Monday, May 01, 2006

Low election turnout the fault of lazy voter, apparently…


…and nothing, of course, to do with our vacuous political leaders.

The UK based Institute for Public Policy Research has issued a report, on the eve of local elections in that country, calling for compulsory voting. And some of the British government support it. The BBC reports:

‘Under the institute's plan, electors would be offered a "none of the above" choice or could simply spoil their papers.

Ben Rogers, from the institute, said he believed forced voting would improve British politics…

The radical solution was backed by Northern Ireland and Wales Secretary Peter Hain and Commons Leader Geoff Hoon.

Mr. Hoon said it was "disturbing" that young people and those from deprived communities were "falling out of the habit of voting".‘

Under this great 'new' (adults in Australia and Belgium have been the subject of such tyranny for decades) 'radical' (snigger!) idea, if voters decline the invitation and stay at home instead, then they would be fined.

Yawn, zzzz….

Voting, Mr. Hoon, is not a habit, like smoking or picking your nose in public. It’s a commitment to a political party or programme. If that party, or that programme, means nothing to voters then they will simply not vote for it.

Poland has a much worse voter turnout than in Britain. In the last general election only 40% dragged themselves out to the polling booth.

But we will not revive politics by forcing people to vote. Politics will be revived when politicians start offering some inspiring ideas and when political parties regain (or in Poland’s case, gain) relevance to people’s lives.

The political class blaming voter laziness for low turnout shows them to be in a state of denial so deep that I suggest they see a doctor. Quick.

10 comments:

~JS said...

nice post...maybe the language gap plays a role here, but in my conversations with poles, 'inspiring ideas' isn't the first phrase rolling off their tongues...in fact, ideas like a greener future, more engaged citizenry, religious tolerance, etc...are met with eye rolls...they seem to be looking for something more concrete...

beatroot said...

They want a low flat tax, a Ukrainian cleaner and more shopping hours.

I suppose it's Post Ideological Fallout. The ruling elite havn't much idea how to take Poland forward bt inspiring them about what the Good Society looks like. It's all about 'restoring law and order', or keeping out the market, foreign capital, an uncertain future. It's all about negatives.

And people feel helpless.

No wonder they stay at home.

sonia said...

Beatroot,

They want a low flat tax, a Ukrainian cleaner and more shopping hours

Looks like a very reasonable ideological program to me. What are you complaining about ?

beatroot said...

The day the cleaner comes you have to get up early to clean the place up! (I know. I had one for a while, but I was sooo ashamed that she should see a complete mess in the place I did all the cleaning for her!)

sonia said...

How very English of you! A French woman would leave her sexy underwear on the floor just to make the Ukrainian lass jealous. (That's why Eastern European women say, with a sigh, "Francja elegancja"...)

beatroot said...

They also say something about 'french kissing'...which means something a little different from where I'm from!

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