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Not Apathetic

FROM: Tom Steinberg

What NEED does this meet?
A site for people to state that they are planning not to vote at the next election, and to explain why. James Crabtree's idea - www.theisociety.net

What is the APPROACH?
Everyone else in this sphere tries to persuade people they should vote, instantly discouraging people who don't want to be hassled afterwards. This site will just let people speak, without threatening a conversion (unless they opt in).

One particular avenue for innovation is to use natural language recognition. This is a limited art, but for sentances all beggining "I'm not going to vote because..." it may work better.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Well, they could sit around and tell all their mates in the pub, but the chances of that making its way to the people who need to hear is non existant. Unless they're in the pub with Philip Gould, that is.

What is the COMPETITION?
The BBC did something a bit like this at the last election, but this is being set up precisely to ask what is happening between elections that drives people to not vote. The BBC page also tried to persuade people to vote - a noble cause, but one I think has downsides in terms of discouraging people from signing up to express their displeasure.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
It depends on whether the site is super simple, or whether it tries to do more clever natural language stuff. A basic site could be put together and debugged through real-world usage over the course of a couple of months. However, this is probably the smaller part of this project. The larger part will be engaging government and civic organisations to use this, as a way of solving their own democractic problems.

October 24, 2003 in Idea from mySociety.org team, Increasing Awareness, Perhaps Government Remit?, Political, User Created Content | Permalink


Not voting IS apathetic.
If you feel you're not being represented by your MP/Government why don't you put your energy into supporting a candidate or party who's ideas you agree with instead of undermining the whole system.
(You could even put yourself forward.)
In countries all over the world there are people tortured and killed because they want the vote for their people...

Posted by: martin at Oct 30, 2003 1:50:07 PM

Martin: not voting isn't a great idea, but as Tom says, this doesn't necessarily mean that you're apathetic. It means you're disillusioned or annoyed.

At Nottingham university we're given a special candiate we can vote for in elections, RON (re-open-nominations). If you're not happy with any of the candidates, you can vote for RON. If RON wins, then the nominations are re-opened.

What we really need is, after getting people together to say why they haven't voted, for those people to form a new party, fund themelves, and run for elections, spreading the word to vote for them through the site and other places online and offline.

Posted by: Jake at Oct 31, 2003 10:53:34 AM


your comment is so naive I can't believe you are here. Duh ... I think the point is that we have only the illusion of choice compared to, say, 1-party elections in some other countries, and if there *were* candidates or parties that represented the views of many non-voters then they would vote for them.

Posted by: Lee Bryant at Dec 1, 2003 1:21:41 PM

This is now launched http://www.notapathetic.com

Posted by: Francis Irving at Apr 7, 2005 11:40:48 AM


Posted by: muschi at Dec 13, 2007 3:22:08 PM


Posted by: amateur at Jun 28, 2008 11:22:15 PM


Posted by: studentinnen at Aug 31, 2008 12:04:54 PM