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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

Pledge “novotecounts”

"I will campaign for changes to the electoral system to make voting abstentions count but only if 10 other people will do the same."

— Steve N, resident of Greenwich, London

Deadline to sign up by: 31st December 2008
38 people signed up (28 over target)

Country: United Kingdom

More details
I want to see political parties get penalized for a low electoral turn out. In other words, if we are fed up with them to the back teeth, I want to make our voting abstentions count. My proposal is somewhere along these lines:

If the national turnout at a general election is lower than 60%, then the next general election must be called within 4 years.

If the national turnout at a general election is lower than 55%, then the next general election must be called within 3 years.

If the national turnout at a general election is lower than 50%, then the next general election must be called within 2 years.

If enough people like this idea, then we have a hope of getting it through. As a suggestion, you could visit and ask your elected MP what they think of this idea. My guess is they probably will not like it! So maybe someone out there can think of other ways to push for it.

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Comments on this pledge

  • I like the idea but I haven't signed up. I am however trying to get a debate started on my blog about it.
  • I think this is an excellent idea. Perhaps we could also have a rule similar to that in the USA where the prime minister can only stay in office for a maximum of 2 terms?
  • Thanks to all who signed up! For those people still signing (pledge open until 2008!) just write to your MP. Thanks again!
    Steve, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • why not make it proportional voting while you're at it? i.e overhaul the whole system and we all vote who we want - whoever gets the most votes wins. I don't know enough about the current system to give suggestion on how this could be done? Any ideas anyone?
    Mark, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I completely agree Mark. And in fact maybe we should all vote tactically to force a hung parliament as Clare Short would like to see. That might force the buggers to change. Then maybe we will see some more sincere politicians, because political parties would become less important to they would not have split allegiances. Can you imagine, honest politicians...
    Steve, 14 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • In my opinion, a change to a more democratic voting system is in order. Mark, I surveyed various voting systems for a school paper:
  • to tie in with this what we should also have on the ballot form is a NONE OF THE ABOVE AND REGISTER MY VOTE AS SUCH when a few million such votes land on the politicians feet they might sit up and take note
    JOGINDER SINGH FOLEY, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Further to Joginder's comment, why not have the abstaining option on the ballot sheet as "Re-Open Nominations" (RON). We have this at uni for student elections to our JCR. If RON gets more votes than any other candidate then nominations are re-opened.

    In a general election this might serve the purposes of Steve's original idea but would be arguably more practical and easier to introduce.

    Even if re-opening nominations didn't produce any new candidates, anyone who was elected after initially losing out to RON could hardly claim a substantial mandate, and their period of government would likely be shorter.

    Like a "None of the above" option, it might be easier to get introduced:
    i)It would not compromise a government, once elected - as Steve's idea might.
    ii)Since it would require politicians to risk nothing but their credibility, in theory only hypocritical politicians could oppose it.

    What does anyone think?

    (Wouldn't a RON (or None of the above option) work better at a constituency than national level?)
    Rick, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
This pledge is closed for new comments.

Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Steve N, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

  • Andy Ellis
  • Sir Arthur Grebe-Streebling
  • james smith
  • Amanda Crane
  • David Mayer
  • Darren
  • Nia
  • John Vickers
  • Christine Arrowsmith
  • Sophie Shaw
  • Albert Shaw
  • Wm. (Bill) D. Hodges
  • Lea
  • Owen
  • Jon Cording
  • Jo Titchard-Lyons
  • Danny Staple
  • John Shaw-Miller
  • Damon L. Hoppe
  • Jennifer Phillips
  • David Blake
  • Jezz Evans
  • Ceri Morrison
  • Oliver Kahan
  • Lucie
  • Feargal Hogan
  • Jonathan Hones
  • James Lowey
  • Sara Munday
  • Paul Bowe
  • Jonathan Bradbury
  • Jake Maverick
  • John Jeskevicius
  • veganpanda
  • 3 people who did not want to give their names

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