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NerdyKeith's avatar

Should I spoil my vote in the Irish general elections tomorrow?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5464points) February 25th, 2016

I’ve never had much trust for politicians in general. To me they seem to make a lot of unrealistic promises that they never seem to keep. It seems that history is repeating itself again and again. Nothing much seems to change (as far as the economy is concerned).

I really do not trust any of the political parties running for government. But if I don’t vote at all. Its like I’m just sending the message that I just don’t care. On the other hand if I spoil my vote that at least is sending some sort of message.

The act of spoiling your vote is a valid way of letting your voice be heard. It will say that you are not willing to transfer power to the politicians without that power being first regulated, controlled and limited. That way your vote will count as an utter rejection of the present arrangement. From the ashes of this dysfunctional political system a truly just, fair, equitable and accountable system of government and social system can emerge, but the citizens have to declare what they want changed.

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16 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Ah. The idealism of youth. I remember those days fondly.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Only a fool spoils his vote. No one cares about a spoiled ballot. No one can guess what point you are trying to make with it. Just choose the least bad option if you don’t like the choices. Otherwise, you are helping the candidate you like least.

NerdyKeith's avatar

I get what you are saying @dappled_leaves but I really don’t want to vote for any of them. I would write some brief message on the ballot paper though. Something like “I need action, not broken promises”.

At this point, I’ve really lost a lot of faith in the political system. Seems like broken promise after broken promise. History is repeating itself too much.

Strauss's avatar

@NerdyKeith I understand what spoiling your vote would mean to you, and I get it. But the question to ask is this: Would your spoiled vote (A) be recognized as such, or would it (B) merely remain uncountable, and therefore the same thing as not voting.

I can’t make the decision for you, but if the answer is (B), I’d hold my nose and vote for the least undesirable.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Well spoiled votes or protest votes are accounted for. They just don’t contribute one way or the other to whom gets elected. However it is still a means of voicing ones opposition to the current mentalities of current politicians. Spoiled votes are looked at.

If things actually change this time around, I will vote for someone in the following general election.

rojo's avatar

Do like the rest of us and vote for the lesser of two weasels as @Espiritus_Corvus is wont to say but do vote otherwise you have no right to complain.

rojo's avatar

This is why I think “None of the Above” should be included on each and every ballot. And it should be counted and if no candidate beats it then none should get the office.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Ok @rojo sorry but I can’t accept this mentality that I don’t have the right to complain. It is because of the current candidates that I am persuaded to spoil my vote. Essentially it is their fault I’ve lost faith in the political system. So I have a right to express my disdain for them by writing in none of the above myself at the bottom of the ballot paper.

Seek's avatar

Vote for the least unfavorable option, then send a carefully worded letter to their campaign office.

Cruiser's avatar

These people you have to choose from and vote for are representative of what the collective of your fellow citizens have engendered support for because they have ideas, policies that reflect what they (and maybe not you) want and desire. So as a voter sitting on the outside of desireable candidates….it is now incumbent upon you to make a reasoned decision to elect one of those candidates that will at least do something no matter how small that you can feel best about why you cast that vote. If these candidates are so devoid of opportunity then vote for the candidate that might pave a way for the next presidential race where a candidate may lead the charge towards the goals you seek and desire.

ibstubro's avatar

Can you write-in, @NerdyKeith?
You could always write in the name of the last politician you willingly voted for.

Adagio's avatar

I would vote for the best of the two options, even if they are only best by a hair’s breadth. To my mind, spoiling voting papers is simply a wasted vote. You may not have much of a choice but use it anyway.

cazzie's avatar

Write in a pro-gay, anti-church, pro-choice candidate.

imrainmaker's avatar

If none of them are worth voting as per your judgement then yes go ahead and do that as it’s not going to make any difference if anyone is elected. The situation you described is applicable for most countries around the world. Just think hard before voting and if you think if voting for x person is going to make something good rather than voting for y then do vote for x instead of spoiling your vote.

ibstubro's avatar

Well, how did it go, @NerdyKeith?

Did you spoil your vote, or…?

BellaB's avatar

@NerdyKeith , does your jurisdiction have the option of declining ballots? at the provincial level here, we can make a formal protest vote by declining our ballot,

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/ontario-election-2014-how-to-vote-for-none-of-the-above-without-spoiling-your-ballot

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