There are many voices out there that claim that the votes of some people count more than the votes of others, I have touched on this point in a previous post which can be viewed here, but the gist is though it appears that some votes count more than others all votes in fact count the for same. However, not all votes count in the same way and this is why to really make your vote count you have to think about what it is you want from your vote.
That means voting is not just picking which party or person you want to vote for, if you really want your vote to count it is thinking more along the lines of what do you want from your vote. For example, do you want your vote to help elect the winning party in the said election? If so then in reality in a nation like for example, the UK or the US, there are only two choices and that is the Tories and Labour or the Democrats and Republicans.
However, should you want your vote to help bring about change via empowering a different party who you hope will one day replace one of the big parties and win the election, then you should vote for them. Or should you want to try to bring about a specific sort of change then you need to vote for the party that was promising to bring about that change regardless of whether they hold the power to win an election or not.
With this in mind the best way to make sure your vote counts in the way you wish it to and thus has the most impact, is by asking yourself the following questions.
The five questions you should ask yourself before voting in any election
Do you wish your vote to count towards helping a party win the present election on a national level?
If your answer to this question is yes then you must pick a party that actually has a chance of winning the present election on a national scale. For example, in the UK currently there are only two parties who have a hope of winning the election on a national level, and that is the Tories and Labour. So if your answer to this question was yes and you live in the UK then you must pick between these two parties otherwise your vote will not serve the purpose you want it to.
Do you want your vote to help a party win a future election?
If your answer to this question is yes, then you must vote for the party that you hope to win the future election at all costs, even if they have no hope of winning the present election, even of winning a single seat, even if you are the only person in the entire nation voting for this party, if you wish them to win a future election then you must show your support and vote for them. Not doing so would mean your vote would act against your desire meaning you would be damaging the very party/agenda that you support.
That means tactical voting i.e. voting for a different party in an election because you don’t think the party that you want to win can win, has been and will always be a risky choice. Because if everyone voted tactically in an effort to vote for somebody that can win in the present new parties and smaller parties would never have a hope of ever winning an election in the future.
That means one of the best ways to make your vote truly work for you and thus count in the best way possible is to always, and that is always vote for the party that you most believe in regardless of whether they can win an election or not. This of course seems obvious but it is surprising how many people fall into the trap of not voting for the party they believe in but instead voting for the party that they most like or more often than not least dislike out of the ones that can win.
Do you wish your vote to help bring about a specific form of change?
If the answer to this question is yes, then you must vote for the party that is promising to bring that change about, regardless of whether they can win the election or not. For example, in the run-up prior to the Brexit referendum being called in 2016, UKIP, despite having little chance of winning the election, gained enormous support and over 3.9 million votes at their peak specifically because they were promising to hold a Brexit referendum.
The majority of people voted for them specifically to try to force the main parties to call the referendum and it worked, because the Tories were forced to call the referendum. And there is president in things like this happening, history proving that the greatest way to get the big parties to bring about change that they do not want is to vote for the little parties promising to bring about that change. Meaning if you want to bring about a specific form of change vote for the party promising to bring it about, regardless of whether they can win an election or not. Because remember any vote for one party is a vote lost by all the other parties.
Another popular example of this in the UK is the SNP, they have no hope of ever winning a national election; however, by people voting for them not only did they manage to force a referendum on independence, but by continuing to vote for them even though there has been a referendum and they lost the referendum the continued talks of a second referendum persist. Many people voting for the SNP are voting largely to try to force another referendum not to try to win an election on a national level.
Do you wish to vote for a person or a party?
If you wish to vote for a party then the person you are voting for becomes irrelevant, if you wish to vote for a person then the party becomes irrelevant. Taking a moment to think about this is immensely important, because by voting for a party alone you are taking the risk of voting for a person to be your representative that you in fact may not actually like or even think are up to the job. However, by voting for a person alone you run the risk of voting for a party you may not like should that person represent a party you don’t like.
This is why whenever you vote in elections it is really important that you actually realise who it is you are actually voting for, not just a party but a person, and it is amazing how many times people vote for a party without having any clue who that person is. This is especially true in the UK where the vast majority of people are clueless as to who their local MP is. Meaning one of the best ways to make sure your vote works for you is to actually take a moment and work out just who the heck it is you are voting for.
Do you wish to stop a person or party from winning the election?
As mentioned earlier, tactical voting is rarely a good thing mainly because it risks creating a false narrative about the true feelings of a populace. For example, if two thousand people say vote for a person they do not like simply to try to stop someone they like even less from getting in power, and those two thousand do not vote for the person that they actually do like, then the person that they actually like will end up with much less support meaning in the long run the people may end up shooting themselves in the foot. That is to say the person that they like may be forced to pull out of future elections due to a perceived lack of support.
However, some people simply would rather use their vote to try to stop a person who looks certain to win an election from winning that election and if a person wishes to do that then voting tactically is the best option. Or rather voting for the person who has the best chance of defeating the person they want to lose is the best way for them to try to get what they want. But any person who does go down this route is basically supporting a person that they do not support at the expense of supporting a person that they do support. And that is rarely for the reasons mentioned earlier are wise path to take. Meaning if this is something you wish to do make certain you understand the repercussions.
In reality the straight up best way to make your vote really work for you and really count in regards to serving your agenda is to make certain that you vote for the party or person/persons that you most believe in. And the best way to go about that is to take the time to do some research and make certain you know just who it is you are voting for, both party and person, what it is they stand for and what it is you want from your vote. Or rather the more you put into your vote the more you get out of it.
With that said that’s all from me for today, stay safe!