Monday, October 01, 2007

More About MMP

Reviewing my posts I realise that I have failed to address another positive of the proposed system: we will probably see higher turnout in "safe" ridings.

I would never not vote. I'd always go and at least spoil my ballot, because voting is fun. But many people do not share this nerdy passion of mine. Most people don't get the giddy excitement when the phone rings around election time that it might be a pollster asking who I'll be supporting or what issues matter to me most. They don't vote because they know their vote won't make a difference, this isn't cynicism on their part, it's an accurate assessment of our voting system. For those Conservatives who live in a comfortable NDP riding, or those NDPers who live in a safe Liberal riding, why bother going out of your way to cast a ballot when it will have no effect on the outcome? But if they knew their ballot would count for something -- as it would under MMP -- they'd probably get out to vote.

I grant you this probably isn't a huge segment of the non-voting population. Many people just aren't interested in politics at all, but this is a group we really should want to vote: the people who are well informed enough to know what's going on and that their vote really won't make a difference. The Elections Ontario ads telling us we must vote so that we can have our say simply aren't true for people in safe ridings. For their vote to count they'd have to move somewhere with a contested seat. That seems a lot to ask for a little bit of democracy.

No comments: