Free to vote, free to not

The angst over low voter turnout has resulted in the inevitable suggestion of compulsion:

A political scientist says compulsory voting would be the easiest way to lift declining number of people voting.

About a million people did not vote in Saturday’s election.

The Electoral Commission estimates voter turnout was 77 percent of those enrolled, which is up from 74 percent in 2011. . .

Julian Lee counters that by explaining why he doesn’t vote:

Until today I’ve always tried to keep my filthy non-voting habits to myself. . .

You could enter a polling booth on election day stark drunk, barely able to stand, unable to think or concentrate, mindlessly tick the ballot paper and you would earn more respect from the voting public than if you had soberly and sincerely made the conscious decision not to vote.

I have given this decision hours and hours of thought. I’ve read all the parties’ policies. I have weighed and speculated and considered every possible option.

And my conclusion? I choose not to participate in the game.

But I’ve finally decided to publicly own up because I think it is bizarre I should feel ashamed of a political opinion in what most people would consider a free and tolerant society. . .

He goes on to discuss his reasons which includes thinking it won’t make a difference because bureaucrats rather than politicians control everything.

I disagree with his reason but agree with his conclusion:

. . .  And surely, every else taken into consideration, I have the right to choose not to choose?

If we are free to vote we should also be free to not vote.

Better a lower number of people voting freely for whatever reason motivates them than a larger number voting because they are compelled to.


2 Responses to Free to vote, free to not

  1. Paranormal says:

    I know a number of people that refuse to vote. All for vastly different, but justifiable, reasons. Some are practical – ie don’t vote for them it only encourages them, some don’t vote as the ‘none of the above’ option is not available, and others for spiritual reasons. For the left to assume people don’t vote because of class/poverty reasons is just another example of why New Zealanders have categorically rejected leftist generalisations.


  2. Andrei says:

    I choose not to vote, my non vote is a vote of no confidence though it wont be interpreted as such

    Alas the deluded political class will interpret it as “äpathy” as they sip their champagne and chardonnay,

    Hey ho and off we go


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