Lies, damned lies and statistics

by Pseud O'Nym

Not that I’m obsessed or anything but is it only me that finds something deeply concerning and inherently troubling for our democracy in the EU election results. Not because of the party that emerged victorious, although that is deeply concerning and inherently troubling enough for the consequences it could engender. But because only 39.6% of people eligible to vote, actually bothered to do so.

I mean, it’s not as if our future relationship with Europe hasn’t dominated the political landscape over the last three years, in the same way that Celtic FC have dominated Scottish football over the same period.

And it’s not as if voting here is in any way an onerous activity. You’re more likely to be greeted by a bored election official in a church hall than to risk death from a suicide bomber, is it? It makes me more annoyed than the Brexit Party winning, that more people didn’t vote than did, but not as much as realizing that 31% of voters didn’t vote in the EU referendum. What was so pressingly important that it trumped that?

I find it staggeringly pathetic of people not to vote. It was only comparatively recently that women got the vote, although this gave rise to the widespread belief that women would vote the way men in their life wanted them too. Some men still think they can do that. Because who one votes for is nowhere near as important as taking an active role in the democratic process, because if one doesn’t vote, not only is your vote not cast, but worse, the that the vote of the people who do bother is worth more, because it’s counted and yours is not.

If the rules of the EU referendum had stipulated that be legally binding, at least 75& of eligible voters needed to vote and that the winners would be required to have won by at least 15% of votes cast. But a) thats not how referendum’s work and more importantly, it was never a legally binding vote, just the largest indicative non binding vote in British history. So anyone who claims that yesterdays means anything other than huge swathes of voter disengagement with the political process is at best deluding themselves and at worst, deluding others. I mean, really? Only 39.6% of eligible voters did so and of those that did, only 32% voted for the Brexit party? Not exactly what you’d call a ringing endorsement, is it.

So given given that 60.1% of people didn’t bother to vote, maybe ITV was right in it’s judgement not to provide coverage of the EU election results after all.