Why I Don't Vote
June 10, 2014 By Robert Gwiazdowski
In the face of the dogged propaganda that aims to secure a high turnout at the European Parliament elections, I want to repeat what I wrote many years ago about why I never go to the ballot box. I try to keep the act of voting separate from making an actual choice. Given the current political situation and the rules governing elections, the most obvious choice is the one between going and not going to a polling station.
The very act of voting is not that important. In the communist era, I did not turn out to vote for Front of National Unity candidates running on tickets compiled by the Central Committee of the Polish United People’s Party (PZPR) and I am not going to vote for tickets compiled by the central committees of present-day parties. Even if I wanted to put an “x” next to the name of somebody I trust, then I would, unfortunately, at the same time be supporting someone else from the top of the party’s ticket—something I feel absolutely no inclination to do. And there’s more: my vote would grant a mandate to the party leaders to go on doing what they are already doing. After all, I’m voting for them, aren’t I?...
Given that elections are supposed to be "proportional", the rule that a party must score at least five percent to get any deputies elected at all should be abolished. Then voters could at least hope that their votes will not be wasted. But so long as things stay as they are, you won't see me at a polling station. As long as there are no single-seat constituencies, please don’t bother telling me that I should cast my vote.
I have always been lambasted over this, but as of last autumn, I'm not the only one being criticized. A huge number of leading figures in politics, business, mass-media, popular culture and other moral authorities have backed me up.
Seeing how all of them were free to go picking mushrooms Oct. 13, 2013, when a referendum was held in Warsaw on whether or not the city's mayor should stay in office, then why shouldn’t I spend my time enjoying a barbecue May 25, 2014, when elections to the European Parliament were held in Poland?
There's no point in emotionally blackmailing me that this kind of attitude will result in parties for which I would never even consider voting winning more parliamentary seats. This premise is based on the assumption that there are any other parties that I would consider voting for in the first place.