back to article Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

The Electoral Commission has spotted two things: 18-24 year olds don’t vote and 18-24 year olds have smartphones. You'll never guess what's coming next. The commission, which is charged with getting the UK population out to vote, has employed Weve to peddle mobile voter registration to the youth market. Young adults will be …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good

    Only when they vote, in sufficient numbers to make a difference, will the government stop shitting on them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good

      You mean Nick Cleggs introduction of tuition fees as soon as he gained "power" didn't go down too well with them last time? Well I never.

      1. xnetman

        Re: Good

        It was Labour (Tony Blair) that introduced tuition fees in 1998, not the Liberal Democrats.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good

          Also Lib Dems - more fool them - have done the responsible thing, they joined in coalition with the party that had the greatest number of MPs, as a junior partner they got a little bit of what they wanted and had to do a lot of what the senior partner wanted.

          Sadly England's retarded and doesn't understand how coalitions work. So it seems rather clear that the reason the Tories haven't been as draconian in "law & order" and "immigration" and EU relations is because the Lib Dems wouldn't support them (things like legalising global interception and decryption of comms.)

          They even got a vote on a new voting system (a rubbish one maybe) but a vote none the less - however refer to previous point about England being retarded and not understanding how coalitions work. It would of made everyones vote count, and led to an upsurge in single issue parties people actually agree with as opposed to what we generally have is two single issue parties and a bunch of generalist dicks. Oh well.

          Oh and if the Lib Dems hadn't joined in the coalition? I suspect the government would of collapsed within a year and a return to the polls would of resulted in a sweeping Tory majority.

          1. 's water music Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Good

            Trying... ...to... ...resist...

            ...

            Oh, sod it. It's ...would HAVE

        2. Otto is a bear.

          Re: Good

          We just let the Tories increase them in exchange for a little power, thanks Nick.

          It was Mad Maggie who deregulated the banks, not Gordon Brown, he just didn't have the stomach to reign them in. Most of the wonderful little product ideas that caused the banks to crash were originally thought up in the early 90s as well. I remember being told by a friend in compliance that most banks' managements didn't understand the products or the risks, but they made loads of money so they didn't care.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Good

            @ Otto is a bear.

            "It was Mad Maggie who deregulated the banks, not Gordon Brown, he just didn't have the stomach to reign them in"

            Didnt reign them in? He promoted the worst behaviour he could get away with for the banks to expand without the ability to afford it. He actively ensured that 3 regulators oversaw the banks but none of them were responsible for anything. You may not have liked Maggie but the state of the UK before and during the crash was all Brown. Then he implemented scorched earth policies to ensure whoever won (wasnt gonna be labour) would be shafted and skint. Then he walked away scot free.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        That was a trade-off, i.e. Clegg got to be a a (junior) PM, and the youths (and their parents) got to pay the tuition fees. Only fair, innit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good

          It's as if Lib Dems only had one item on their manifesto... I wonder how many people bothered to read it as opposed to obsess over a few sound bites?

    2. dogged

      Re: Good

      Except we have an ageing population and old people already own all the property and get all electoral bribesbenefits and they all go out and vote for whoever's promising them more free shit. Young people are outnumbered. The Baby Boomers rule the world.

      I'm 45. I've already seen this happen to my generation - the absolute worst bit being people saying "oh, we must be nice to them, they fought in the war!" when actually they just got wankered at Woodstock or the Isle of Wight - and it will happen to every following generation until those selfish old pricks finally die.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Good

        And when you are 65, you too will be one of those selfish old pricks, so look forward to the news of your death.

        1. dogged

          Re: Good

          No, I won't be able to retire until I'm at least 70. My retirement was spent on bailing out banks, remember?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Good

            Your money was spent on increasing the size of the public sector to make more people beholden to the Labour party for their employment.

            The bank bailouts won't end up costing *much* in the long run - they'll be sold back to private hands.

          2. Richard Jones 1
            Flame

            Re: Good

            @ dogged

            My retirement income is (still) being spent on sorting out the mess created by No more boom and Bust Brown, remember him letting the banks have free rein to pay him more tax income and him selling off the gold for a pittance.

            Of course you could now enjoy the 0.5% interest rates and over borrow, everyone else does. Remember when rates were well above double digits?

      2. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

        Re: Good

        Oh bore off, you're the selfish one. Do without your internet, your wall-to-wall carpets, foreign holidays, regular meals so your kids can eat, cars that you don't have to fix yourself, gym membership, mobile phones, central heating, five day working week and food that's not scraped off a road, skinned and cooked yourself then come back here with your whiny self-centered attitude.

    3. Dan Paul

      Re: Good - Since when does

      voting ever prevent the defecation of Politicians upon the populace?

  2. Vimes

    Hasn't the ICO started ramping up action against the senders of unwanted texts?

    It would be interesting to see what the results would be of reporting the government to the government.

    1. Peter_Taylor

      It will be interesting to see how they are getting around that rule!

      Also, I stop using services that annoy me with unwanted eMails, SMS, and stupid number of adverts. So I can imagine this having the result of people being turned off registering, instead of encouraging it.

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: turned off registering

        Maybe that's the point. Remember the poll tax?

    2. frank ly Silver badge

      From Weve.com:

      "A leading provider of mobile marketing and commerce services in the UK, Weve is a joint venture between the three largest mobile operators, EE, O2 and Vodafone, who collectively represent over 80% of UK mobile users."

      "Weve has the ability to reach up to 23 million consent-based customers ..."

      It's ok, they get the target's consent first. That is what it means, isn't it?

      1. Vimes

        I thought people got opted into these services and they relied on people opting out?

        That's not consent...

        1. Bassey

          action against the senders of unwanted texts

          This was brought up in Prime Ministers Questions by a conservative MP about 2 months ago. She raised a question about an elderly constituent of hers being scammed over and over again by unsolicited calls and asked why the government hadn't clamped down on this despite repeated promises to do so.

          Cameron's answer, partially in the form of a joke, centred around the fact that all the political parties would be cold calling and spamming as many of the electorate as they possibly could over the next few months. I'm paraphrasing, clearly. He worded it in such a way as to suggest cold calling was a fundamental part of the democratic process and it was difficult to legislate against "bad" cold callers without effecting "good" cold callers.

          Nice, huh?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: action against the senders of unwanted texts

            yep cameron is a twat

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Hasn't the ICO started ramping up action against the senders of unwanted texts?"

      Isn't there an exception for certain spammers such as surveys and political parties?

  3. Jimmy2Cows

    Apathy

    Da yoof don't care about voting because whatever shower of shite gets in the outcome for them is the same. So they can't be arsed, don't see the point, or simply don't give a shit. Or they're too cool for all that intelligent crap and would rather be down the pub lining up the Stellas.

    Either way, spamming them with a barrage of texts is not going to improve voter turnout. Piss them off? Yeah. Get them to vote? No chance.

    1. Steve 114
      Trollface

      Re: Apathy

      "Whoever you vote for, the Government always gets in." (Maybe not this time, baby).

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Montague Wanktrollop

      You say that ignorant people should not vote? Judging by your post I expect you will be staying in bed on election day.

    2. Vimes

      Define 'stupid'.

      http://dilbert.com/strip/1995-06-18

    3. MrXavia

      UKIP are not that bad, sure they are full of racist bigots, but so are Conservatives and Labour..

      To me Theresa May is probably the worst one out there, she wants to return all students back to their own country after they finish studying without giving them a chance to work here...

      We have some of the best universities in the world, if someone spends £50K+ to come study here they should be able to get a good job here as is the current system.

      They contribute to our economy more than the EU immigrants do...

      Before you get critical of a party, read its policies... Sure UKIP have a few bad ones, but on average their policies are more sensible than Tory or Labour.

      Leaving the EU is probably a bad idea, but other means can be used to curb immigration, i.e. severe limitations on benefits & controls on 'work gangs'

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Policies aren't the important bit

        UKIP may well have some sensible policies (it would be difficult not to accidentaly let one or two sneak through in the middle of the batshit crazy ones) Problem is the party is full of stupid, pig-ignorant, racist bigots, who couldn't be trusted to implement any policies, sensible or not.

        A word of advice: even if they have a policy of creating global peace, the elimination of disease and hunger, and education for all, don't vote for someone who is frothing at the mouth and wearing his or her underwear on their head.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Policies aren't the important bit

          Always the same old same old - when things are going down the crapper it's always without fail the immigrants fault. It's just that the Immigrants blamed changes. Northerners coming down here to steal our jobs, Irish coming here and stealing our jobs, Blacks coming here and stealing our jobs, the Indians coming here and stealing our jobs, the Europeans coming here and stealing our jobs.

          And expand jobs to, increasing hour crime, stealin our wimminz, taking our benefits, blah blah blah. I'd like to focus on a single party but UKIP, Labour and the Tories are all pretty much the same. It's always someone else's fault for your shitty life.

          Oh and after the immigrants, it's normally young and poor peoples fault.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Policies aren't the important bit @AC

            Northerners coming down here to steal our jobs

            Actually, I came down here to steal your jobs, drink your beer, and shag your women. It won't be popular, but I've no reason to lie about it.

          2. Dan Paul

            Re: Policies aren't the important bit

            Well at least you have it correct.

    4. Reaps
      Big Brother

      probably better to ban any twat who want to be a politician from standing as an mp

  5. cs94njw

    As a 39 year old, I've registered to vote, but having a tough time finding someone worth voting for.

    Sadly, tabloid readers seem to dictate government :(

    1. Code Monkey

      There are any number of fun ways to spoil your ballot, which is most likely what I'll be doing. Every time I vote for someone who gets in to Government they make me regret it by rubber stamping a neo-Con attack on the poor, disabled, etc.; or lying to the nation so they can kill thousands of Iraqis.

      People are still dying to get the vote so I feel obliged to use it, but I don't feel obliged to use it on any of the current shower.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        The solution is...

        To start your own Political Party. Then you can stand for election and vote for yourself.

        A winner all round then?

      2. DanDanDan

        Please don't spoil your ballot. Vote for one of the lesser parties/independents instead. This is the only thing that people will look at. People who spoil their ballots aren't worth campaigning to win in the eyes of those who care, they don't pose a threat.

      3. Rich 11 Silver badge

        There are any number of fun ways to spoil your ballot

        Including the application of warm, fresh urine.

        Makes a change from all of them pissing on the rest of us.

      4. Haefen

        Indeed. Voting for the least worst or voting in a system that does not, will not or cannot represent your interests is giving legitimacy to a system that does not deserve it and will use that legitimacy against you.

    2. launcap Silver badge
      FAIL

      > Sadly, tabloid readers seem to dictate government :(

      Ah - the old "don't want to see a headline in the Daily Fail" mantra. Used by timid, non-conviction politicians(1) everywhere who determine their policies according to what the latest opinion poll says and are more concerned with ensuring re-election rather than doing what they perceive to be right.

      Can you spell "tyranny of the commons"?

      (1) And even worse - career Civil servants trying to make sure that they don't do anything 'bold'..

  6. Nigel 11

    Why bother?

    I cannot understand why any importance should be attached to votes cajoled out of people who couldn't give a damn. Surely by not voting, you declare that you'll be equally (un)happy with whomsoever is returned by the folks who *can* be bothered to vote? (Folks who, hopefully, will have bothered to inform themselves about the policies supported by the various candidates, and given who they vote for more than one second's consideration).

    I'd also much rather that postal votes were once again restricted to those who declare that they will be outside the constituency on polling day, or who can reasonably be excused from walking to a polling station on medical grounds. Postal votes are otherwise far too easy to obtain and use fraudulently.

    I'd even support introducing the purple-thumb technology used in "less developed" countries to prevent repeat voting using forged or stolen credentials.

    1. Vimes

      Re: Why bother?

      It would be nice to have a 'none of the above' option.

      At least that would stop the spurious claims of any sort of mandate by politicians who often scraped through with the support of a minority of the voting public.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: Why bother?

        I've always wanted a none of the above, but realise it will have a majority way beyond everyone else.

        Hmmm, maybe at the next one I should stand with that name and the slogan, I'm not any of that lot.

        1. Vimes

          Re: Why bother?

          it will have a majority way beyond everyone else

          Which might not be such a bad thing. Look at Belgium: the one time the government seemed to be working well was when they didn't have one.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: Why bother?

            In my opinion, that's as close to a proper Conservative government as you can get. Unfortunately a lot of people say they hate anybody in government of any party but then vote for a party which intends to enlarge it.

        2. Oor Nonny-Muss

          Re: Why bother?

          >>I've always wanted a none of the above, but realise it will have a majority way beyond everyone else.

          You have that option and always have had. Spoil your paper. They show the spoiled papers to the candidates and agents...

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Why bother?

            "They show the spoiled papers to the candidates and agents..."

            But do they count them and include them in the totals summary?

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Why bother?

          "Hmmm, maybe at the next one I should stand with that name and the slogan, I'm not any of that lot."

          See Brewsters MIllions

          I can't remember if any of the previous versions used the same election wheeze of "None of the Above" to "waste" the money, but this is the third or fourth film version of the story.

      2. Steve 114
        Thumb Up

        Re: Why bother?

        That's the reason to vote UKIP. No danger they'll form a government, fat chance they'll even influence the horsetrading, but it might just make the careerist Politicos sit up and realise the public has non-PC opinions. Probably already has.

      3. Tascam Holiday
        Happy

        Re: Why bother?

        Hmm. Someone should start a political party called None of the Above, they'd be bound to get in on a landslide.

        1. Ilmarinen
          Thumb Down

          They already thought about that (Re: Why bother?)

          And made it *illegal* to have a party called "None of the Above".

          (but I think that "Bring on the Tumbrels" is still allowed)

          Scum.

          1. Nigel 11

            Re: They already thought about that (Why bother?)

            And made it *illegal* to have a party called "None of the Above".

            I immediately thought of a lady in a black and white costume standing as "Nun of the above", which ought to be legal ....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They want young people to vote because they are naive and idealistic and haven't been around long enough to fully comprehend what complete and utter shits the politicians are (regardless of party).

    They represent a significant number of voters that can be easily manipulated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Generally the young will vote to the left. The government clearly isn't forcing this on the EC - the tories would rather 18-24yr olds didn't vote.

      That's also why there's talk about Labour reducing the voting age to 16, because it knows it'll get the student-politics vote.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        @Ac

        "Generally the young will vote to the left."

        And it is terrifying. I live in a city full of students and the ill thought out ideas they have and the rose spectacles and utopia dreams are so damning for anyone who has a job. I have nothing against left or right (I believe both can be right and wrong) but too far leads to problems. Here I hope the students dont bother voting or we will have some soviet style paradise. I fear these people might even see Milliband as viable!

        1. Nigel 11

          Re: @Ac

          Weren't you one of those students once?

          “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” (Often erroneously attributed to Winston Churchill)

          We have an ageing population, which can't be good for the socialists.

      2. Lost in Cyberspace

        Re:

        I wish I'd been able to vote at 16. I would have voted against the introduction of tuition fees, which came in just as I was applying to uni. It affected me, but I was slightly too young (in the eyes of the law) to actually have an opinion.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re:

          "I would have voted against... tutiton fees"

          Then you would realize voting is utterly pointless, but because you took part in the democratic process you have no right to criticize the outcome.

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Re:

          @ Lost in Cyberspace

          "I wish I'd been able to vote at 16. I would have voted against the introduction of tuition fees, which came in just as I was applying to uni. It affected me, but I was slightly too young (in the eyes of the law) to actually have an opinion."

          Such is the joy of democracy. If we could vote on these little things in isolation we would have votes for every bribe and benefit on offer and vote against actually paying for it (or at least a beggar the minority approach by ganging up on the few).

          The idea of removing tuition fees was a pipe dream. The fee was introduced because labour wanted everyone to get a degree, then realised someone had to pay for it. I guess they could have taken the money out of the NHS or something to pay for it but the base idea of sending everyone to uni was the problem that caused the tuition fees. But people only rally against the tuition fee and would argue against reducing the numbers going to uni.

  8. Dave 30

    Apathy and abstention

    The current system doesn't have a reliable way or even attempt to capture the difference between 'can't be arsed' and 'none of the above'.

    If they want to spend their time doing something useful, they need to work out whether it is an issue of people not being bothered to vote, not having anyone they want to vote for or not feeling like their vote counts (e.g. being stuck in a 'safe seat')

    1. auburnman

      Re: Apathy and abstention

      Sadly the majority of voters voted against the Alternative Vote referendum which gave the politicians an excuse to leave the voting system as is.

    2. Oor Nonny-Muss

      Re: Apathy and abstention

      >>The current system doesn't have a reliable way or even attempt to capture the difference between 'can't be arsed' and 'none of the above'.

      It does:

      Turn up, spoil your paper --> I'm bothered but you're all a shower of bastards and not worth my vote.

      Don't turn up --> can't be arsed

      1. wikkity

        Re: Turn up, spoil your paper

        Totally agree

  9. Simon Rockman

    X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

    That's all the control you have over who runs your country during your lifetime.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. xerocred

      You could be Harvey Lee Oswald.

  10. Kevin Johnston

    Hear hear....I have often said that there should be a 'none of the above' category on voting forms and if that gets the most votes then no MP is returned from that constituency. That would have a few of them shaking in their expenses-paid for 2nd home.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    @ Dave30

    I was going to make this point but you beat me to it. Have an upvote for your efforts.

  12. MrXavia

    What they need to do, is create a voting app, and have the party leaders locked in a house together for 8 weeks, each week the public vote off the one they like the least.

    1. Afernie

      Politics as game show

      They do the first part already. Lots of people nobody likes together in the same Houses (of Parliament). Still, if we're talking game shows, I'd prefer it if they all had to face the Vortex, and if the subsequent 'evaporation' was rather more permanent than just hitch-hiking home.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not the worst idea, but needs improving. How about a Running Man / Hunger Games style event, live on tv? The last man or woman standing runs the country for 5 years. Initial bloodbath at the 'cornucopia' where they all tool themselves up with knives, spears etc, and then, if it gets a bit dull and stalemate like, you can send in costumed 'reapers' to mop the remainder up. I'm thinking perhaps a good reaper would be Jeremy Clarkson, in a range rover with blades on the wheels. 'Fracas-Man' perhaps. The possibilities are limitless.

      In such a contest, my money would be on Nicola Sturgeon. She looks a bad motherfecker.....

      1. Afernie

        You should be pitching this stuff to Celador. I can see her now, with a Michelle Rodriguez-style eyepatch, scars, and a shotgun. "Our next contestant is the Ice Maiden from Irvine, Sturgeon the shotgun Surgeon!"

      2. Little Mouse

        The idea of Cameron and Milliband manning up to each other and fighting to the death with primitive weapons does have a certain appeal. But I fear that in reality it would actually be the crappiest. fight. ever.

        Still, you never know till you try.

        1. moiety

          Girly slaps are probably fatal if it goes on long enough.

  13. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Data protection ?

    Just out of curiosity, how did these guys manage to marry up the data sets "people aged 18-24", "People eligible to vote in the UK general election", and "mobile phone numbers of the UK".

    Because I sense a touch of fast and loose here ....

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Data protection ?

      They seem to have back-pedalled on that later on the article and say they will use geo-location to target the ares around universities. Do all those Chinese students get to vote while they are living here?

      How do they know ages anyway? I've never had a contract phone so don't know what information you have to hand over. Is your DoB and nationality/citizenship part of the contract details?

  14. Vimes

    It'll be interesting to see what the Electoral Commissions response is to this question:

    https://twitter.com/bainesy1969/status/577782253549420544

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Here are my ideas to improve politics.

    1. Demolish the inside of the Houses of Parliament and force them to sit in a circular fashion in an alphabetical order, forcing the removal of a them / us divide.

    2. Removed all parties. No more Labour / Conservative / Lib dem /SNP bollocks. You vote for your local candedate. As a result, a free vote on ALL subjects.

    3. Ban the childish booing and cheering. It's not not allowed in the classroom, so why in Goverment. leave it to the Panto's

    4. Pay each MP much better than they are (100K plus), but ban all second jobs / union perks / non-essential expenses.

    5. Automatic de-selection and loss of job, without payout, when convicted of a criminal offence that carries a jail sentence imposed or suspended.

    6.Abolishment of the House Of Lord and replaced with an upper house, with 50% less people, voted in every 4 years, mid term of the main parliment. Again no parties allowed.

    There, that's for starters, now who has the gunpowder?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

      3/5: Fair enough

      2: Disagree. The point of the whip is that parties can be formed so you know basically what you're voting for. Without the whip, the parties are pointless.

      4: I'd agree with that, but it will never be able to happen because of opinions such as pay them minimum wage, pay soldiers £100k/year, etc stupidity.

      6: Disagree. What you have then is half way through the term, opposition wins the upper house and makes its goal to be to reject everything the government puts forward. I'm all for modernising the upper house, but I definitely wouldn't introduce elected members. You'd either get government stooges or opposition stooges.

      1. Vimes

        Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

        2: Disagree. The point of the whip is that parties can be formed so you know basically what you're voting for. Without the whip, the parties are pointless.

        Two words: 'tuition fees' - as good a demonstration as any that manifestos can end up being works of fiction if they contain anything that ends up being inconvenient down the line.

        Whips are there to make lives easier for the party leaders, not for any of the individual members and certainly not for the benefit of the voters.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

          Good point:

          Mainifesto: Legally binding.

        2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

          Lib dems didn't win the election. They're a minor party in a coalition government. They didn't get everything in their manifesto, that's the nature of being in a coalition government.

          You can't blame the Lib-dems for trading one pet-policy for another in this instance.

          ( I'm the poster you're replying to )

          1. Vimes

            Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

            Lib dems didn't win the election. They're a minor party in a coalition government. They didn't get everything in their manifesto, that's the nature of being in a coalition government.

            ...that they entered into willingly. Nobody forced them to, and nobody said that they absolutely had to be part of a coalition.

            This doesn't change the fact that promises were made, and that they dropped them for the sake of expediency without any consultation with the voters, many of whom had voted lib dem based on those very promises.

            If lib dems can't be in government and stick by their own obligations then they shouldn't be in government in the first place.

    2. dogged

      Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

      I was with you up until the House of Lords thing.

      I quite liked the old hereditary peers. They weren't elected so weren't beholden to Paul Dacre or Rupert Murdoch, a lot of them were far too rich to be worried about bribes and cash-for-questions/access and they were, by and large interested tinkerers. Angus Hamilton used to build off-road cars and hardware encryption , for example. An awful lot of the Lords used to be in one business or another, usually at the "cottage industry" level.

      On legislation affecting normal rights they were great. "Should we allow Government to spy on everyone? No. Should we make it illegal to own a dog that somebody might be frightened of? No. Is it right that people who don't buy a TV license go to jail? No". All good decisions by the _old_ Lords, all overturned by the Commons and the _new_ Lords, the unelected financial contributors to political parties that Tony Blair decided should be doing that job and rubber-stamping his every whim.

      There really wasn't much wrong with the old system except if you're a Class Warfare type. There's a lot wrong with the new one.

    3. Whit.I.Are

      Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

      2. Get rid of voting by the politicians and replace it with on-line voting by the general public. For every vote. Sure, let the politicians have their debate (I don't even mind if they boo and cheer as it just makes them look like a bunch of tw4ts), but leave the voting up to us, the great unwashed.

      That way there's be a better chance that the will of the people be used to determine the way the country is run, rather than by the minority rule system we have at the moment. By which I mean our dumb, first-past-the-post system that usually results in a party in power that polled less than half the popular vote.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

        Then you'd have people only voting for the issues they are directly interested in, which would lead to extremes of policies.

        Here's an example: Bill to abolish all power generation that isn't from windmills. Greenpeace would drum up support from all its members and it would probably pass.

        A real-life example is to look at trade unions. Only militant members vote, so unions go on strike with a majority of the minority. If everybody turned up to every vote, they'd almost never strike.

    4. Vimes

      Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

      Personally I like the Terry Pratchett option.

      7. Jail the lot of them as soon as they're elected. It'll save time in the long run.

    5. captain veg

      Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

      2. and 6. While we have first-past-the-post, which is justified on the premise that you are electing a contituency representative, not a party manifesto for government, yes. It's just that general elections are, in fact, about choosing a party manifesto for government. This is why the primary chamber should be elected on a national or regional party list system, and the revising chamber be FPTP constituencies with no whipping. No party affiliation would be good too, but impossible to police, so it should be made as hard as possible for parties to reward "good" behaviour by the elected minions.

      -A.

    6. Bunbury

      Re: Here are my ideas to improve politics.

      1. I suspect the divide would not be fixed by sitting in a circle.

      2. This is the theoretical situation as it stands in the constitution. You vote for an individual. The parties are outside parliament. So I don't see how you would remove them. A free (non whip) vote is sensible on really big issues but how would it work in practice? For example, there's only so much money; how do you try and manage within a budget if everyone has a free vote?

      3. Well, it only really happens at PMQs which is a waste of time anyway being just posturing. The work tends to get done with more collaboration.

      4. Agreed. The problem with the pay though is that it is difficult to explain to an increasingly jaded public why somene who earns six times their pay should earn ten times it.

      5. "imposed" - do we have any jailbird MPs?

      6. Disagree. House of Lords is a very good reviewing chamber. Yes, they are unelected. But they act as a counterbalance to the much more powerful Commons, which is elected. And many are very experienced politicians who have less of an axe to grind now they are older. Government works best when there are checks and balances on the elected government, if only to prevent a democracy becoming a tyranny.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps they they should concentrate on stopping Labours postal ballot fraud instead.

  17. Nifty

    Online Voting

    No electronic voting in the UK yet then.

    Well, you need to be a very tech savvy nation wit strong confidence in the security of your IT system to have electronic voting.

    Like India.

    1. Richard Jones 1
      Happy

      Re: Online Voting

      Or strong laws to stop machine errors and faults being reported as the case in some places. Now which tiny state was that?

      1. Vimes

        Re: Online Voting

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/30/simpsons_evoting_parody/

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Online Voting

      "No electronic voting in the UK yet then."

      We tried electronic voting in the compulsary-absent-voting trial in 2004. Noticable that it hasn't been repeated. Or that anybody remembers it.

    3. xerocred

      Re: Online Voting

      "Like India".

      I see what you did there:)

  18. Franco Silver badge

    Yeah, this is bound to work. In amongst all of the spam about PPI and claiming for the accident that you didn't have and boiler/window/kitchen scrappage, a message about voting.

    Despite being registered with TPS one of the 2 major political parties candidates called me at home the other day to encourage me to vote for them. It didn't end well for them.

    Whilst I commend efforts to get everyone to vote (as Adam Hills said on The Last Leg recently, not all politicians are as bad as each other. Some of them are worse) breaking data protection and privacy laws to do it doesn't really send the right message.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Despite being registered with TPS one of the 2 major political parties candidates called me at home the other day to encourage me to vote for them. It didn't end well for them."

      I'm pretty sure there is an exception for political parties on campaign as there is for "surveys". Apparently robo-calls are not included at all. In fact I saw a significant rise in robo-calls after registering with the TPS. They see that as a useful list of numbers for the recorded calls rather than the human ones. You'd think they'd realise that by registering with the TPS that the person really does not want to be called at all and it just pisses them off.

  19. The_Idiot

    Since I have no desire to do the job...

    1: Find candidates who really, _really_ hate the idea of running things. Sentence them to 5 years of misery in office, but offer them sentence reductions for good economic results.

    .

    or

    .

    2: Immediately on election, all politicians have a non-removeable collar put on their necks. The collar has an explosive charge in it, and a random number encoded. Everyone in the country has a clicker device with the names of elected officers on. Each name can be clicked for 'good' or 'bad' at any time as often as the voter wishes. 'Good' clicks reduce a counter in the collar. 'Bad' clicks increase it. When Counter=Random number - the explosive charge initiates a new election requirement.

    .

    and

    .

    3: Immediately on election, all assets of the elected politician are frozen and placed in the public purse. At the end of their term the amount they get back is based on how much better or worse the worst off in society have fared compared to when the politician was elected.

    .

    OK. I know. I'm an Idiot...

    1. Dave Lawton

      Re: Since I have no desire to do the job...

      I have an alternative to your No.1

      Select the MPs by something similar to the way jury service is done.

      We surely couldn't end up with anything worse than the current shower.

      Oh, and anyone who says they'd love the job is automatically disqualified.

  20. The Axe

    Healthy democracy

    A sign of a electorate happy with their life is one where many don't bother to vote as they don't see the need to get new policiticans in to change the system. The system is working and people are happy with their lives. Not necessarily with politicians but that is also why they don't vote, it won't make any difference. LibLabCon are all the same with minor differences. There is not such a difference in policies as there used to be between Lab & Con.

    We aren't living in a totalarian society where you are forced to vote, we are living in a democracy where you have the right to not care about who is running the country.

    1. dogged

      Re: Healthy democracy

      > A sign of a electorate happy with their life is one where many don't bother to vote as they don't see the need to get new policiticans in to change the system.

      No, I'd say what we're currently looking at is a society where all the choices are the same and there is no way to make a meaningful choice so people don't even dignify the process by turning up to it.

      Who can blame them?

      Do you want rain or rain?

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Healthy democracy

        ...a society where all the choices are the same and there is no way to make a meaningful choice...

        Mainstream political parties tailor their policies to attract as many voters as possible. So it's inevitable that those policies tend to converge. To put it another way, the lack of choice reflects a concensus.

        Obviously this is very annoying if your views differ from the concensus, but it doesn't mean that there exists a majority of people who are disenfranchised by lack of choice.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Healthy democracy

          @ Kubla Cant

          "Mainstream political parties tailor their policies to attract as many voters as possible. So it's inevitable that those policies tend to converge. To put it another way, the lack of choice reflects a concensus."

          I have not been convinced of this for some time. Whenever people look at policies they seem to say 'I agree with that policy but the party wont get in' or 'I would vote for that policy if it wasnt a racist party' etc. We currently have tribes of voters-

          Labour: It is the working mans party. Well it was. And my parents vote for em and told me too so I do. But they are really the tories in disguise. However they are the only option to keep out those anti-society tories.

          Tory: The party of small government and economic progress. Well it was. And my parents vote for em and told me too so I do. But now they are pink tories. However they are the only option to keep out those economic illiterates labour.

          Libs: Students, utopian believers, disgruntled, cba finding someone to agree with but certainly not voting the main 2, etc.

          Then there are those who wont vote because nobody represents them. They wont offer representation and even when someone tries they still wont vote because they dont trust the party so its all a waste of time. Now they have a champion in the form of Russell Brand, who should bring shame on people except they have already given up caring.

          The greatest fear I see in the UK is of change. No matter the discussion board or who you talk to they generally fear change. And it is easy for the main parties to insult smaller parties because only the smaller parties suggest changing something. It doesnt help when people cant tell the difference between politics moving left/right and having short memories of things that have slowly and incrementally changed. And they are bound to be shocked when it all crashes badly (as they were this time).

          The thing that seems to be in the way of a healthy democracy is education. So many financially illiterate people who cannot grasp the very basics of economy or money. People not knowing or not caring how much they take from others and not grasping the damage it causes. Political footballs and tribal insults or old values being exploited. But if we try something new it might be worse, so we stick with what we know.

  21. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Targetting young people with specific policies is a waste

    The problem with young people is that they become older, and the political process takes time.

    Take policies targeted at students. Most students of voting age are on 2 or 3 year courses, and have been since autumn last year. Any government elected in May this year will not be able to change policy this academic year, and probably will not manage it in the next either, meaning that it it would likely come in for the academic year starting September 2017. Any student in their second or third year will not be affected by any policies brought in by the next government so it is a waste of effort.

    In addition, a government making new policies on, say student loans, will not change the conditions existing students, because that may materially change the affordability of being a student, and this is recognised as being unfair.

    It's difficult getting young people to engage. My four kids (ages 19-29) are all registered to vote, but I suspect that none of them will, not because they are apathetic, but because they have not yet learned enough about life to be able to identify what will affect them in the future. And I think my kids are of at least average intelligence.

    They just do not follow what is happening in the country or the wider world, and they don't trust (probably wisely) the spoon-fed election propaganda from the politicians, as they realise that this is just a sop. I keep getting asked what my views are, and being a of a liberal (note the small L), I don't what to influence them with my thinking too much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Targetting young people with specific policies is a waste

      I agree with your comments on not knowing enough about the world (or politics) to vote at a young age, which is why I am oposed to the suggestion of 16 year olds voting. Even if you do become politically aware at 16 you do not have enough experience to make decisions at 16 - you must have some experience of how well/poorly a government has done over the last 2 years at least, surely - broken promises, things bad but imporiving, etc, so 18 is realistically the minimum. Even then, as you say, they would still not be able to relate to many of the topics at hand.

      Funnily enough, when polled (forget source), the vast majority of 18 year olds think they know enough about politics (and the world at large) to be able to make a rational decision and vote correctly. When the same people are asked 2 years later, the majority say that, with hindsight, they new nothing when they were 18, and shouldn't have been let near a ballot box.

      1. Bunbury

        Re: Targetting young people with specific policies is a waste

        @AC

        It seems reasonable to me that 18 year olds should have the vote. It seems to me if we are prepared for them to go and fight and die for us old fogies, they ought to have a say in it.

        And those currently in the 16-18 category will be 21-23 by the time the coming parliament is done so they might put forward the view that they will be affected by the parliament long into voting age. They might not have the experience at 16 to make a good decision. But if you follow the logic that you have to be capable of making a good decision to get the vote then you will quickly slip into totalitarianism where Big Brother will decide who is fit to vote.

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Targetting young people with specific policies is a waste

        I think the example of allowing 16yo's to vote in the recent Scottish Independence referendum was a cynical ploy to try to win the vote.

        It is well documented that the young tend to be naieve, idealistic, and often have a very simple view of the world. It is very common for young people to have very reactionary views which would chime with the notion of an independent Scotland.

        People are often militant when they are young, and mellow over the years to become more conservative (with a small c), regardless of their politics.

        The number of times I hear young people demanding that they are people too, and need representing. My answer to that is "Well, I've been young, and now I'm older. I know much more about how you feel, because I've been where you are, and so have my children. You're still young, and never have been old, and don't yet know what that's like, so you don't yet have a balanced view of the world."

        I know that this could be taken to absurdity so that only the oldest people in society are allowed to vote, but I feel that there is a level of experience sufficient to allow you to look both ways, and you've not got that at 16.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5-7 minutes to register to vote

    they overestimated the attention spam of them youths by a factor of... I dunno, hundredfold?

  23. Arachnoid

    Recount,,,,,,,,

    So just how do you recount a phone vote when it all goes tits up?

  24. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Boffin

    Second chamber

    should be formed from the runners up in each constituency. How about the top 200 runners up ?

    No need for a second election - or indeed any of that pesky thinking UK voters hate so much. Added advantage instant balance (as you are now no longer ignoring the 49% of the people who didn't vote for you).

    Bearing in mind the second chamber has less power than the HoC ....

  25. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Consider this one then...

    Here in Oregon in the States, it's been decreed that if you have a valid driver's license, you are a voter. Registration is now automatic. Voting is via a mail-in ballot. Is it a good idea? Hell if I know, but that's what they did this week... automatic voter registration.

    1. PapaD

      Re: Consider this one then...

      So, how do those who aren't able to have a driver's licence vote (Often individuals disabled in some way)?

      Seems an arbitrary way to decide who is allowed to vote.

      As for the various options in the UK, what I'd most like would be an MP who would poll his constituents on as many upcoming votes as possible, to get a more constant view of what they actually want, and apply that information to his voting.

  26. Old Handle
    Trollface

    Whoa

    Not having ever heard of Weve before, I first thought it said they had employed Weev. That would have been more interesting.

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