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NOTA vote for Maharashtra

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Ding dong!” Since returning from Jakarta, the doorbell kept ringing with the latest candidate soliciting votes.

All were taken aback to discover a firangi (foreigner) in their midst… and therefore obviously someone who cannot vote.

While I was off in Indonesia, Maharashtra’s chief minister stepped down triggering elections.

And there wasn’t much of a choice:

  • Guaranteed graft and its centre left offshoot
  • Maharashtrian over ‘migrants’ (read anyone but a Marathi Hindus), far-right fascists and its offshoot “sons of the soil”
  • Hindu chauvinists, right-wing conservatives

You have to wonder when 1/3 of the candidates standing for election face serious criminal charges!

My partner introduced me to a new concept – NOTA vote. Which means “none of the above”…. essentially a protest vote.

If the majority do NOTA votes, a new vote is required and none of the original candidates can stand again. A way to say “I’m fed up and all of you are rubbish!”

Hmm… interesting… I wonder if I would have done that if I could have voted… And would it have made a difference?

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14 Comments

  1. I love it!!! We need that here in Spain. Desperately.

    • Haha! I keep thinking about Hong Kong and the ‘umbrella’ movement to have choice over candidates… wouldn’t it be nice if India could at least keep away the criminals?! It becomes a scenario where one sees the choice as – blatantly corrupt with a dash of murder, moderately corrupt with a few rapes, mildly corrupt but involved in major fraud…. a sick joke on ‘vote for the least criminal’…

  2. TheLastWord says:

    Is there such a thing as an honest politician? If you look at the business world, the word “politics” now means manipulation, scheming, connivance and deceit.

    I like the concept of the NOTA – “ok chaps, try again and this time put up someone who isn’t a criminal or a moron”.

    I do fear it is a utopia I will not see. In the neighbouring city of Toronto, we have the Ford brothers. Rob and Doug, eh.. ’nuff said.

    Though now that Rob has cancer we are not supposed to make fun of him.

    • Love how you immediately interpreted the concept!

      As for Canadian politics? Sigh… And people wonder why I no longer live in Canada??

      I must say from a distance I get rather embarrassed by the shift there.

      And the Ford bros? Sheesh?! Seems like a cartoon farce not reality!

      • TheLastWord says:

        I think I may have invented it, like 20 years ago. But then I’ve invented so many things, I can’t keep track. 🙂

        I lived in India for 37 years, never voted once, mostly because NOTA did not exist then. I did think of going once and stamping ALL the boxes thus nullifying my vote, but it didn’t have the NOTA ring to it.

        The Fords are embarrassing, no 2 ways about it.

        • Haha! So does that mean can blame your non-participation for past political misdemeanours?

          These days it is all electronic… so only way to deliberately ‘spoil’ your ballot is to press the NOTA button. Apparently if you do that, there is an extra loooooong beep with knowing smirks as you exit as though there is a special sound code for such votes! Hmm….

          Fords shenanigans are significant enough we even get wind of it in India from time to time. Sigh…

          • TheLastWord says:

            Oh, so everyone knows you’re a NOTA voter? Hmm – as a techie (oh ok, ex-techie! ) that does not sound right… no pun intended, I think!

            I wonder, do they have a confirmation dialog? “You have selected xxxxx, if this correct press the green button else press the red button to try your luck again. Line up any three fruits and win big…”

  3. expatlingo says:

    Curious to know if there has been an election with a majority NOTA vote?

  4. Sarah M says:

    Yes there’s a lot of people advocating not voting in UK as a protest against candidates you can’t tell apart. Except I rather fear that if we do that the only people left voting will be the extremists.

  5. gkm2011 says:

    Voting is an interesting concept that can be interpreted many different ways. It’s interesting to think how relatively “new” democracy for all is – even if you look back to the ancient Greeks – not everyone had a vote – only the free men. I wonder how this period will be looked at in high school textbooks 500 years from now. Was it the start of something great and equal or was it a pleasant little experiment that ultimately failed? Who knows?

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