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On the streets: Is voting a duty?

13:54

7 On the streets

On the streets of East London, volunteers take the public seriously, investigate preferences and whether voting is considered a duty. The responses are salutary.

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Related topics: Democracy

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Ash said:

The people interviewed showed that lots of people are engaged, realise that there is nothing really between the parties, but at the same time don’t think they can do much except vote for the best out of a bad lot. What does that say? We are not just living in a pre political society because politicians are just bad managers with no ideas to offer but we seem to have lost our belief that we can fight for something more.

Fashe said:

I particularly agreed with the people who said that compulsory voting would be undemocratic. An interesting tension then seems to exist in that people generally are positive about the idea of voting and democracy at the same time as not considering there to be much worth voting for at the moment. It’s not apathy.

Stacey said:

Wise words; refreshing stuff – love the proper discussion on the street and not the usual three word sound bites. Voting as duty or spoling your ballot strikes me as content free nothingness its like the ‘not in my name’ opposition to the Iraq war – rather pathetic egocentrism. I’d rather people voted for something they believed in even if its crap than went into the polling station as an empty gesture or out of some strange idea of duty – thats the antithesis of democracy isn’t it? Voting or not, far better to challenge what’s on offer with some great politics.