Decision Canada 2006

Monday, December 05, 2005

Voting: Who cares & how to fix it

GlobalNational did an episode tonight about the extremely low voter turnout among the youth and ways to start changing it. Currently voter turnout among under 30 year olds is less than 40%.

How can we improve voter turnout for everyone. There were a few suggestions that came up on the segment including:

a) Internet Voting
b) Mandatory Voting

I think Internet voting is a great idea. We can buy almost anything online and get it delivered to us. People nowadays want to be instant, it's all about convenience. It takes far too much effort to get in a car/bus and go to the polling station when one could be watching television etc. Why not offer internet voting? Yes, we need a secure way of identifying people, why not use a little USB dongle keychain type thing, a "national electronic ID" as it were. If people didn't want the online version, they could always go to polling places.

b) Mandatory voting. Australia has mandatory voting, and it does improve voter turnout but is "forcing" someone to go to the polls going to allow them to make an educated vote. People voting based on who has the best looking signs or flashiest TV ads is not something we want. People need to be aware to vote, forcing everyone to vote may result in more ballots cast, but many people won't have a clue who to vote for!

The TV segment also did a write in comment section from their website. There was one comment from "Tony" (ok, , It was me, I pulled the name from a random list as I had already submitted one comment) that stated "This government refused to lower the voting age to 16." There was a private members bill in the last parliament which would have lowered the voting age to 16, introducing voting at an early age and hopefully getting people involved. Although it was supported by many MP's, having one of the longest seconder's lists in Canadian history, it was not supported by any party and was defeated in an informal vote.

We need to solve our voter turnout problem, how we do it is something we all need to take a look at.

( - link)


  • As one of the 40% of voters under 30 (I'm 22), I do think that more people would vote if voting online were an option. In the last election I convinced a few friends to vote who otherwise wouldn't have, and I'm working on it this time around too, but one of the comments I consistently hear is "I'd vote if I could do it online".

    I do think 16 year-olds should have the right to vote, but first there needs to be some way to make sure there's an easy way for them to do it. Remember, people who vote young are much more likely to continue voting, so any improvements that can be made now would certainly be worth it.

    By Blogger The Famous Elsabet Miracle, at 5:52 AM  

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