Voting is a privilege. Just ask anyone who isn’t allowed to. It’s the one thing that everyone over the age of 18 can do to decide the fate of their country.
Yes, we all know that the standard of politicians we get nowadays is pretty dire. Something seems to happen to even ordinary, decent people when they get elected. Maybe they have some sort of surgical procedure that removes all their common sense and compassion, and makes them into power-mad idiot maniacs who then go out and fiddle their expenses and have extra-marital affairs. (Of course, some achieve degrees of idiocy that even major surgery couldn’t possibly explain.) This has even got a name: the “Westminster Bubble“.
But really, the people who protest against this by not voting, by casting a blank vote, are just as bad. People who vote for someone who they think would actually be harmful to the country (though unlikely to get in) are even worse. As can be demonstrated by the following:
1. Do you really think that people who really think that people like Nigel Farage should be allowed to run anything (even a footrace) are likely to refrain from voting?
2. If people who think Nigel Farage should win vote for him, and the people who are ‘protest voting’ for him because they want to teach the major parties ‘a lesson’ vote for him, what do you think will happen?
3. If people who think Nigel Farage should win vote for him, and people who think he’s a politically dangerous loon refrain from voting for any of the other parties, what do you think will happen?
You people who are considering ‘protest voting’, how would you feel if Nigel Farage (or one of the other equally crazy candidates) got in by a narrow margin – possibly by, for example, just one vote?
For pity’s sake, people. Don’t waste your vote. Voting for Labour or the Conservatives, or even the Liberal Democrats, doesn’t mean you actually like them. It just means that you dislike them less than all the rest.
Damage limitation, people. When all your options are bad, choose the least worst. Then at least you can sleep at night knowing that you did your bit to shore up the crumbling dikes against political insanity and extremism.