Voting has many purposes. The most obvious is to elect the candidate the voter wants. Or to keep out the candidate the voter does not want. Voting to express commitment to the democratic system comes lower on the list of reasons. And pushing that commitment further and further away from importance is a deliberate policy of any authoritarian government.
It is much easier to control the democratic element in governance by devaluing the effects of the vote and reducing democratic participation. This is done by replacing elected representatives by parallel administrations, made up of appointees and placemen, that are better funded by the central Executive and subvert the decisions of the elected body - all decisions, not just those disliked and in opposition to central policies. The aim is to drain all power away from democratic choice.
The tactic of making a democratic vote seem a pointless exercise is furthered by deliberate and constant propaganda that there's no point as they're all the same anyway; the voting system makes it impossible to change anything and, the corollary to this, the voting system is being changed or is now too complex and makes it impossible to express a choice. Reports of 100,000 spoiled ballots on ballot papers deliberately obfuscated, unwanted effects from second and third preferences, there will be a very low turn-out .... all feed into this.
Making voting a daunting undertaking is another ploy. By holding elections on working days, limiting the hours in which votes can be cast in a 24/7 society (certainly in the big cities), siting voting places in unfamiliar environments, ringing the casting of the vote with rules and instructions on minute matters of behaviour and threats of invalidation. The list goes on and on.
The result is that the voters think it's not worth it, they're all the same, I can't make any difference, I'm tired after work, and have things to do this evening, apart from looking after the children, I don't know how to do it and I don't know the place I'm supposed to go and do it in. They want a polling card or something I haven't got, and I'll be in trouble if I spoil the ballot.
It's all done on purpose, all the time, a relentless blizzard of Don't Vote.
Go and vote. Go with a friend, take all the children. Go with the dog and make one of those faintly intimdatory figures outside asking for your polling number when you come out to hold his lead while you're inside. If you feel uncertain about how to vote, ask the people inside to explain it again to you; they will, very pleasantly. Vote for who you fancy and forget the clever footwork. All the votes are counted and, at a level beyond which candidate is actually elected, there is a plebiscite effect. Every vote speaks even if every vote doesn't immediately count.
Don't listen to the detractors and Dementors.
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