Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A case for not voting

Here's some of the best news I've heard in a while, on voter turnout in Canada:

In addition to falling overall voter participation, another significant trend is the extremely low rate of participation amongst youth voters. Approximately twenty-five percent of eligible voters aged 18 – 24 voted in the 2000 federal election. Moreover, studies have indicated that many youth who don’t vote remain uninvolved in the political system, and do not voting when they get older.

Why is this good news? Well it has got alot of people worried. Low voter turnout can undermine the legitimacy of government. If everyone ignored government, it would go away.

"What a quack." you might be saying. "Convincing everybody not to vote -- that's not very realistic."

And yes, you'd be absolutely right. But you know what else isn't very realistic? Affecting the outcome of an election by voting. So that's how I'm choosing to exercise my vote this election - by not voting. You may think it's a waste of a vote; but its no more of a waste than yours.

Heck, even George Carlin Doesn't vote

And, back to the good news, not voting sends a very powerful message. It's gets people talking about electoral reform.

Some experts place much of the low voter turnout blame on Canada’s electoral system. Canada has a single member plurality system, commonly called First Past the Post (FPTP). In a FPTP system, a single individual represents a specific district. Instead of obtaining a majority of votes, the winner only needs to receive more votes than any other candidate.

Electoral reform. Isn't this what Canada really needs? The green party has support of somewhere between 5 and 10% of the Canadian public, yet they aren't even allowed into the debate. (Note: this is not an endorsement of the Green Party)

So that's how i'm casting my vote. For true, representational democracy.

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