Great social leaps forward generally occur in spite of government – not because of it.
Progressive social changes like votes for women and the birth of the NHS were borne of people coming together and fighting for a cause. Much as political parties of all stripes love to take credit for such things, the truth is that such leaps forward invariably occur in the form of inevitable government concessions that become necessary in order to keep the peace. So could it be with NOTA.
NOTA is a democratic pre-requisite. When you vote in an election, you effectively give consent to being represented by whoever wins. But consent is immaterial if it is not possible to withhold consent. NOTA represents the democratic right to withhold consent and exercise ones right to vote simultaneously.
When understood this way, as a democratic necessity, it is impossible to argue against NOTA without appearing anti-democratic. Even if they are, the political class can never be seen to be that. Ergo, with enough vocal support behind it, NOTA ought to one day be achievable as an inevitable government concession.
Getting the necessary level of public support is also possible, in our view, because NOTA is straightforward, self-explanatory and in tune with the public mood. By contrast, debates about the merits and pitfalls of various voting systems and more complex reforms like RON (re-open nominations), for example, are not. They appear exclusive, dull, and inaccessible to many.
NOTA remains the achievable and potentially unifying electoral reform from which all other reform could flow.