Election time. Your vote is worthless. I won’t insult you by explaining why. I’ll make a quick detour to laugh at those who think we could change this, but that’s all. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t vote. Voting is expressive, we enjoy feeling important, even if deep down we know we're not. We also vote to show we’re members of a particular group, and so that other members of that group will like us. You’re joining a tribe, with all that entails. Obviously we could just lie, tell everyone we voted for a party, and actually just stay at home masturbating, but the guilt would probably outweigh the minor effort of bothering to go to the polls. With that in mind I present my guide to the election-
Option 1- Don’t vote. Depending on your cultural capital either makes you look very stupid, or very smart. Don’t fool yourself into thinking this puts you above anyone else though, you're still playing the game. Also, the tribe of educated non-voters is small, and mainly made up of economists and extremist weirdos, but it’s a tribe nonetheless. In many ways it’s the political equivalent of normcore. People trying too hard to look like they aren’t, and assuming their blatant privilege marks them out as different from those they’re ostensibly imitating.
Pros- You’re above the petty squabbles of the masses, and have a rudimentary understanding of maths.
Cons- Your a dick.
Option 2- Vote for a very minor party. We can split this into two sub-categories, there are ‘novelty candidates’, usually about as funny as this unnecessary rape joke, and the no hopers. Since your vote is astronomically unlikely to matter, if a small party represents a small part of your views, go for it.
Pros- I voted for the Left Market Anarchist Yorkshire Separatists. You’ve probably never heard of them.
Cons- Same as pros.
Option 3- Tactical Voting. This is by far the dumbest option of all. You simply won’t be the decider, no matter how close the election. You might be able to convince other slightly below average people you’re not slightly below average, but where’s the ambition there? Of course, the tactical voter can still tell everyone who they really support, but they’ll be viewed with suspicion, everyone loves a noble loser chasing a lost cause.
Pros- You appear pragmatic, with an even more rudimentary understanding of maths than option 1.
Option 4- Creative ballot spoiling. This would be the ideal option, if only it weren’t weirdly illegal to post selfies from the booth. Still, if you’re going to the count it might get held up, and you can annoy the candidate who kindly invited you by pointing it out.
Pros- Express yourself (you can’t be wrong).
Cons- You have to think of something much more interesting than a write in for Batman, or nobody will care.
Option 5- Wild, bizarre voting. Pick the party that least corresponds to your views, just to show other people how quirky you are. Show up the sheer absurdity of the system by ticking a box completely at random, and trying to justify it post hoc.
Pros- It’s not beyond the realms of possibility Zooey Deschanel votes like this.
Cons- Zooey Deschanel may accidentally become a neo-nazi, and no amount of irony is going to get her out of that hole.
Option 6- Vote for a major party you actually believe in. Maybe in a world of incessant post-modernism, the truly po-mo thing to do is to go mainstream? Maybe you can change them from the inside? You’ve met some of them before, shared a few drinks, a few laughs, maybe they’re not really blood sucking parasites? You met that one MP once, he seemed personable, maybe he’s different? Maybe a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world?
Pros- Choose leisurewear and matching luggage.
Cons- Choose delivering leaflets and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning.