Ease of voting not issue

The low voter turn out at the last election is regarded as cause for concern and the Electoral Commission is considering on-line voting in the hope it would help.

But is ease of voting the issue?

Lindsay Mitchell looked at the results of a survey of people who didn’t vote and put it down to political mindlessness, laziness, the inability to discern, fatalism and lack of interest.

None of those is likely to change with on-line voting.

I regard the right to vote as both a right and a privilege and do my best to exercise it intelligently although those who disagree with my views may question that.

But not everyone sees it that way and if they don’t know enough, can’t be bothered, don’t understand, think it doesn’t matter or just don’t care, would making it easier to vote make much difference?

It isn’t very difficult to vote now. The problem which needs addressing isn’t ease of voting but engagement with politics and interest in voting.

 

8 Responses to Ease of voting not issue

  1. Andrei says:

    I did vote but it was a utterly pointless exercise – both the National and Labour candidates got their place at the trough as was for ordained before I ticked my boxes given that they were given their mandate not by me but by their respective List Committees.

    And of course the same dog waggers get to implement their pernicious policies that nobody voted for and most would vote against if given the choice.

    Democracy in NZ is just a farce and we are ruled by the opinion shapers in Auckland and Wellington who are wrecking this country.

  2. I agree. There has been no shred of evidence to support online voting as a method to increase turnout. On the contrary, I was a Census Collector in 2006, the first to offer online completion. In spite of the tech savvy neighbourhood, less than 5 percent of my meshblocks used the online option.

    Politics has become separated from the people, a dangerous problem. If the body politic cannot use the pressure valve of elections, they may turn to less elegant methods of change.

  3. homepaddock says:

    Making a difference politically, Andrei requires a lot more than giving a couple of ticks every three years.

    It also takes a lot of people to act – and vote – for the greater long term good rather than in their own short-term interests. It’s the latter that begets bad policies.

  4. homepaddock says:

    Will – I agree, people aren’t engaged in politics and don’t see the relevance of it and that is dangerous.

  5. Making postal voting too easy opens you up to fraud as shown in Tower Hamlets and many other parts of the UK.

  6. homepaddock says:

    FM – good point, the easier it is to vote for yourself, the easier it could be to vote for someone else.

  7. johnsonmike says:

    I regard the right to vote as both a right and a privilege and do my best to exercise it intelligently although those who disagree with my views may question that.

    I simply believe that people should vote. Whom they vote for is not for me to criticise. The more people who vote, the more people have a proper stake in our society.

    It isn’t very difficult to vote now. The problem which needs addressing isn’t ease of voting but engagement with politics and interest in voting

    I believe that the massive dumbing down of the media and its obsession with tawdry minor scandals, beat-up crime scares and celebrity mindlessness has brought us to the state of turn-off with politics we are now at.

    However there are signs not all is lost. My teenage daughter went out of her way to vote last year (her first time) despite being an exchange student in another country and while I do not support the party she voted for (the Greens) I am very pleased at her enthusiasm for voting and politics. She even took part in the anti-asset sales protest despite her not caring much for those who were behind it.

  8. homepaddock says:

    JM – I don’t expect everyone to share my views and respect people who vote for what they believe in even if I don’t agree with them.

    If we’re free to vote we must be free to vote as we choose – and to not vote too. I think people should vote, by choice not compulsion, because they’re engaged in the process.

    I agree that the dumbing down and obsession with trivia is part of the problem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: