Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Vote early, drink coffee, vote again!

Should we be concerned about low voter turnout in Canada? In one sense yes.

Voting is a civic duty, so low turnout is an inverse measure of how civic-minded we are as a society.

But there are other factors.

1. Political parties get funding based on the number of votes cast for each party. Non-voters are saving us all money. Plus, by staying away, they help minimize lines at the polls, and reduce the incidence rates of polling-clerk burnout. Very civic-minded of them, really.

2. I'm not particularly worried about reports that young people aren't voting. I think age 25 is about right. OK, I said that to get a reaction, but 21 would not be a bad thing. Get a job. Work for a living. Stare at the tax deductions on your paystub. That sort of thing.

3. Let's not make voting mandatory, as some suggest. Instead, let's serve free Tim Hortons coffee and donuts at the polling stations; let's make each ballot scratch-and-win; and let's give out Tim Hortons coupons and draw-prizes for showing up.

4. There were credible reports of voting irregularities in this past election. I would like to think that for every person not voting, there's another out there voting twice. Maybe I'm just being optimistic. But I cannot help myself.

I am Canadian.

1 comment:

frappeur said...

I have wondered about the idea of so called "strategic voting". With the present tax funded system of financing, voting for another party than the one you really support will deprive your favourite of funding.

Maybe you could vote strategically and make a donation to your favoured party. Of course socialists don't want to donate. They want taxpayer dollars. That's why the Liberal party is now broke.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"