06 October 2013

I voted...!

...and apparently that gives me the right to complain. And so I will complain. But I'd like to complain about the pundits who are argue that low voter turn-outs signify that the democratic system is somehow 'broken' or having a 'crisis.'
The local-body polling period is not even over, but there are predictions around that this election will see a new low in turn-outs. Maybe it will be. Wait and see. But we hear the usual excuses for not voting: there are too many candidates, no-one's inspiring enough for me, over-paid bureaucrats run everything anyway, none of them listens to me, the forms are too complicated, I'm just too lazy and stupid to work it out!
I note also that it's the left-wing commentators who complain about low turn-outs. The reason for this is obvious. Right-wingers like low turn-outs, because that works in favour of them. Conservative and elderly people are those most likely to vote. It also means that left-wing candidates have to become more centrist, or even conservative, in order to stay in the game.
And from those left-wing pundits who argue that the system must be 'broken' or in a 'crisis' I hear no hint of a practical solution to the problem - or perhaps they're hiding some neo-Stalinist ideology up their sleeves. So, my challenge to them is to propose solutions. What reforms must be done to the democratic system in order to improve participation by voters?


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