None Of The Above (NOTA)
(NOTE: This is not a suggestion to vote informally at any election, this is a policy to add an option to ballot papers)
The ACT Liberal Democrats endorse adding a None of the Above (NOTA) voting option to ballot papers.
While the Liberal Democrats oppose compulsory voting outright, our policy is that if people must turn up and have their name checked off – the least they ought to be able to do is go in and clearly say “No to you all”.
In terms of the difference between NOTA and an informal vote, voting NOTA is a choice. It is not a mistake or a prank or “throwing your vote away”. It is the ultimate democratic expression of how effective political campaigns are at truly engaging a voter to express their will. A NOTA vote is a purposeful protest. It cannot be washed away as a historical footnote.
A NOTA vote is a clear preference not to endorse any candidate. This helps to ensure that candidates will not be lazy. They have the obligation to convince people that they are worthy of their vote.
The inclusion of a NOTA option in our elections is the right approach because:
- It requires political parties to have rigorous policy and credible candidates who build confidence in a constituency.
- It reduces the pressures on public political funding.
- It offers the clearest expression of voter intent, without a voter needing to understand laws around vote formality.
- It is a simple change, with little to no public expenditure to achieve it.
What it does require is courage and confidence that candidates have the ability to persuade and convince a community, to earn the right and privilege to represent them.
The official page of the Liberal Democratic Party in the Australian Capital Territory. Authorised by Guy Jakeman, Florey, ACT, 2615