Tuesday, 28 December 2010

We need to change the voting system

Almost everyone is entitled to vote. There are a few exceptions and one that I discussed recently is whether prisoners should be allowed to vote. if you divide the number of those who vote by the number who are allowed to vote and then multiply by 100 you get the voter turnout percentage. This figure improved a litte at the general election this year. It improved to 65% but generally the voter turnout has been declining in the last few decades.

One reason for this is that our votes don't usually matter. I have never known an election won by one vote. There will be many other reasons why people don't vote. Some may genuinely forget that they have to go down to the polling station. Others may genuinely not want any of the candidates to get elected. Some will cast their vote by spoiling it. "None of the above" may be their first choice. whatever the reason, the lower turnout damages the legitimacy of the government and is a sign that politicians are failing to connect with the electorate. If this failure to connect gets worse we may have riots in the streets and bishops calling for legitimate protests. Oh we already have.

Change the world

1 comment:

  1. I saw some information today (5th Jan 2011) that said "Last year's general election result was determined by less than 2% of voters, according to a think tank report which today denounced first-past-the-post voting as a "broken system" for choosing Westminster MPs". It's nice to have figures to back up blogs.