So before countering his views and expressing mine, I would like to get down to basics about why we have democracy and what are the founding principles behind.
Democracy - government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the peopleand exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. (via definition)
- formal expression of opinion or choice, either positive or negative, made by an individual or body of individuals.
Vote is mean and formation of government is end result. So I will not deny the fact that your vote will be indication of whom you want to come to the power but at the same time you should also consider that your decision should not be affected by the knowledge about whom others are electing. So voter is likely to have dilemma about whom to vote, Candidate or his Party or who is likely to form government or ideology that candidate is representing. Lets go one-by-one about pros and cons of each.
If you are voting for candidate because you think he is good then we have following scenarios.
1. If he is from party which you prefer then it is helping your overall vision.
2. You believe in him about the promises which he will be delivering then you are contributing positive for his win.
3. If his party comes to power there are higher chances of getting attention to his views in the implementation of any policies.
1. If his party is different than your preference then you are in opposite direction of your overall vision.
2. If his ideology(perceived by you) is drastically different than his party then it is unlikely that he will have say to any decisions taken by his party.
3. You might be voting for a person whose party is unlikely to win the elections.
If you are going to vote by party then here are the scenarios.
1. You are helping your party to win and increasing the chances of forming the government.
1. If your party candidate is not good then you are basically electing wrong person to represent you in the parliament on any issues.
2. This will encourage parties to continue the wrong doings as their other positive points are still valued by people and they are elected.
The one who is winning:
1. You will have slight satisfaction that you voted for winning candidate.
1. You not really casting your vote but the popular vote.
2. You may be in soup as the one who is winning is not the one who you are preferring and can make countries overall condition worse.
1. You stand by an ideology that person is representing and will have long term impact in positive change in overall system as per your ideology.
2. If he wins then it is likely that he represents the ideology and will stand by it whether in power or opposition to express his views.
1. Your candidate may not be winning so your vote will perceived to be 'wasted' (I do not agree that it is wasted.)
2. You might be cutting down on vote of other candidate which might help worst candidate getting elected. (Like story of two cats with cheese and monkey)
In my opinion all the above cannot be isolated separately. But remember Vote is your opinion about how the member of parliament should be. He may not have funds to do work in your constituency but his views and his acts are responsible in any decision that parliament is going to take. So it is necessary that you vote for the person who you think can best and capable to represent you and your views in parliament.
Your candidate may or may not win but your vote indicates that you believe in him and your views are matching with his and he is capable of expressing his views in spite of his overall party pressure.
If you are not voting for who is representing you then you are not really part of democracy. It is 'by some other people' for the people. If you continue to express your views through your vote then in long run we will have change in the system to have more candidates matching with people's views.
Even for that matter, voting on NOTA is helpful as it indicates that none of the candidate is matching your view. You don't vote for winning but vote for expressing yourself.