The following is a reproduction of a tweet-storm I put up in October of 2017. I have edited it slightly to correct 1 typo, and to improve the flow.

The phrase "voting with your conscience" is bullshit at the most basic level.

It's intended to highlight how brave someone is by voting against a popular position due to some deep-seated moral concern with the consequences. It is particularly "heroic" when it's obvious that the vote will pass.

Thing is, those who use the term do so to justify voting according to an instruction from some self-appointed authority who has no legal basis.

"Voting with your conscience" sounds like a decision made after some deep, critical thinking, when it's almost always the direct opposite: it's voting with someone else's conscience.

"Voting with conscience" justifies discrimination against women, the poor, the disabled, children, foreigners – particularly people of colour, and other minorities.

"Voting with conscience" seeks to interfere with the private lives and personal relationships of people who seek little more than to live and love like everyone else.

Unless your conscience tells you that we need to improve society to help those worse off than us; unless your conscience wants you to break the privileged authoritarianism of rich, white men; unless your conscience recognises that those who claim moral authority are sitting on a house of cards of their own making, you're more than likely voting without conscience.

We're all supposed to vote with our conscience, though. That's what democracy's about. Isn't it?