We all know that voting is a democratic right.
After all The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises the integral role that transparent and open elections play in ensuring the fundamental right to participatory government. So why is it that some vote but not everyone?
Research shows that most economists don’t vote because voting introduces costs such as time, effort, lost productivity etc - with no real payoff except perhaps some sense of having exercised your democratic right or played a full part in society.
If you were to ask an average non-voter and why they don’t vote. The most common answer you’ll get is “my vote really wouldn’t make a difference”. The funny thing is they are absolutely right!
The odds that your vote will actually affect the outcome of a given election are very, very, very slim.
But people who do not vote are missing a very fundamental point when they give an answer like the one above; it demonstrates they are only thinking of personal benefits not the benefits to society. Imagine half the population had the same excuse of not voting. If after the elections had taken place the winning candidate got 50% of the votes. What this means is that only 25% of the whole population actually support the candidate who is leading the country or region. Is that democracy?
If voting gives you personal satisfaction and you get utility from it then by all means it makes micro-economic sense to go out there and cast your vote.
As the local/regional and mayoral elections are in town in Britain today make sure you do what you feel is right. It’s most important not to follow the crowd.