The Philosopher's Eye

News and brain candy for the philosophy community

If you don’t vote for one, you vote for all!

The election campaign here in Britain has started and the battle between the parties is fierce. The problems of the last decade, but especially of the last year are immense. In the next couple of weeks and month it will be looked closely at how the NHS has coped with Swine flu and how the Government has coped with the financial crisis. Those who will do the close looking are the so-called political analysts, and they will try to explain why the one or the other party is better. Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg will try to explain why they are the best choice for the country at the present state. But whom are they explaining all this to? It seems as if the media is the only addressee of all the information. But actually the addressee are WE. All of us are meant to listen and to react, by voting. Great Britain however only has about 62%voter participation. Although 62% in different circumstances might sound like plenty, when a democracy is at stake, it is very little, since only 100% would be enough. The reasons for that go way back into antiquity and were formulated by Plato. A state can only do so much for its members as the members are willing to do themselves, since they constitute the state. Within this concept the members have rights and duties. Only if they fulfill the duties, can they have all the rights. In the case of Great Britain, the duties of the members are to pay taxes and — to vote. Because the vote is what then can influence the entire state, i.e. us, to move into a certain direction. Not to vote is not an option, since all those non-votes are calculated and then proportionally given to all the parties. So by not-voting, we actually contribute our voice but without any control as to what it actually says and we neglect our duty as being part of the state. Maybe we need a party for non-voters!?!

Who wants to keep up to date with the election campaign, look at the times online.

Related Articles:

Citizenship and The State
By M. Victoria Costa, Florida State University
(Vol. 4, December 2009)
Philosophy Compass

Moral Contractualism
By Nicholas Southwood, Australian National University
(Vol. 4, December 2009)
Philosophy Compass

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