Sunday, April 17, 2016

IIWK: Vote... By Not Voting

It's an election year in the US, and I say that for the benefit of my non-US audience. While many Americans are flocking to their local polling places, many still are staying home, not submitting a ballot, not participating. And by many, I mean close to half of the US population eligible to vote... just don't.

We all have our reasons for staying home. I freely admit that this is the first year I've voted myself, despite being eligible for more than a decade. For me, it's not enough to simply "vote against" a candidate I don't like, I need someone to "vote for." And this year, I got it.

But for those who don't vote, who won't vote, despite being registered, that should count for something. Everybody had their reasons for staying home; maybe it's not worth the bother, maybe it's general dissatisfaction of the options, maybe they just have something better to do (like earn a living).

Except I see it as a vote of no confidence. It's a way to say "the system doesn't work" or "the options are really no choice at all" like choosing between a rotten apple and a rotten banana; they both start to smell after a few days, let alone four years.

Voters who opt for No Confidence instead of a particular candidate should have those votes should count, because everybody who did choose a candidate got their votes to count.

But how do you deal with a majority vote of No Confidence?

Easy. You call it a mulligan and reroll the candidates. Maybe we'll get lucky and someone who inspires a bit more Confidence in the voting (and non-voting) masses will come along. Naturally, there's a catch: the longer it takes for the system to be "put under new management," the longer the old management stays in power, breaking a few older rules about government in the US, but that's the price you have to pay when your population refuses to participate is your democracy.

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