Talk:Abstention

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translation white vote (vote blanc) to blank ballot[edit]

a "vote blanc" is not a white vote which could understood as a racial vote. a "Vote Blanc" in France and belgium is a white paper whithout any name or political party on it. Which is closer to blank ballot. The meaning of it is complicated tho, in Thailand , during the legislative elections, the citizen had tagged the line "I vote for no candidate". This was understood as blank ballots.

Definition does not cover all aspects[edit]

"An abstention may be used to indicate the voting individual's ambivalence about the measure, or mild disapproval that does not rise to the level of active opposition."

I feel like a third case is not covered here: Mild approval that does not rise to the level of full support. Or does "abstention" only cover mild disapproval?

It can definitely apply to both, though it is probably more common to disagree with the motion or legislation and abstain rather than vote it down. People may abstain for a whole host of reasons - perhaps they agree (or disagree) with the policy but their position differs from what their political party or constituents want. Perhaps they participated in drafting the legislation so they don't want to give it a full "no" vote. Often it is less of a reflection of ambivalence and more about relieving the voter of political liability later on. Chursaner (talk) 17:07, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Bad calculations removed[edit]

Several errors were made in the calculations and numbers I removed. Specifically, removing the "white votes" from the totals of both Chirac and Le Pen as was done is faulty. Here are the correct percentages, with source totals from the official government source at [1]

Inscrits 41 192 272
Abstention 8 359 440 20.29% of Inscrits
Votants 32 832 832 79.71% of Inscrits
Exprimés 31 062 928 75.41% of Inscrits
94.61% of Votants
"Blancs" 1 769 904 4.30% of Inscrits
5.39% of Votants
Chirac 25 537 894 62.00% of Inscrits
77.78% of Votants
82.21% of Exprimés
Le Pen 5 525 034 13.41% of Inscrits
16.83% of Votants
17.79% of Exprimés

As you can see, these numbers don't match those I removed from the article. For example, Chirac had votes in his favour from 62.00% of electors, not 61.23, and Le Pen had the support of 13.41% of the electors, not 9.98%. 198.96.36.131 (talk) 07:17, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Relevance of French example questioned[edit]

I'm not sure why the 2002 French elections are a good example of abstention. In the first round of voting there was 71% turnout and then in the second round 79%. How can this be abstention if turnout is higher? I understand there was a lot of protest about the choices in the second round. Can someone explain this to me? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iacchus (talkcontribs) 19:13, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I think the example was included because of the campaign of the left to create "white ballots" (i.e. blank or spoilt ballots). Over 5% of the ballots were spoilt, which is certainly high. Sunray (talk) 07:38, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

I think the article would be better off with a more straight-forward example of abstentions. The example listed here also lacks citations (although it is hooked up to a main article) - would it be alright if I changed the entire example? I'd like to just show an official voting procedure that includes abstentions such as the US senate's --> http://rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=RuleXII Chursaner (talk) 19:17, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Yeah after looking at this for a while and playing around with some other examples, I just took that section out. I think it's unnecessary and a bit confusing. Here is what was previously there if anyone wants to add it back in:

An example: the 2002 French presidential election[edit]

During the second round of the 2002 French presidential election, French citizens could vote for either Jacques Chirac (leader of the right-wing UMP) or Jean-Marie Le Pen (leader of the far-right National Front). The left-wing, usually represented by the three main parties Socialist Party, Communist Party and Greens, were beaten in the first turn by Chirac and Le Pen.

Citizens had four options:

  • vote for Chirac, as Chirac's party and most of the left-wing parties called for. This is what 82.21% of the people who voted a legitimate vote did, not counting abstention nor White votes;
  • vote for Le Pen, as his followers called for or as some rare advocates of the politique du pire ("politics of the worst") called for, hoping this would lead to a serious political crisis (17.79% of the people who voted a legitimate vote chose Le Pen);
  • abstain from voting, which 20.29% of the people did;
  • cast a blank vote by deliberately spoiling or refrain from marking the ballot, found in 5.39% of the ballots.

Thus, during the two turns of the election, some left-wing radicals had called for a massive abstention and/or a massive white votes: instead of giving 82.21% to Chirac against 17.79% to Le Pen at the second turn, they would have rather counted a mass of left-wing "white votes" which would have put into question the democratic legitimacy of the election. Under French law, nothing would have happened since abstentions and blank votes do not count—Chirac wasn't elected with 82.21% support from the French population but with 82.21% support from the people who went to vote and didn't cast a "white" vote.

Chursaner (talk) 21:23, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Active abstention.[edit]

Whilst listening to an edition of Today in Parliament the idea of "active abstention" was talked about. This is the fact that members of parliament here in the UK when voting on legislation can vote both "yes" and "no" at the same time, therefore making it as if they had not voted at all. Is there some way of including this into the article? Or maybe there's another name for it I'm not aware of that's already around? JoshuaJohnLee talk softly, please 14:48, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Merger with Anti-voting and Non-voting[edit]

All three of these articles are about the same subject: not voting. As such, I recommend that Anti-voting and Non-voting be merged here. Neelix (talk) 21:03, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

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External links modified[edit]

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