Support the campaign for REAL democracy!

NOTA UK is a volunteer run non-profit electoral reform campaign that gets to the heart of what is and isn’t democracy.

In 2019 – surely an election year? – we would dearly love to up the ante by:

1: Challenging all major UK political parties to respond to our recent definitive white paper and set out their position on inclusion of NOTA in ballot papers.

2: Obtaining definitive legal advice on the question of whether the ability to withhold consent and reject all candidates at elections in a formal and binding manner is a human right and therefore also a democratic pre-requisite.

3: Placing NOTA adverts in major publications and relevant websites in the run up to any upcoming elections.

4: Upgrading our website.

5: Applying for proper funding.

All these things cost time and/or money. If you support our efforts, please consider making a one off or regular donation via paypal.

Click here or hit the paypal button at the top right of the site to donate.

Thanks in advance. Onwards!

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Make Voters Matter – a critique of the campaign for PR

Alongside our white paper, we also publish today a critique of the Make Votes Matter campaign for Proportional Representation.

You can read and download it in .pdf format below (other formats are available on request):

Make Voters Matter – with NOTA

Feel free to share!

You can find out more and support our campaign for formal, binding NOTA in the UK by following the links below and signing our petition:

Facebook
Twitter
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NOTA UK website

Onwards!

Jamie Stanley
NOTA UK
07/01/19

NOTA UK publishes definitive ‘None of the Above’ White Paper

Today, we at NOTA UK publish our definitive white paper on the urgent need for a formal and binding ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) option on all ballots for elections in all countries claiming to be a democracy.

It is our most comprehensive document to date, one that answers all common questions, counters all common rebuttals and lays out the reasoning behind our assertion that NOTA is the achievable logical starting point for reforming our broken electoral systems, installing real democracy and maximising the common good over time.

You can read and download it in .pdf format below (other formats are available on request):

You can find out more and support our campaign for formal, binding NOTA in the UK by following the links below and signing our petition:

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
NOTA UK website

Onwards!

Jamie Stanley
NOTA UK
07/01/19

And so it begins…

notauk_logo5 for fb

It’s been a long time coming but it might just be that week. With Brexit up in the air and the government in disarray, Theresa May is to face a vote of no confidence and likely leadership challenge. Opposition parties are now poised to demand a general election and/or second EU referendum.

Stay tuned to our website, Facebook and Twitter. None Of The Above news coming soon…

You can find out more and support our campaign for formal, binding NOTA in the UK by following the links below and signing our petition:

Facebook
Twitter
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NOTA UK website

NOTA UK on The Wright Stuff 18/05/17

On 18th May 2017, NOTA UK founder Jamie Stanley appeared on popular Channel 5 show The Wright Stuff in a segment about media bias during election campaigns and took the opportunity to emphasise the need for a formal and binding ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) option on ballot papers. Panellist Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the green party, confirmed that they have a policy to get just such a form of NOTA on ballot papers (RON – Re-Open Nominations). Big thanks to him, the Greens and Matthew Wright for your ongoing support. Onwards!

You can find out more and support our campaign for formal, binding NOTA in the UK by following the links below and signing our petition:

Facebook
Twitter
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NOTA UK website

Jamie Stanley
NOTA UK
23/05/17

‘Vote Blanc’ vs NOTA

voteblanc

At the 2017 French presidential election, a record number of people made use of the ‘vote blanc’ option, a way of rejecting all candidates put forward at the ballot box.


This rise occurred in conjunction with the lowest overall turnout in a French presidential election for nearly fifty years. Clearly, more people than ever felt that the candidates on offer represented a Hobson’s Choice that many could not bring themselves to make and chose either to stay at home, spoil the ballot paper or cast a blank vote.

From our point of view, while this is telling, it’s very important to realise that the ‘vote blanc’ option in France is very different from the formal and binding ‘None Of The Above’ (NOTA) option we are proposing should be added to ballot papers in the UK, and indeed all countries.

The crucial words are ‘formal’ and ‘binding’. Currently, blank votes in French elections are not counted as valid votes. They are counted, but not in a way that can ever affect the election result. For this reason, while they are seen as distinct from spoiled ballots (which can of course be counted as spoiled in error), they are no more useful as a measure of voter discontent in reality.

In order to be truly meaningful, any option that allows a voter to register their rejection of all that is on offer and withhold their consent at an election MUST be formal and binding, as the act of endorsing / consenting by voting is formal and binding. It MUST be counted as a valid vote and, if applicable, be able to void the result and trigger a second election if it ‘wins’.

At NOTA UK we are campaigning for just such a formal and binding NOTA option and nothing less. We have made representations to parliament and are actively lobbying the Green Party of England & Wales to promote their currently low key policy of getting RON (Re-Open Nominations) on ballot papers to centre stage in their manifesto for the upcoming UK general election. We have also suggested that they commit to using the more self-explanatory NOTA acronym and adopt our proposals for dealing with the logistics of a NOTA ‘win’.

Mechanisms like ‘Vote Blanc’ and an increase in people using them is a significant step in the right direction. But until such time as they can materially effect the election result, they remain examples of faux-NOTA or NOTA-lite, symbolic token gestures that do nothing to empower those disillusioned enough with the political system to want to formally reject all candidates and parties put forward at election time.

You can support our campaign for formal, binding NOTA in the UK by following the links below and signing our petition:

Facebook
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NOTA UK website

Jamie Stanley
NOTA UK
08/05/17

Save

Save

Open Letter to the Green Party re: GE 2017

Dear Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley,

I wrote to you last year, and then again in reply to your response, but have yet to receive a further response from you. In your first reply, Caroline stated:

“…the Green Party fully backs having a “re-open nominations” (RON) option on the ballot paper and I’d agree that a “none of the above” (NOTA) option is in the same spirit. It’s not possible for us to campaign on everything and I don’t think we’ll be doing anything proactive on this in the immediate future, but I’ll let the campaigns coordinators know about the open letter and your calls.”

I’m writing to you again now as it strikes me that with a snap general election coming up and talk of progressive alliances (that could, in theory, see the Green party forming part of a coalition government after June 8th) the time may well be now for you to do something proactive on the issue of NOTA / RON.

If you were to bring your NOTA / RON policy out of the shadows and in to the limelight, putting it at the heart of your election manifesto, this would, in my view, not only do wonders for our cause but also be a sure vote winner for your party among those who would dearly love to see a formal and binding NOTA option on ballot papers in the future.

I sincerely believe that to not do this at this time would be to miss a trick.

I also still feel strongly that the policy would carry more weight with the general public if you reworded it favouring the often used and self-explanatory NOTA acronym over the more jargonistic RON.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this and hopefully taking an important step forward with you towards real electoral reform in the UK at this upcoming election.

Your sincerely,
Jamie Stanley
NOTA UK
29/04/17