I have no idea what to do with my ballot

An election is mainly about one thing, the masses being given a voice for a short while and then their authority being delegated to mandated individuals. How people choose to use that voice varies but I have some categories:

The disinterested

Those who don’t register to vote so can’t participate and those who register but don’t utilise the option.

The principled abstainers

May or may not register to vote but consciously decide not to utilise the option.

The endorsers

People actively voting for a party or person they feel deserve to receive a mandate.

All things considered

Don’t actively endorse a party or person but select the least worst option.

The gamers

Weigh up the options and vote for someone not because they are the least worst option but because they are the least worst option with a chance of winning.

The players

Vote for a bad option to deliberately create a context that will bring challenges or difficulties.

Many people won’t cleanly fit my boxes and I am just musing but in a spirit of encouraging debate on why you vote I’ll raise my own dilemma based on the above. Of course most Slugger readers will be ‘endorsers’.

I’m clearly a former SF supporter and while reasonably distant and unable to ‘endorse’ them they are still the party in my constituency that are closest to my own thinking so they should fall into my ‘all things considered’. The local SDLP rep works harder on the ground and supports many things I value so they should also be in my ‘all things considered’ category. If the Green’s run here, and I hope they don’t as that’d demonstrate they are spreading their butter too thin again, they could be in with a ‘all things considered’ chance (if I lied I was only endorsing the eco-socalist wing).

However, neither SF or the SDLP are in with a chance of winning in my area so I could be considering UCUNF as a ‘gamer’ option. The least worst in with a shout but they’d support the Tories and cut local spending.

So does that make the DUP my gamer option?

But if I want to ensure the options presented demonstrate how the current options/system are unacceptable I could vote for the TUV as my player pick.

So I have reasons for voting for everyone but Alliance.

While I’ve previously suggested in conversation with some, that the biggest demonstration of republican confidence is not abstaining from Westminster but rejecting the entire process and not even running, I do get éirígí’s position of principled abstention.

So my vote is still up for grabs? I bet I just write something smart on the ballot and feel a bit smug with myself in the end.

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