Enfranchisement., Fair Political System., General Elections, Manifesto's, Online voting., PR system.
We are all too busy living our lives. Its time to wake up.
In my last post I endeavor to height-light just how complacent we are all becoming to the effects of Technologically advancement. ( The Internet is dissolving National Borders. Are we heading towards Electronic Governance)
It’s the 21st century! Why aren’t we voting online yet?
After all, we trust billions of financial transactions to the Internet every day: Why can’t we use technology to do something simple like vote?
What if voting were extended to mobile phones?
Shifting to online voting would lower the costs of conducting elections by reducing the need for polling places, staff, and equipment. Just as it’s less expensive for Amazon to take an order via the Web, states could lower their costs conducting elections online.
Few would argue requiring citizens to show up in person at schools, churches, Mayor halls and other locations to cast votes is a perfect system.
In this technological, gadget-crazy world, where everyone is addicted to their Smartphone or their iPad or their laptop – or all three – it is hard to believe that voters are still having their say by placing a simple paper slip in an envelope through a slit in a cardboard box.
Estonia has offered online voting since 2007, with roughly a quarter of its population of 1.3 million voting online — although, it should be noted, Estonia also has a national smart-card ID card system.
The problem is even if we have all the software and connectivity necessary to operate widespread electronic voting, implementing it will probably involve at least as much politicking as technology.
So we are left with the problem of enfranchisement, empowering democracy by enabling more eligible voters to cast ballots – especially the Youth.
Instead of producing the leaders of tomorrow, the voting system is producing a bunch of sheep that are trained to take orders and that are pretty good at taking multiple choice tests.
On the other hand our early education systems are too focused on educating for the work market place. It absolutely amazes me that these days how students can get all the way through school without ever learning how to read, write or speak at a functional level. They do not know how to form a sentence. They cannot write an intelligible paragraph but they can vote.
And we wonder why Young people today do not feel they have much of a stake in society.
What is more depressing is simply that in many places, young people do not feel that there is anyone worth voting for.
Well the freedom of speech lie at the tips of our fingers.
We know, from the hash tags that flood our screens, that there are other ways to get things done..if we don’t start now, in 20 years’ time there’ll be a huge swathe of 40-something year-olds with no idea how to interact with the electoral system.
With two major General Elections coming up this year – Spain, England, there is never a better time for the Young to get involved.
Young people have borne the brunt of austerity because politicians knew they could get away with it, that there would be no repercussions come election day. The less the young vote, the more politicians will feel they can ignore them without risk of being punished at the ballot box.
We are just seeing the Results of the Greek Election.
We the people simply must recapture a sense of power, ideology, and imagination in our politics. Only with a massive turn out by Young educated voters can this be achieve.
The question is? How do we achieve a fair Political system.
Here are some suggestions (in no particular order) that could transform how current day Politics are conducted.
1) Remove money:
Reduce the number of seats in Parliament. Make the monetary reward sufficiently for those elected to fulfill they elected duties and term. Make it a legal offence with large finds against lobbied for favors, commercially or otherwise, applicable to both sides.
Another words Money is power; take money out of the electoral system, and you take away the corporations’ power and corruption.
2) Introduce. Internet vote, same-day voter registration, and an Election Day Bank holiday.
The most practical way to validate people for online voting may be to send them one-time V PIN numbers via postal mail. The Pin opens My Vote app with the list of Candidates relevant to their post code. The Pin self destruct on voting. This would make it impossible to hack.
3) Apathy and inconvenience need to be conquered.
The prolonged period of abnormally low-interest rates, combined with quantitative easing, has inflated the value of assets, which are concentrated in the hands of the more advanced in years. Sadly, cynicism breeds cynicism. If people think it is more “normal” not to vote than it actually is. If elected officials acted more on “bread and butter” economic issues, most people of all ages would consider their votes much more meaningful.
4) The point of a manifesto is to offer a bold and alternate vision for the future, for a party to declare what it is fighting for, what it thinks the country needs, regardless of how many votes it will win. The issues in Manifesto presented by parties need to be more relevant to daily life-rather than visions of pie-in-the-sky utopianism.
We on the other hand need to re imagine the point of policies and manifesto’s. Policies aren’t there to win votes.
5) Enriching and utilising social media and e-petitions instead of belittling them as the work of ‘keyboard warriors’. Everyone says social media should be part of the solution and all the parties are trying to exploit it, but little of their effort is imaginative.
6) The current system of winner-take-all elections is out of date.
It is raising the threat of ever decreasing turnouts at elections and governments with less and less claim to have a proper mandate from the people.
Through the implementation of a PR system, the voice of more voters can be heard-and a more representative government created.
The lower threshold of votes needed to elect a candidate under PR will allow smaller groups to elect representative officials more in tune with their political philosophy without the having to constitute the majority of the voting body.
By providing a greater number of people voting incentives, paired with the increased likelihood that third-party candidates can be voted in, PR insures a more representative government that will better serve the people.
Furthermore, PR will eliminate much of the opportunity to predetermine elections through the mastery of gerrymandering, again allowing for a more accurately representative government.
The system of Proportional representation, allows for the evolution by creating a governing body that will change with the electorate, rather than one that continually alienates voters by ignoring their demands.
By implementing proportional representation we will be moving towards actually making every vote count and every perspective heard.
Proportional representation, if used in conjunction with programs to increase voter awareness and voting ease, will ensure a more politically involved youth and a more democratic democracy. This also translates into the vote of each person carrying a greater weight, thus giving that person more of an incentive to become involved in the political process. Then representative democracy could really have a chance to work again.
But the adoption of PR alone is not enough.
7) It has to be paired with the implementation of Internet voting that will engage the Youth vote. If people were allowed to vote over the Internet, many that did not vote previously would do so due to the ease with which it could be done.
If we don’t address this deficit in our democracy, it will become everyone’s problem at every election.
8) We must change the dream from the success of the individual to the success of the group.
9) The ideological platform of various parties should be introduced to student in schools so that when they come of voting age they have the background to vote for the parties that will best represent their interests. The better-informed youth are about the facts of issues, the more informed a decision they could make during elections. Better educated about the political process and the issues that they will face as voters.
10) We are often told that every vote counts but unfortunately in today’s system this is false, and a great deal of our votes count for nothing at all.
11) Reform the electoral registration system to bring it into the 21st century.
Young people should be automatically registered when they reach voting age. Online voter registration and automatic registration for young people as soon as they turn 16. The reason the young don’t get on the electoral register is that they move about more and are harder to capture on party databases.
12) Introduce a British version of the Skimm, a daily chatty breakdown of the main news stories of the day, sent straight to their inbox. This would shatter the illusion of impenetrability that lots of young Brits assume goes hand-in-hand with politics. The less politics has to offer to the young, the less they are likely to vote. Youth tend to get most excited about issues rather than politicians.
I don’t see a great future for Britain if it turns into a gerontocracy in which the political classes privilege the interests of the old over investing in the young. British Politics is becoming little more than a brawl for the middle ground, devoid of ideology or passion. The only way to reverse this is through the adoption of a system of proportional representation. Thus, an alternative electoral system should be seriously considered.
By failing to get the young to the polling stations in May it could be said that we are raising the stupidest generation in English History.
The “illusion” of political democracy is under attack. We need to wake up. If you don’t believe me read my next post. THE – PACIFIC-PARTNERSHIP- AGREEMENT.
There you have it. Even though you can’t do it from your smart phone or computer, please do vote.
As this is my 200 Posting I expect those that read this post either to comment or pass it on, I don’t want your like vote.