Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Vote or Vote None

One motivational trick I learnt very early on in my career is the frame constraint trick. If you have an unpleasant/boring task ahead of you, a simple mental trick is to compare it to a task that is even more unpleasant or boring. So if you're struggling to complete a report you can say to yourself: "Shall I complete this report or file my tax return" and suddenly the report seems more appealing. (Of course I would rather file a tax return because I enjoy that sort of thing, but I admit I'm not typical).

If you have kids you can use the same trick: "You can clean your room, or clean the toilets". And it works because people struggle to break out of a constraint frame. We're just not that good at lateral thought.

And so it has been with this interminably dull election campaign here in the UK. Our once in five year opportunity to answer the perennial question: "Which colour rosette is most appealing to you". This time the choice of rosette colour is much wider than it has been previously, and that is supposedly a good thing.

It used to be more often than every five years, but that intensity of rosette choice was considered too much for ordinary people to handle.

However we still have a fair amount of democracy. The problem is of course that we have Hobson's Choice. "You must choose" say the politicians. "You must choose from this list of rosettes".

Well no you don't. You have another alternative available to you if you can just break out of the deliberate framing trap and think laterally. You can say 'I reject the pallet of neo-liberal inspired disasters on offer that are all just versions of insanity'. You can say: 'I reject leaders who I wouldn't trust to run a bath never mind a country". You can say 'I reject the vision of terminal decline for the UK'.

You can vote none. I would urge everybody to read the instructions on how you can do that before making up their mind.

Please vote and be heard, but don't be constrained by the rubbish on offer.

Or we might all end up cleaning toilets.