty horrible. I'm still kinda glad to live in a place where having such dilemmas is even possible tho: I really think that having to choose between 8 parties enhances your sense of political awareness. If I were an American I'd probably have to vote for the Democrat all the time. Ugh!

It's a shame the proposed UK electoral reform got rejected by the British people: I completely understand why people are fed up with the LibDem party, but their call for a more democratic electoral system was completely valid...

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Last edited by shwilly at May 6, 2011,
#25
Quote by Random88
May as well stay at home

No. Staying at home can only really be seen as apathy. Registering, going to the polling booth, and then spoiling your ballot cannot be seen as that and can only really be seen as an indication that the candidates are not good enough.


OT: I personally have only spoiled my Ballot in the Local Elections as the candidates were universally shite (People like Auctioneers and Developers who should not be allowed on local government due to conflicts of interest, Various Chancers, and ineffectual careerists). In general elections my constituency is quite marginal so a small number of votes do make a difference.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#27
Quote by shwilly
Wanna know what REAL "vote wasting" feels like? It's called "strategic voting"

Voting for a candidate or party you don't agree with just because he's "more likely to win anyways" or (slightly more logical, but still pretty wrong -> because there's another party or candidate you REALLY don't want to win. I did that once, and it felt pretty horrible.


Strategic voting makes me ill. Half of the Liberals talking points in this past election was the idea that a vote for the New Democrats is a vote for the Conservatives, because they had no chance of winning. It was an accurate assessment, as the vote splitting between Libs and NDP got the Conservatives a majority, but it still is a mental concept that I absolutely hate.
#28
Quote by hawk5211
The people counting the votes do not care. The party that wins does not care. The parties who lose do not care. Spoiling your ballot is not a part of a democratic election.

I would rather see low voter turnout (like the 61% in our election this past week) than people thinking that they are making a profound political statement by wasting their own time and the elections officials time by spoiling their vote.

If you had 40% of people spoiling their vote rather than simply staying at home then yes, they absolutely would care. If people saw spoiling votes for what it is (a "none of the above" option) then the rate of spoiled votes could be very high indeed.
This would be impossible to ignore, it would be a huge news story backed with public support, mandates to rule would be invalid; essentially if the party that won wanted to retain any credibility they would have to call the election again and probably add an official RON option to the ballot.

Spoiling your ballot is absolutely a part of a democratic election, you are not forced to pick between the candidates just because they are on the paper. Claiming none of them to be satisfactory is perfectly legitimate.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#29
i think it makes sense.
better than not even going along at all.

personally ive never needed too as there has always been someone whos decent.
now extra flamey
#30
I went yesterday and wrote I would like to vote for the pirate party. Ya, probably won't do anything, but at least I tried.
#31
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
You have to do something to express an opinion. There's a huge difference between apathy and not feeling represented politically.


Very nicely put.
#32
The only thing you will achieve by spoiling your vote is being a prick.
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#33
Quote by blankoff
The only thing you will achieve by spoiling your vote is being a prick.

You'll be much less of a prick than someone who gives a mandate to a politician they don't actually support.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
#34
Your vote already means nothing, so whether you 'spoil' your ballot or not, it amounts to the same thing.

Oh - you're in the UK. I can't speak to the condition of public vote there. Never mind.
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#35
Quote by Ur all $h1t
No. Staying at home can only really be seen as apathy. Registering, going to the polling booth, and then spoiling your ballot cannot be seen as that and can only really be seen as an indication that the candidates are not good enough.

I disagree. It can sometimes be seen as apathy, but can also be seen as a voter not wishing to waste time in going to the polling station, writing something on a piece of paper that nobody will take no more than 2 seconds' notice of, due to the fact that none of the candidates are good enough.
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#36
Quote by Random88
You'd be expressing the exact same opinion; that none of the candidate's deserve your vote.

Certainly not. If I don't go to vote, politicians can claim, with some legitimacy, that if I haven't bothered to turn up and vote, that I don't deserve to be taken into account. But if I've made a conscious action to make a political expression of dissatisfaction, they cannot make this claim.
#37
That sounds like a really dumb idea and wouldn't accomplish anything.
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#38
Quote by teachmeviolence
That sounds like a really dumb idea and wouldn't accomplish anything.

It accomplishes as much as any other individual vote does. Which is to say, nothing. But people still think it's important to vote, and it is. Thus, I still think that if I find I have no representation or that the electoral system is completely messed up, it's just as important to spoil a ballot as it is to vote for the person I think is most representative of myself.
#39
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
Strategic voting makes me ill. Half of the Liberals talking points in this past election was the idea that a vote for the New Democrats is a vote for the Conservatives, because they had no chance of winning. It was an accurate assessment, as the vote splitting between Libs and NDP got the Conservatives a majority, but it still is a mental concept that I absolutely hate.


Precisely! The liberals screwed that one up royally, which is fine by me since I've been waiting years for a PC majority. I'm a fellow Winnipeger BTW. I was really surprised to see Maloway lose.
#40
Quote by Random88
I disagree. It can sometimes be seen as apathy, but can also be seen as a voter not wishing to waste time in going to the polling station, writing something on a piece of paper that nobody will take no more than 2 seconds' notice of, due to the fact that none of the candidates are good enough.

A voter not wanting to waste their time is essentially apathy. Seeing voting as a waste of time is a flawed view, if you care about the future of the country then you should take the time to go and express your opinion.
"Why should we subsidise intellectual curiosity?"
-Ronald Reagan

"Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness."
-George Washington
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