is not surprising for the electorate in the North
of Ireland, where for many the "ink" is
still drying on the ballot papers, that the media
remains saturated with party political number crunchers,
spin doctors and reps, all holding to the same theme
- we won. The party faithful from all political
parties, armed with self serving stats and slants,
are bombarding the electorate with claims on the
latest victory and, if all are to be believed, it
is an incredible election with no losers.
I lay a victory claim on behalf of the victor and
this landslide victory in the recent NI elections.
The victor has consistently refused to stand up
and be counted and it is essential that by the self
appointed authority I now bestow upon myself that
I hereby declare the winner of the NI Westminster
and Council elections 2005 as the stay away, the
vanished, the non "big four party" voter
and the voters who spoil their vote as the overall
a self appointed spokesperson also for the "stay
away et al voter" I might say we are also delighted
with the poor quality of political choice leading
to the turnout of the NI electorate (about 63%).
Indeed, it is a turnout or not turnout depending
on how you view democracy that clearly demonstrates
that the non vote and spoiled vote has surpassed
all the other established big four parties.
stay away voter, non big four voter, the vanished
50,000+ and about 6,000 spoilt votes accounts for
more than 48% of the eligible electorate which places
this electoral group in pole position. An enviable
position that falls about 7% short of the combined
votes cast for three of the victorious parties,
Sinn Fein, the Social Democratic and Labour Party
and the Ulster Unionist Party, but surpasses any
2 of the above parties combined vote.
the "stay away et al party" is the winner
in numerical terms but their self defeating abstention
policy manifests in a forfeit of 11+ Westminster
seats and 300+ council seats to the less popular
minority political parties. It is also an outcome
which leaves the grand 'stay away' and 'non big
four' vote victory as a source of ridicule and criticism.
2005 vanishing eligible voters from the NI register
i.e 50,000 + missing (accounted for at the 2001
Westminster and Council elections) are regarded
as an unsolvable mystery, end of story. The spoiled
votes are described as 'a stupid or baffled electorate
who cannot cope intellectually with 2 election ballot
papers' and the stay away voters are accredited
with apathy: the 'don't cares' and 'why bother'
stay away et al voters are protest voters. Their
protest varies and at times ranges as a polar opposite
to the other. Few if any of this group is baffled
by the ballot paper, the number crunching or the
spin. The stay away et al are far from voiceless
they are shouting loud and clear. The politicians
are writing them off, spinning them out or crunching
them up, when they should be listening.