Don’t forget to vote?

So… there is some sort of election on today. If I manage to lever myself out of bed in time I might even make it the 400 yards necessary to cast my ballot. I can’t help but be appalled at my own complete lack of interest in this particular poll.

So, who to vote for? I had considered a spoilt ballot, reasoning that voting “will only encourage them” but in the medium term life under Boris is preferable life under Ken, and the last poll I remember indicated a close race. though I expect that Perry de Havilland would disagree, and that it is better a overt statist gets the blame for the statism.

There is also the question of UKIP. They are constitutionally libertarian, though it doesn’t show. In fact it really really doesn’t show. Not even a little. I think though, that I will vote first preference UKIP second preference Boris and spoil every other ballot (unless there is a UKIPper). It just seems churlish for a libertarian not to reward a party that is (in the worst interpretation) at least pretending to be libertarian.

Still, I’m not expecting anything to change, or even a change in direction, until UKIP are the second party being attacked by a libertarian party in third or fourth and I think that is a long way off.


  1. I voted, I always do. People say “politicians are all the same” but that’s just lazy thinking – more seriously, if you don’t vote you’re only letting other people decide who decides how to spend your money. I voted for the sitting Lib Dem councillor who was up for re-election in this ward, not because I particularly agree with him, but on the following grounds: a) Manchester City Council’s overwhelmingly dominated by the Labour Part, so I want to encourage practically any kind of opposition to it. b) Lib Dems councillors in Manchester are a bit cheaper than Labour councillors because their policy is not to claim any extra allowances over and above the basic fifteen grand or so – whereas Labour councillors are always dipping their sticky fingers into the till. c) I have several personal grudges against the Labour Party.

    That was enough reason for me to shift myself to vote – unfortunately the election went the wrong way and we’ve now got another Labour klepto “representing” us.



    1. Participation in the democratic process inevitably homologates the existence and legitimacy of the state. By voting, you give your tacit approval for the consequently elected government to tyrannise you.

      For by what logic can you complain about such tyranny when you have voluntarily participated in the process by which your oppressors claim their authority ?

      In my opinion, libertarians should never vote.



      1. That’s like saying if you fight back against a mugger you’re giving him your tacit approval.

        Governments exist and will continue to exist for the foreseeable future. Pretending they don’t exist won’t be any protection when the bailiffs or police come to your door. Short of getting off the planet, you can’t opt out of being governed.

        Anyone sensible wants the least damaging government possible, whether at local or national level. Voting’s one way you can try to protect yourself against overbearing politicians. Every individualist who votes neutralises a collectivist vote.


      2. “by what logic can you complain about such tyranny when you have voluntarily participated in the process…”

        A slave may choose to work, rather than strike. This does not mean he is voluntarily participating in slavery. Whether we like it or not the process exists. Therefore it is not a question of doing something voluntarily. Your argument is the same as the one which says if you don’t like the way this country is governed, you can leave.


  2. Short of getting off the planet, you can’t opt out of being governed.


    And agreed also that the fact that you have not participated in the sham of elections will not help you when the instruments of the state call for their protection money.

    But, from an individual’s perspective, the act of voting is entirely futile. The chances that the vote you cast will have any effect on anything are astronomically small so it is, on that level alone, a stupid thing to do.

    Moreover, by participating you give the elected official a moral authority to govern that he does not have otherwise. You also diminish your own moral authority to resist his governance.

    A slave may choose to work, rather than strike. This does not mean he is voluntarily participating in slavery.

    No. But by voting for slavery to continue the slave is colluding in his own slavery is he not? In the same way, by voting for politicians, you are accepting their right to govern.

    Already government power and legitimacy is under threat from low turn outs at elections. What would the outcome of the next election be if everyone in the country refused to vote?



    1. This is a false choice. The third alternative is to vote consistently in favour of parties of small government, and to actually do what it takes to ensure there is one.



      1. What parties?

        Please understand that most of our fellow citizens like big government. They like to feel safe and be told what to do rather than to have to think for themselves. If you dispute this, try asking them or point me to the people you think are worth voting for.

        We need to be trying to create a alternatives to the status quo not participating, on their terms, in power games we can never win.


      2. Ken, you’re absolutely right that we’re in a minority and this is part of the problem.

        Voting would be worth it if only ‘None of the Above’ were on the ballot paper. Given that much of what doesn’t work in our democracy owes itself to the gerrymandering of political parties, there’s a good argument for voting in an Independent too.

        Provided he’s a genuine Independent of course…

        Billy Connolly once warned people “don’t vote – it only encourages them!!” and he was spot on.

        It’s a stamp of approval/legitimacy to 1) the process itself, the rules of the game and 2) whoever you voted for.

        This is why so many Statists want compulsory voting, an issue that some of us would probably risk a jail sentence for, myself included.

        People constantly talk about the right to vote and the importance of participation, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding you want none of them.

        As I stated, it should be an option on the ballot (ie the polar opposite of compulsory voting).


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