[OT] How to vote (was Re: [oclug] Politics and Linux / Open
kmccann at bellanet.org
Thu Jun 3 15:28:11 EDT 2004
Charlie Brady wrote:
>On Thu, 3 Jun 2004, Mike Thomas wrote:
>Unmarked or spoilt; you are not voting. You have no effect on the
>election. You have wasted your time, as well as the opportunity to affect
>the election. I don't know why you bother.
>Unfortunately, the first past-the-post system in this country renders many
>votes meaningless. Agitate to get that changed.
>[I am an Australian. I'm proud of the fact that we have compulsory voting
On the other hand, compulsory voting leads to people voting without
knowing what the issues are, without having a real opinion based on real
information. Forcing people to vote would have some Canadians voting
Liberal because they like the color red, or voting NDP because the name
"Broadbent" sounds vaguely familiar. Other voters, still, will vote the
same (or opposite) as their parents or spouses , with no consideration
for who truly deserves their vote. In a compulsory-vote system, educated
(ie researched) votes are negated by arbitrary guesses. I can't say I
like that idea.
I would like to see more people turn out to vote, but I would hope they
take the time to understand where parties stand on key issues, or, from
a non-partisan view, where individual politicians stand on local issues
that effect constituents in profound ways.
For local Ottawans, it's interesting to note that local counsellor Jan
Harder, largely thought of as right-wing, supports Liberal incumbent
David Pratt. She may not like the Liberal Party, but she stands behind
what Pratt has done for the local community. But maybe his opponents
would represent the voters just as well, given the chance. That's where
you have to quiz them to find out what they plan to do and not do.
Sorry, going off-topic.
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