Monthly Archives: January 2014

NOTA with teeth vs. faux NOTA

A common argument made against having a NOTA option on the ballot paper is the ‘but NOTA doesn’t achieve anything’ argument.

I never understood the logic of that, so tended to dismiss such criticisms as baseless, founded on unexamined assumptions and therefore not worthy of comment.

Upon investigation, however, I discovered that there is a perfectly logical and valid reason why people believe this: their perception of NOTA is based on how they believe it has been implemented elsewhere and the impact it has had.

A perfectly rational way to assess an electoral reform’s effectiveness, you might think – until you realise that, in all cases, the form of NOTA in question bares no resemblance to the bonafide NOTA option with teeth that we are campaigning for.

This excellent article lists 12 countries where a form of NOTA exists, the most recent addition being India:

http://www.care2.com/causes/12-countries-where-citizens-can-vote-none-of-the-above.html

In all cases, NOTA is a token gesture with no ramifications whatsoever. If NOTA wins in any of these countries, literally nothing happens. The second placed live candidate takes office anyway.

What use is that? If there are no consequences when the majority reject all that is on offer, why bother making use of the option in the first place? Having such a token NOTA option does nothing for voter turnout as it offers no more incentive to the disenfranchised to vote than if it were not there at all. It therefore doesn’t even offer an effective way of measuring voter discontent – the bare minimum!

True NOTA, clearly, must have ramifications for the election result if it wins, otherwise it is meaningless. Our proposal is for just such a thing and is covered in detail here: https://nota-uk.org/2013/11/16/nota-for-real-logistics-ramifications/

So – the next time someone trots out the ‘NOTA won’t achieve anything argument’, politely remind them that true NOTA has never been tried anywhere and point them our way.

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Know your NOTA campaigns!!!

Due to perceived schisms, the campaign to get an official None Of The Above option on the UK ballot paper is often mocked for its apparent similarity to the ‘People’s Front of Judea’ from Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’…

Fortunately, amusing as it is to think of it that way, this is far from accurate.

That joke was aimed at the political ‘left’ in general who are notorious for fighting amongst themselves whilst supposedly fighting for the same things.

But that’s really not what is happening with the NOTA movement.

What we have is this:

1: A grass roots campaign group focused on making the solid case for NOTA with a view to mobilising massive public support for it and eventually getting it on the ballot paper as an inevitable government concession (that’s us, NOTA UK est. 2010)

2: An ambitious political party attempting to get itself elected on a NOTA platform (Notavote – a potentially distracting contradiction in terms, in our view) and a second allegedly far right group trying to hijack the NOTA campaign as a way of furthering its insipid aims via this facebook group: “NONE OF THE ABOVE CAMPAIGN (VOTING)”

That’s not like-minded people fighting amongst themselves. That’s a group of people who understand and are actively campaigning for an achievable goal and two groups claiming an association with that goal to further their own agendas, some well meaning, others not so much.

There is a difference.

There is only one bonafide NOTA campaign – and it is this one. Tell your friends!

“SPLITTERS!!!” *
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* – humorous aside