None of the above?
I commented today on the ever-excellent Planet Harris blog that: “I think there should be a ‘None of the above’ option. If that wins, then there should be a re-election in that constituency, with all new candidates.” It seems like someone has taken this idea rather literally…From today’s Guardian live election blog:
“And now for a bit of novelty. Press Association’s Chris Montcrieff reports that a candidate whose surname is “Above” and whose “Other Names” are given as “None Of The” is contesting the election in Chingford and Woodford Green, the seat being defended by Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader.
Unfortunately for “Mr Above” he appears, for alphabetical reasons, at the top of the list of candidates, with no one above him.
It might have been wiser for him to have renamed himself “Below”, which would at least have put him second in a list of eight candidates.
The mystery candidate gives his address on the ballot paper as Woodberry Way, North Chingford.”
I’m planning on staying up tonight to catch at least some of the results coming in. I remember staying up most of the night, and then getting up early the next day, for the 1997 election, and it was well worth it.
This is one of those rare occasions where you can be a witness to history. One way or another, it is certain to be a memorable night and a memorable result. And a hung parliament, of one form or another, looks likely, which is as close to ‘none of the above’ as we’ll actually get this election…
Mr Above seems like a man after my own heart.
I used to like the trend at my university of there always being an option to vote RON – re-open nominations – in any student guild elections. Could be adopted in the government: if you don’t like any of the candidates insist that nomnations start again. If you really don’t like any of them, why not stand yourself? Power to the people and all that.
I think that kind of option is really important. While this year’s election seems to have galvanised peoples belief in democracy and using their vote, I think it is really important to guard against apathy and disillusionment. RON, ‘none of the above’ or similar seems a great way to combat feelings that there is no point in politics ‘because they are all the same’.
I really hope we see a hung parliament, if only because it will give the Lib Dems the opportunity to raise the question of electoral reform. The current system really needs looking at. Safe seats have led to expenses scandals. If MPs feel vulnerable about their ability to maintain their seat, they will do a better job. If people think their vote will count, they are more likely to use it.
Well, that’s my theory, anyway!
Blair was odious about the Lib Dems the other day, claiming that the only policies they have are those advocating proportional representation and that on all other issues they haven’t got a clue. If that were the case their MPs would have been exposed as naieve long ago. He’s just resorting to the kind of fear-factor propaganda that characterised his premiership. No wonder Brown’s fighting for his political life; Blair more than anyone has disillusioned working class and liberal voters.
I agree completely. I don’t think the years 1997-2010 will be looked on kindly by historians. Spin doctoring, Iraq, the economy, expenses scandals, the loss of a left-wing option in British politics, the list goes on…
ON the subject of spin, the arch spin doctor Alistair Campbell has been bleating on and on about ‘media bias’ in favour of Tories, on his Twitter pages. Er, pot and kettle Mr Campbell. Media manipulation was a key part of his strategy for getting Blair into Downing Street in the first place.