Fallacies are things that sound logical, but turn out not to make any sense when you pick them apart. Since the UK general election is coming up in a year or so, it’s likely we’re going to see a lot of these bandied around by people who think that we can save ourselves by ticking a box. I’ll probably be too pissed off to write anything by the time it gets to the election, so I’m going to get in early and list some of the stupidest reasons people give for voting.
1. “People fought for the right to vote – so you have to do it too!”
This is the one that goes around most often. But is it logical? Not really. During the gin riots of 1743, working class people fought for our right to drink alcohol. But I don’t see anyone going around saying that getting drunk should be compulsory (well, no-one serious). At least one of the people who fought for the right to vote would agree, too. Catholic Anarchist Dorothy Day was arrested for going on a march for women’s right to vote, and even went on hunger strike, but guess what? She never voted once in her life.