My vote: Things you give/things you don't


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Yesterday, sitting on the train, a wobbly gentleman approached me asking for three pounds. He explained with beery breath that he hadn't had a hot meal for a couple of days and that he just wanted three quid. I happened to have several spare blocks of cheese in my bag at the time, so I offered one to him. "No, I dhan wan chees" he explained "I wan jus free quid forra hot meal." I produced the cheese and showed it to him, thinking his hunger might get the better of him when he saw how delicious it looked. He quickly assessed his chances of getting any money off me, decided they probably weren't very big and delicately picked up the cheese between a thumb and finger like I'd given him a scooped up poop and staggered off to the next carriage via the bin.

Money is better than cheese. It's better than most things. You can substitute money for a load of different things: medicine, books, plasters, chocolate, roofs, water treatment, goats, ammunition or cheese. If you want to give someone one of those things, you just have to pay up. But what about a vote? Until now there hasn't been a formal opportunity to give away your vote to someone else. But it is a commodity like any other that some are rich in and others lack. And if you're into giving stuff and you have a vote, it might be one of the bits of stuff you'd like to give.

Most of the major religions have incorporated tithing as a principle or command. Christians, Jews and Sikhs are expected to give away 10% of their income, Muslims 2.5%. These days the people who don't just ignore this suggestion normally consider it to apply only to money, but tithing existed before currency. Until quite recently, tithes would be paid in kind - a tenth of your grain or furniture or whatever it is you are producing. The universal acceptance of money has obliterated the need for that very wasteful system; now you can pay by standing order and it's all very tax deductible and such. While giving money away shares your goods, it can't share your vote.

If you have an interest in giving anything; if you give money to beggars, to charities, to your friends when they need it - if you give people directions, if you give parties, or if you give blood - think about another resource you have which other people want: your vote.

Mikey

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Comments

This is a stupid idea, why not vote to get more people the vote? instead of just sharing votes which just dilutes votes

I completely agree!! The system should be changed to give more people the franchise, but I guess this is a small start to that process...

I think its an ace idea - normally we're asked to give charity money, but at the same time keep perpetuating the system where we've got all teh political power and we're making life shit for other people. So this project highlights that imbalance

Just want to point out though - muslims have to give 2.5% of their residual wealth once a year - so that's 2.5% of your savings, property, etc, not just earnings - the idea is to penalise people who are richer, not just people who work harder - I wouldn't want anyone to think we're stingy compared to everyone else giving 10% of income :)

This has to be the most stupid bleeding heart liberal idea yet - what else do you want us to give away?

I think it's great. It's giving away but sharing something that is very important. It takes nothing away from voting, or your vote but actually including someone else is powerful. Voting maters, people matter. Great idea!!