Storyline: The slogan "No candidate deserves my vote!" can now appear on any ballot paper. This will allow disillusioned voters to "abstain from voting in a positive way" that sends a powerful and informative message to politicians and the main parties.

Bob Goodall, leader of Britains newest party says "I'm not convinced that people fail to vote because of reasons like bad weather. Up to now disillusioned voters have been safely ignored by politicians. This changes today! No candidate deserves my vote! is intended to encourage politicians to be more truthful and to take the electorate more seriously".

Notes to the Editor:
1) Bob Goodall has been an activist in local politics for many years. He was the campaign worker for the 1997 general election tactical voting campaign "Get Rid Of Them" (GROT) headed by Bruce Kent. Currently he is the co-ordinator of the pro-mutual campaign group "Save Our Building Societies" (SOBS).
Photographs of Bob Goodall to illustrate a story can be obtained from the Press Association.

2) Voters wishing to know more about "No candidate deserves my vote!" or indeed wishing to represent the party can telephone Bob Goodall on 01727 847 370 (24hrs), e-mail him on or write to him at 8 Belmont Court, Belmont Hill, St Albans AL1 1RB Herts.

3) The partys registration can be seen on the Governments website

4) Bob Goodall is very keen to find candidates to stand in his home town, St Albans for the next local elections. He is hoping that the influence of "No Candidate deserves my vote!" will ripple out from a St Albans power base, spreading out eventually to the whole country. As if a stone was thrown into a pond. In this case the "pond" is the electoral system and the "stone" is the positive abstention party "No candidate deserves my vote!".

Soundbites/further comment

A) "Tactical voting was the key issue at the last election. Positive abstention may be a deciding factor at the next, much to the chagrin of the political class."

"Like many I'm sick and tired of politicians who do/will not keep their promises. They will say anything and everything to get elected and then arrogantly fail to deliver. Democracy goes out the window. And once an MP, sliding up the greasy pole takes precedence over any remaining principles.

"Take the issue of mutuality for example, an issue close to my heart. As a backbencher the Economic Secretary Melanie Johnson was a member of the pro-mutual All-Party Building Societies group. But once a minister cynically refused to take measures to protect the mutual movement from carpetbaggers.
How can we trust politicians like that?/Do such politicians really deserve our vote?"

"Unfortunately often in elections voters realise that every candidate on offer is cast in the same mould and do not in truth deserve their support. Up to now the only option has been to stay at home or spoil the ballot paper which the politicians spin away as been down to bad weather or "voter-apathy" ie the voter is to blame rather than the politicians who are discrediting the democratic process by their insincerity."

This campaign is designed to curb "carpetbagging" politicians (in the original sense of the word)by giving voters the chance not to vote for any
of them if "No candidate deserves my vote!/ they do not measure up."

B)The following description of NO CANDIDATE DESERVES MY VOTE ! was accepted by the Registrar of Political Parties.

The purpose of this party is to encourage people to use their vote (but if they wish) to express their disapproval of the candidates on offer, by "positively abstaining." Rather than to do this by not voting which does not send out a clear enough message to politicians . Low voter turnout can also undermine the political process.

1) This new party is intended to help boost turnout.

2) To "Gee up!" the candidates to try harder. So there is not merely a situation (which frequently exists) whereby mainstream politicians/parties can rely on a 'turn' at power . ie "buggins turn".

3) It will strengthen the democratic process by taking away the excuse of voters that they do not wish to vote for any of the candidates on offer as a reason for not taking the trouble of visiting the polling station. They will now be able to express their view (in a quantifiable way) that the candidates are 'not up to scratch.'/must do better -instead of the only other way of doing this that exists a present if you wish to attend the polling station - that of spoiling your ballot papers which achieves nothing. Most people anyway are not inclined to do this, to make the effort of visiting the polling station -just to spoil their ballot paper as a way of registering their disillusionment. And, If they did large numbers of spoiled ballot papers could always be spun' /explained way by politicians of all parties to suit their own interests.

4) NO CANDIDATE DESERVES MY VOTE ! will represent those disillusioned with the political process (currently virtually disenfranchised) and significant support for this party will put pressure on all politicians to do better. It will have a positive effect, and be a fillip to complacent politics and politicians where they exist.

5) Politicians often make the excuse for poor turnout on poor weather etc. Not facing up to, or taking responsibility for disillusionment with Government and all parties. To date low turnouts due to poor weather etc have been a convenient 'let-out' for the politicians. Now, if enough voters are dissatisfied they can abstain positively and even in exceptional circumstances elect a party candidate whose primary role will be to remind all politicians that they must try harder. The voice of these 'missing voters' can now be heard -and very loudly.

6) If voting is ever made compulsory then 'NO CANDIDATE DESERVES MY VOTE!' will become even more important as it will prevent any Government or politician engineering 'false' mandates for themselves which in reality do not exist, and does not reflect the true view of the electorate. Because a large turnout will always be forced to vote for one of the existing parties. In fact without this new party for voters to cast
their vote for, the view of the electorate could be seriously distorted or even misrepresented. Politicians could claim voters are content with the status quo when they were not.

7) Low votes for "NO CANDIDATE DESERVES MY VOTE!" could be helpful for the democratic process by showing (and encouraging) politicians (again in a quantifiable way) that they are on the right lines and that people are satisfied with one of the candidates on offer. And if people did abstain in large numbers from voting then perhaps it would indicate that there was another reason other than voter apathy or disillusionment-ie perhaps the weather. (And then knowing that there was some obstacle to voting politicians could seek to remedy it ie with postal votes for those in particular rural areas without transport, or for pensioners etc.)


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