The Miscomprehension of Refraining from Polling

In the near past, I proudly and pompously proclaimed ‘I didn’t vote so you can’t blame me!’. Oh, how noble. How honourable, so holy and celestial of me to consider the shunning of responsibility so painless, cinch and carefree.

Luckily for me. No, for us (that is, us liberals), eventually and unfalteringly I decided to tackle this ‘issue of responsibility’ head-on with a pinch of rationality and a gallon of cynicism; for to refrain from voting is plainly the antithesis of surrendering ones responsibility and accountability. It is, shall we say, to take full and entire responsibility of all potential outcomes in all its glory or excrementus futility. It is to say ‘Alas, one shan’t be aggrieved be any outcome; thus one shall feel exultant with any and all eventualities’. Yet as we plainly know, this is a thousand leagues from what the majority of non-voters aim to broadcast to the world from their steadfastness in restraint from voting.

To not vote is simply to not care enough to vote. If one wishes to escape the clutches of responsibility and potential blame, one has to make a stand against any negativity that has happened, is happening and will happen.

Should education be a driving force behind one’s passions, then choosing to vote for a policy that reflects one’s views, no matter how likely it is to be implemented, is the only way in this political environment to say ‘look, I specifically voted against this, and am therefore not responsible’.

To not vote against something, in such a democratic arena, is no less reprehensible and culpable than specifically voting for it. As the American William Simon put it ‘Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote’. Not voting is a partial reason why the things we see as regrettable actually happen.

If, as is often found, there are no plausible candidates for ones vote on the ballot paper, and for some immoral and undemocratic reason there is no option to abstain from voting, then spoiling the paper; to express your discontentment at ‘The System’, the policy put forward, the brown-nosed candidates, is to express ones view, and is to separate oneself from the negative results that may occur. Without showing ones hand as being for, against or apathetic toward certain issues, one cannot relinquish responsibility for the outcome, and it’s riding on this principle why I can no longer take people seriously who proclaim (as I used to), ‘I didn’t vote so you can’t blame me!’

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