Miscellaneous Election Broadcast

There follows an election statement from the Jolly Pilgrim.

Everyone should vote. If you live in a country where you have the right to vote, you should exercise that right. If you choose not to vote, then you should never complain about anything the government ever does.

Some people choose not to vote because they’re outraged by the inadequacy and egocentricity of the political classes. I share that outrage. I’m also outraged by disease, absolute poverty and global injustice, but we have to engage with the world that we live in, rather than some made-up world we’ve thought up in our heads (where perfect politicians are found on ballot papers).

Some people choose not to vote because “nothing ever changes.” Today we live in a society which is radically different to every other society that has ever existed, based on just about every economic, demographic and social indicator it’s possible to measure; and almost every aspect of that society is in flux. Clearly, things change.

If you’re not sure who to vote for, go with your gut. If you don’t like any of the available choices, vote for the least offensive. If you really can’t decide, vote for the monster raving loony party. If you absolutely must, spoil your ballot – but beware of holding your breath for perfect politicians who are categorically not about to appear.

In an ‘ideal’ world, everyone would engage in political discourse and follow all the arguments. But in the real world, some people are obsessed by politics, some vaguely interested and others vote based on party-leader hair style, tea leaves, inherited prejudice or whim. It’s called life’s rich pageant. Remember: we’re all (including the politicians) at different stages of ignorance with respect to how to run a country. Political obsessives who believe they have all the answers are mistaken.

You should vote for whomever the hell you like, based on whichever criteria you choose. If everyone does that, then we can let the emotional, instinctual, unpredictable and fathomless collective unconscious pick the next government.

If you don’t vote then you’re encouraging a different system, called oligarchy: and that’s a shit system.

Forty-four million people are listed on the UK’s electoral register. Choosing a government is a big decision. Everyone gets one 44 millionth of the choice. Use it.

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9 Responses to “Miscellaneous Election Broadcast”

  1. Pete Says:

    Well said Pete. Well said.

  2. Si Peace Says:

    Right on Jolly Pilgo… get out and exercise your right to vote. But what to do if you’re dissatisfied and don’t like any of the options?

    Whatever you do, don’t do nothing.

    Some people don’t vote, dressing up lethargy as protest. That’s not a protest. If you really want to register a protest, turn up and spoil the ballot paper. You’ll distinguish yourself from the apathetic majority, and who knows, if the 17 million of us that don’t turn out to vote actually do so, and 39% of the ballot papers were spoiled… well, that really would register a protest.

    Whatever you do, don’t do nothing.

  3. Joanne Taylor-Horne Says:

    Pete – I am appealing to you to create the Jolly Pilgrim Political Party and I will definitely join that. However I have to say I ALWAYS vote; this time I voted for a party that I haven’t voted for before mainly because I ticked the wrong box, but I was considering them anyway as a pleasant turn out.

  4. Andrew Says:

    Just to clarify… you would suggest it is preferable for someone to vote for a particular party based upon the hair-style of said party’s leader than it is for a person to think, “I don’t know enough about any of these parties’ policies. As such I won’t do my part in skewing results by voting just for the sake of it and base said vote on a ridiculous reason.”?

    You are right, you should vote for whomever the hell you like but you should not base it on whatever criteria you choose – you should base it on who you think will run the country best.

    Furthermore, not voting does not encourage the creation of an oligarchy.

    For the record I fully intend to vote however your arguments as to why people should vote (or more accurately why the shouldn’t not vote) are not particularly well thought out.

  5. Ash Says:

    “If you choose not to vote, then you should never complain about anything the government ever does.”

    A very commonly made point. Many people who do not vote also refrain from complaining, or even commenting at all, on politics, because they are not interested in politics, and that seems reasonable to me, but I am not one of those. The most succinct way I can think of to explain why I think I can not vote and also complain is to rephrase the above quote: “If you choose not to pay protection money, then you should never complain about anything the gangs do”.

    “Some people choose not to vote because “nothing ever changes” … Clearly, things change”. Of course things change, and government is one way that things change, among many. Many non-voters (myself included) choose to support positive changes in other ways that seem to me to be more effective (such as earning and spending choices).

    “In an ‘ideal’ world, everyone would…” – this opening kills any chance of any following main clause receiving my support, unless it was something like this: – “…act independently of universalist principles”.

    “If you don’t vote then you’re encouraging a different system, called oligarchy”. Now this brings me nicely to what I really want to say about all this. The CURRENT system is an oligarchy, as is made abundantly obvious by the post-election haggle-fest. That is inevitably the case, since representation involves the mass of people giving up their power to a small class of politicia… (fuck it, call a spade a spade) …oligarchs. besides, inaction clearly encourages nothing.

    By default, we live in a state of anarchy. Maintaining any other system requires constant effort to resist the natural return to the literal law of the jungle. However, there are advantages in maintaining organised systems, and so we do it. We do it a lot. Every culture in the world includes elements of fascism, militarism, tyranny, monarchy, feudalism, patriarchy/matriarchy, caste/class, tribalism, communism, capitalism, democracy, liberalism, individualism, anarchism, theocracy, bureaucracy, legalism, tradition, and many more ways to organise various bits of society. Each system has pro’s and con’s, but they all operate within the unavoidable context of laws of the jungle:anarchy.

    I do not see why I should be obliged to take part in any of these systems. I regard representative democracy as obsolete, and I do not believe that voting does anything whatsoever to further my views. I would gladly vote in a referendum, and would support the implementation of direct democracy. I do not think that any of the existing political parties would ever move towards the abolition of themselves, so what is the point in humouring them?

    True, there are no perfect politicians. In fact, they are so far from perfect, the only real solution is to get rid of them altogether. That will not happen in any election.

  6. Mayra Gollehon Says:

    Sensational. I look forward to seeing more.

  7. Mark Snare Says:


    if I may respond, humans are imperfect not just politicians, and they operate in an imperfect world in which difficult decisions must be made. For all its faults, how better to do this than democracy?

    Your statement “by default we life in a state of anarchy” I completely disagree, visit a place of lawlessness and conflict, that could be defined as anarchy. How stable we look in comparison, and it is this stability however flawed and frustrating, that is the canvas for human endeavour.

  8. Brynn Harlowe Says:

    Your web site is so cool. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. You, my friend, ROCK! What a great site.

  9. Murat Says:

    The BOE, and the town for that matter, are collected , not governed but by the Democrats. That is not the smell of dead fish coming from the BOE.

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