Saturday, 24 April 2010
ON VOTING - A PERSONAL VIEW
In the April/May issue of "Islington Now" there was a section titled "Having your say" with opinions from three "local voters" who think "it's vital to have your say" and believe that voting makes a difference. Yet there was no voice from the 2/3 majority who don't vote. One person said "if you don't vote and a party or candidate gets voted in who you disagree with, then you can't complain", but what if you disagree with all the candidates? There is no opportunity to express this opinion, no box for "none of the above". Candidates promise to change things, but when they get in power it's usually them who change. One cross in a box every 4 years makes virtually no difference - it's what you do the rest of the time that makes a difference.
If you try to redress the bias by adding to the Council's advertised election blog, you'll find that you can't. What at first sight looks like a blog with various personal views, is in fact just pieces from Council staff promoting elections. All the talk of "participatory democracy" is just like "consultation" - meaningless phrases which might sound like they're inclusive but actually maintain centralized control of our lives.