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.