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voting Archives - Themself

Tag archives for voting

How to Properly Spoil Your Vote

How to Properly Spoil Your Vote What if I don't like any candidate? You might be one of the many people that doesn't like the main parties, and none of the other candidates standing in your area represent your views either. There are several things you can do. 1. Stand for election yourself (or help someone else to run) 2. Vote Tactically 3. Spoil your vote by writing on the¬†ballot paper Spoil Your Vote¬†Properly When it comes down to it and you realise that you really cannot commit to any candidate. Don't be disheartened. Do go to the polling station. Deliberately spoil your vote. Be Deliberate There is received wisdom that most ballot papers are spoiled accidentally. Personally I've spoiled a number of ballot papers and none of them has been accidental. So if you decide to spoil your vote…
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Warning! Politics and Elections Ahead

A ballot paper used in the 2005 UK General Election. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) If you are in the UK it won't have escaped your notice that we have a General Election in a few weeks (on Thursday 7th May). Campaigning hasn't moved into high gear yet, but it will next week when Parliament is prorogued. (Maybe that word implies a lot about our politicians, pro rogues!) don't care about politics? Voting isn't mandatory in the UK. However, t if you don't vote don't expect anyone to listen to you complain about the government or anything affected by what it does. That includes the economy, housing, immigration, defence, policing, traffic, trains, prices of things, the NHS, public services, or just about everything else. In fact you can probably only talk about the weather, reality TV and football. I personally don't want…
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Opinion Polling Accuracy

In September I did a series of factual posts on the opinion polls for the referendum. There is stuff we can learn from comparing the actual result to what the polls said beforehand. Especially as we have a General Election in a few months. It is also worth pointing out that my day job is politically restricted and so I can only offer factual analysis and need to avoid political partisanship. That said I may say positive or negative things about party positions, that shouldn't be construed as support for any party. Many political positions are not supported by relevant evidence but the public doesn't often know or listen to evidence and politicians that want to be elected must listen to the public. Many people, mainly pro-independence supporters, were surprised by the 55% no vote. The polls had narrowed in…
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Scottish Independence – 5 Steps to Avoid Bias

Bias is everywhere. Spotting it is a key skill for voters in Scotland (and people everywhere all the time). We all have biases, even me. This is a normal part of being human. We like being part of a group and generally moderate our behaviour to conform to group norms. There is loads of material on experiments about this, notably Milgram on obedience and also the Stanford prison experiment. The Scottish Independence campaign is possibly the largest social experiment I've seen on this. Both sides and their supporters have been egregious in their attempts to scare the electorate into voting for them. The campaign has also shown that people can be engaged in politics. Low turnouts aren't because people don't care. It is because they don't feel they have a genuine choice. This engagement has a down side though. And…
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Alternative Vote?

I thought I would find out more about the Alternative Vote proposal and get past some of the rhetoric that I've seen in the news. It has to be said that so far none of the interviews I've heard so far (on BBC Radio Four's Today programme) have been particularly compelling cases for voting No (or Yes, but I've heard more No than Yes). One interesting thing though is the way the two primary campaigns brand themselves on their website URLs. On the Yes side there is which sort of suggests a wider campaign about electoral reform and also an attempt to give an argument for their case in the URL. On the other side there is which suggests a specific campaign and perhaps it is just AV they object to. Anyway, starting with keeping the status quo here are…
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