Mandatory Voting, Trust and the Use of Politics May 3, 2021
A couple of weeks ago, while addressing a group of B.C. businessmen on an online forum, Mr o’Toole, leader of the opposition federal conservative party, was asked his opinion on electoral reform. His response…he does not see any need to change the voting system but is considering mandatory voting. A typical conservative party approach, propose a solution that has absolutely nothing to do with the problem and completely ignore the actual root of the problem.
Turn out at federal elections, basically any election, is abysmal, but forcing people to vote on threat of penalty is not the answer. That may raise the participation rate but that is of no value without conscientious, representative voting.
The problem has two key issues, our electoral system and the lack of trust in our politicians.
We must get rid of winner take all, first past the post. We must implement a form of proportional representation. I’ll do a segment on that closer to the election call.
As for trust, we need politicians that rise above politics, and work for the betterment and well-being of Canadians, the world and the environment. Not those that cower at the risk of doing something new, that rehash the same old policies with new names and callously break the promises that got them elected in the first place. Re-election, gaining or retaining power should not be the goal.
Harold Lasswell, a leading American Political Scientist says politics is “who gets what, when, how.” Sadly, for the most part Canadian Politics has a less than stellar track record. Our delineation and separation continue to escalate such that the who, when and how are the individual and corporate elite, the what is unfettered pursuit of wealth, the when is as soon as possible and how is on the backs of the workers, the racialized and the otherwise marginalized. We are not alone in this evolution. We must hold those accountable to account.
Other views are welcome.