Twitter is buzzing with calls for people who are not yet registered to do so by midnight and then to vote. The point has been made that more people did not vote in 2010, than voted for the Tories who had the largest number of seats in Parliament. Unfortunately there is one reason which many of the unregistered voters may have for not bothering to obtain a vote for themselves. The reason why many of us vote is because we believe our x in the box could change the outcome of the election. However sadly in far too many constituencies this is simply not the case, based on previous voting outcomes. Some of us believe that even if we change the outcome of the election at a local level, that the real outcome will be no different. That the difference between a Labour dominated coalition or Conservative dominated coalition is so marginal that our vote really cannot make a difference.
Those of us calling for people to register, need to be willing to also use our influence with the parties we vote for to achieve change in the way in which elections work. If ballot papers had a NOTA option, everyone voting would have a choice that they could make, unless they did genuinely make a mistake. Perhaps the option to also make a comment as this is one of the approaches that some who spoil their papers adopt. We also need to consider if some form of proportional representation can be implemented so that Labour voters in large parts of Sussex, and Green voters across the country as a whole can have their views represented in Parliament. Finally we need an electoral system that does not discriminate so severely against the very small parties and Independent candidates. It would then be much harder to argue that voting was a waste of time.