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    Today a teacher forwarded the question, why should we vote? His argument was that due to the first past-the-post system, proportional representation isn't happening and the parties that come into power simply put forward the same policies (which isn't true). He also argues that the parties do NOT equally represent the population as most come from public school, financially secure backgrounds and the reason 69% of the current cabinet are in government was due to there well-supported background - and as a result why should we vote for parties that don't represent us in a system that is unfair?
    I argued, what are you going to do about it? It's all well moaning about the system but if you aren't going to doing anything to support your views (e.g. vote or campaign), then don't moan about it.
    What do you think?
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    I do agree that the current cabinet is an unfair Representation of the country, with the vast amount of millionaires in the commons, and only 0.1% of the country. But I think it is stupid that someone who voted Tory/Lib Dem in the last election to complain, they got what they wanted! The system is messed up, and I agree there is no point moaning if you aren't going to do anything. But I think we should still be allowed to vote (From 18+)
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    Bang on, OP. Not voting does not fix the problem, it's just sulking and throwing your toys out of the plan. It's precisely this abstentionism that has handed the country to the people your teacher criticises.

    Unfortunately taking part in politics means very frequently making unpleasant choices between a bad candidate and a worse one. Well tough - this is real life and choices have to be made. You can try to be pure of conscience but you're just a tit, really.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Bang on, OP. Not voting does not fix the problem, it's just sulking and throwing your toys out of the plan. It's precisely this abstentionism that has handed the country to the people your teacher criticises.

    Unfortunately taking part in politics means very frequently making unpleasant choices between a bad candidate and a worse one. Well tough - this is real life and choices have to be made. You can try to be pure of conscience but you're just a tit, really.
    They're all bad. So at the end of the day there's little consolation in voting unless it is a local issue perhaps (still not sure about that even). If anything voting simply encourages the politicians to do anything they want, and we all know (to coin a phrase) they are either incapable or capable of anything.
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    (Original post by Martyn*)
    They're all bad. So at the end of the day there's little consolation in voting unless it is a local issue perhaps (still not sure about that even). If anything voting simply encourages the politicians to do anything they want, and we all know (to coin a phrase) they are either incapable or capable of anything.
    Politicians don't do anything they want, what do you mean? The problem I find is that the government do have the capacity to put through the policies they feel is right (e.g. Tuition Fees), they just read the mood of the population so wrong as they do not represent the people, merely the minority who are at the top capitalist tower due to wealth.


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    (Original post by MattFletcher)
    I do agree that the current cabinet is an unfair Representation of the country, with the vast amount of millionaires in the commons, and only 0.1% of the country. But I think it is stupid that someone who voted Tory/Lib Dem in the last election to complain, they got what they wanted! The system is messed up, and I agree there is no point moaning if you aren't going to do anything. But I think we should still be allowed to vote (From 18+)
    Of course the cabinet is not a fair representation.

    If the country was ruled by people who were average citizens, then we'd be ruled by idiots, quite frankly.
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    I completely agree that if you don't vote, i.e. if you don't make the slightest effort to change things, you shouldn't complain about what the government does.

    By analogy (I love analogies) if an A-level English Lit class voted amongst themselves to study either Twilight or Great Expectations, anyone who didn't vote shouldn't complain when they end up studying Twilight.

    And complain they would.
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    (Original post by fayemx)
    Politicians don't do anything they want, what do you mean? The problem I find is that the government do have the capacity to put through the policies they feel is right (e.g. Tuition Fees), they just read the mood of the population so wrong as they do not represent the people, merely the minority who are at the top capitalist tower due to wealth.


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    Mood isn't necessarily the yardstick for forming or implimenting policies. Some policies are implimented regardless of mood.
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    (Original post by SaraWarah)
    Of course the cabinet is not a fair representation.

    If the country was ruled by people who were average citizens, then we'd be ruled by idiots, quite frankly.
    we still are
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    (Original post by Martyn*)
    Mood isn't necessarily the yardstick for forming or implimenting policies. Some policies are implimented regardless of mood.
    Governments are there to make the society we live in a 'better' place so they would read the mood for two reasons: to put in place policies they believe will benefit Britain and the people, and so there is more of a chance of the government being reelected.
    Can you give an example of a policy that wasn't implemented after considering the public mood?



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    From the individual's perspective, there is very little reason for them to vote. It is not as if their single vote will have any effect on the outcome. This is known as the paradox of voting.

    Additionally, there is the problem that anyone who receives the plurality of the vote hasn't necessarily got the support of the majority, meaning the majority may in fact be in opposition to whoever is elected.

    Your argument of not moaning about it doesn't address the problem. People are quite free to moan about things they have no power of changing. We do currently have unfair representation in this country, but only by shifting consensus can we expect change to occur. It's generally astonishing how many people will be content with any system (unfair or otherwise) for the reason of "that's what we've always had" and "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Besides, I expect your teacher's prime objective was just to get you to think critically.
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    (Original post by Martyn*)
    They're all bad. So at the end of the day there's little consolation in voting unless it is a local issue perhaps (still not sure about that even). If anything voting simply encourages the politicians to do anything they want, and we all know (to coin a phrase) they are either incapable or capable of anything.
    But even if you're correct, not voting perpetuates this. Abstaining from voting simply penalises the nonvoter, not the politicians.
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    (Original post by fayemx)
    Governments are there to make the society we live in a 'better' place so they would read the mood for two reasons: to put in place policies they believe will benefit Britain and the people, and so there is more of a chance of the government being reelected.
    Can you give an example of a policy that wasn't implemented after considering the public mood?



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    They do a good enough job sometimes to make sure that it isn't. A policy? Foreign affairs, war in Iraq; the bedroom tax; spending cuts; austerity
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    (Original post by gladders)
    But even if you're correct, not voting perpetuates this. Abstaining from voting simply penalises the nonvoter, not the politicians.
    By voting you help legitimise the current electoral system. Low turnout in the police commissioner elections made little difference to the nonvoter but did put pressure on politicians.
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    (Original post by n00)
    By voting you help legitimise the current electoral system. Low turnout in the police commissioner elections made little difference to the nonvoter but did put pressure on politicians.
    But not voting doesn't delegitimise the system. It doesn't serve to create an alternative.

    I'm afraid that to fix the system, you have to work within it. Police commissioners are still here for now, and won't be removed unless people vote within the system for a party that will remove them.
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    (Original post by gladders)
    But even if you're correct, not voting perpetuates this. Abstaining from voting simply penalises the nonvoter, not the politicians.
    You come to the realisation that in politics the people who "change" things do so within the system. They are not actually changing the system to a new system, just configuring it, expanding it, contracting it, moulding it. Abstaining is an act of withdrawal from a system you don't in part agree with. Total abstention is withdrawal from the whole system, it is renouncement of the system blood, flesh, and bones. So you don't vote to change that system, you vote to continue its existence, and the politicians who have the power, who are given the power, configure that system, and not always with what the voter wants, and hence the u-turns and spin which are popular with British governments.
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    Well, nonvoters have found a way to not change the system but simply feel superior to everyone else.
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    (Original post by MattFletcher)
    I do agree that the current cabinet is an unfair Representation of the country, with the vast amount of millionaires in the commons, and only 0.1% of the country. But I think it is stupid that someone who voted Tory/Lib Dem in the last election to complain, they got what they wanted! The system is messed up, and I agree there is no point moaning if you aren't going to do anything. But I think we should still be allowed to vote (From 18+)
    I didn't know that the Tory voters voted for the Alternative Vote referendum. I didn't know that the Lib Dem voters voted for Tory policies. I didn't know there was a single party in government. What the **** are you on about?

    No Conservative voter or Lib Dem voter voted for the ****ing bedroom tax. Conservatives are meant to be for lower taxes, not more.
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    I didn't know that the Tory voters voted for the Alternative Vote referendum. I didn't know that the Lib Dem voters voted for Tory policies. I didn't know there was a single party in government. What the **** are you on about?

    No Conservative voter or Lib Dem voter voted for the ****ing bedroom tax. Conservatives are meant to be for lower taxes, not more.
    Technically its not a tax rather a withdrawal of benefits.
    But your point still stands, I don't think traditional conservatives want 0.7% GDP spent on foreign aid or the reduction of immigration below 100,000 taking so long.
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    No Conservative voter or Lib Dem voter voted for the ****ing bedroom tax. Conservatives are meant to be for lower taxes, not more.
    The "bedroom tax" isn't even a tax but a removal of a "spare room subsidy". So a cut in benefits. Something which has already been done in the private sector by the labour party.

    I wish people would stop calling it a "bedroom tax", it's very misleading to the general public.
 
 
 
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