Don't drop the "price" of voting, increase its value

If we can drop the price of our product, more consumers will buy what we're selling. That's the pitch provincial Liberal leadership candidate Christy Clark made last week, proposing British Columbians be allowed to vote online instead of at the ballot box. The reason: according to her, it "could really make a difference in terms of engaging a new generation of people into our political process." But perhaps the real problem isn't the price of that product - the inconvenience of voting at a ballot box? Perhaps the real problem is the product itself - that young people don't think voting has much value?

By reducing its price, Ms. Clark might appear to solve this problem - increasing voter participation rates and, by extension, the credibility of the province's elected officials. But a better solution would be to improve the quality of the product so young people feel their vote counts - that their voice will be heard in the legislature and not drowned out by its present partisan chorus.

6 Comments

What I find sad is that young people will vote in reality shows like "Battle of the Blades" or "American Idol" but when it comes time to vote for a political leader they feel to get them to vote for real it takes a lot of glam, a lot of prod and a lot of cuddle. I mean that guy Obama fed them enough sugar per voter to cause diabetes... and you notice in a great picture Nick Simons is all sober while the punks - mostly kids, I remember the Public Eye Online reporting - are blushing & gaga over Carole James...

Some may slam Christy Clark as fluffy, cuddly and really anti-old school but she wants to be a multigenerational leader. That's the price tag.

Sean, we young guns quite frankly would prefer politicians haul butt to your studio for an hour. We'll see who has the right stuff to do it...

Let's see if I understand this correctly. We want to make it easy for the new generation to vote. So a new generation voter too lazy to get off their backside and go to a polling station to put an X on a ballot gets to vote. That will provide a better result?

Most of the time the choices are fuzzy, The language used does not tell you what they will do differently from the other choices and then when they get in they do whatever the hell they want (ie. BC Rail and HST). Do you think a little integrity might make a difference?

Say What? "slam Christy Clark as fluffy, cuddly and really anti-old school"? Not in a million years would she qualify.

Hal, I hear ya. I just don't necessarily 100% agree. So when you do respond, kinda keep that in mind.

That said, I think most politicians have a lot of integrity - but little way to explain how they change their mind and how politics works in this sound byte world. The problem is also relativity - namely connection to voters. Young people who normally don't have a mortage, a young family to care for and the like have a natural disconnect with voting.

After all, most young people don't really care about BCRail. HST, that's a different matter because it hits everybodys' pocketbook and job opportunities. Min wage, same thing. It's a matter of picking the right issues and picking the right framing => hence Clark's fluffy, cuddly campaign versus Falcon's & Abbott's old school (or variation of old school) campaigns.

Hopefully you get what I'm saying.

BC Rail, $6 million to shut down it seeing scrutiny, HST it is all part of the loss of credibility. BC Rail may not be front and center every day in the life of a voter but they are aware of it. Clark is "old school" just like the others. She's has backed up Campbell the whole time.

All of this has me wondering, as someone else did a while ago, whether you really live in B.C. Josef.

Voters in BC and Canada trust election results with paper ballots are accurate because of scrutineers and other checks and balances that are in place. Online voting is subject to hackers tampering with the results, and it's naive to think that won't happen. Also, if the NDP is in power, the Liberals might claim the NDP tampered with the software and the results, and vice versa.

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