Crawl Across the Ocean

Monday, November 05, 2007

General Principle

I support politicians who enable more Canadians to vote - not those who prevent Canadians from voting.

9 Comments:

  • do you think any politicians have made a conscious effort to prevent people from voting?

    By Blogger KevinG, at 9:45 PM  

  • Is that a trick question? Our fearless leaders will be consciously voting to do just that any month now.

    Depressing turnout (among people not likely to vote for you) is one of the oldest tricks in the electoral books. To take the best documented recent example, google 'Karl Rove voter suppression' and you can read for days.

    Rules to prevent ex-felons from voting, rules to require photo ID, rules to allow people to 'challenge' voters, underfunded polling stations, elections scheduled during the summer vacation, rules to require a 'fixed' address in order to vote, rules preventing veiled voters from voting, rules to require proof of citizenship to vote, need I go on?

    By Blogger Declan, at 9:59 PM  

  • Have to agree with that.

    The idea that there are fraudulent voters out there just itching to "hijack" the election is insane: there would have to be hundreds of thousands of them to have any effect at all.

    Making sure the people who are on voter rolls actually exist and are definitely alive (hello, Joe Volpe!) is somewhat more important in my book.

    Though just for the record, there have been no incidents of veiled voters refusing to vote because they'd have to expose their face.

    By Blogger Thursday, at 3:00 PM  

  • What's the point of more people voting for the politician or party that they think has mislead them the least, during any specific period of time, so that politician or party can govern them by gaining the greatest minority with the promises they made, but are not required to fulfill?

    The system is so scewed up at this point Declan that the best possible thing that could happen to us is that someday (soon) they hold an election and nobody votes.

    By Anonymous stageleft, at 4:25 PM  

  • Thursday - good point about voters actually being alive. Priorities priorities.

    Stageleft - well we're at different levels of cynicism/pessimism. Certainly I know where you're coming from. Although I think that not voting rather than spoiling the ballot seems more like laziness than an act of principle. Way easier to ignore people who don't vote than those who actively express their discontent, if you ask me.

    By Blogger Declan, at 10:06 PM  

  • No, not a trick question. I haven't been paying much attention to news in general and this topic in particular. I thought you might have been talking about the accidental problem of the street address requirement for rural voters.

    I don't know the details of what a 'challenge' is or preventing ex-felons from voting but I'm not all that concerned about the rest of the list.

    Veils are a non-issue since it seems everyone who has one is happy to lift it. A fixed address is also likely going to affect nearly no one since you're not going to be on the list without one. Proof of citizenship seems like a non-issue, don't you need to show it to get on the voting list? I can't remember with certainty but I'm pretty sure I had to bring my passport or birth certificate to get on the roll when I moved back to Canada? Is you suggesting there is selective underfunding of polling stations?

    It seems like it's mostly just law-and-order style noise with no real consequence.

    By Blogger KevinG, at 6:44 AM  

  • It's the 'ole "rock and a hard place" problem.... if I spoil my ballot (as I used to do) I get lumped in with those who don't know they can't vote for everyone or are too uncoordinated to get the "X" anywhere close to the circle beside someones name, and if I don't go at all I get lumped in with those who don't give a rats, couldn't find their polling station, or got into a car accident on the way to vote.

    The system, IMO, is too flawed to bother participating in and I refuse to lend it any credibility to it until there are significant changes... things like real majorities, real accountability, the banishment of the party whip, and the party leadership being unable to over rule local riding associations, would constitute good start.

    By Anonymous stageleft, at 12:20 PM  

  • Fair enough Stageleft - I see your dilemma. Although I imagine political science types should be able to track a fairly steady percentage of spoiled ballots which occur 'naturally' and therefore an increase in spoiled ballots might be easier to separate from the noise than an increase in the non-votes.

    Kevin - true, the motivation for some of the recent cases may be race baiting or law and order schtick as opposed to a primary desire to keep people from voting and the overall impact in terms of votes prevented is fairly small (although saying that we can require people to life their veils because the people we've heard from publicly on the issue say they don't mind seems a bit dodgy to me - a bit like supporting surveillance cameras since only a criminal would be opposed to them) but these changes violate my general principle all the same.

    By Blogger Declan, at 8:58 PM  

  • General?

    I'd suggest it's a an Iron-Clad one.

    Principle I mean

    By Blogger Gazetteer, at 8:52 AM  

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