Saturday, 6 October 2012

Not Voting?

I'm seeing lots of people recently declaring that they're not going to vote - and this is of course, their right. However many of them think that this "sends a message".

It doesn't.

The only people politicians listen to are voters, or future voters - but not non-voters. You won't get politicians going door to door in hotels full of tourists, or schools. If you tell them "I'm not going to vote" they'll move on to the next person because, as far as politicians are concerned, non-voters are non-entities.

Not voting means that you're willing to let others choose for you. You may be as disillusioned as hell with our current batch of politicians, and I don't blame you. Ultimately however, we are going to have a parliament and a government and it is going to be formed from those candidates whether you make a choice between them or not. Even if only 0.1% of the Maltese electorate turn out to vote, there will still be a parliament and a government.

So, if there are any issues that you care about, find out about where politicians stand on those issues, and vote for those politicians that are closest to your own position. Don't expect to find many politicians that match your own likes and dislikes perfectly. Elections are not about finding someone who's perfect but finding the best choice out of what's available. Individual candidates can make a big difference - as shown by recent events. And if they do come knocking on your door, make sure that they know which issues you care about, and that this is going to affect your vote. Having a parliament that has lots of MPs that agree with your most important issues increases the likelihood of getting a parliament and government that disappoints you less next time round.