With the turnout of voters in the recent election dropping to 40% and lower, it
is time for a serious discussion of how we can restore participation in the political
process at all levels of government.
We would like to suggest that people be disqualified from voting in the next election
if they cannot provide a convincing explanation of their failure to exercise their
Those who are disqualified should have to meet certain conditions to have their
eligibility restored, perhaps some instruction in Civics.
It may be that restricting a right is the only way to make people appreciate it.
Our suggestion may not be palatable to some people but this discussion needs to
be started before elections become more ludicrous than they are now.
Do the mathematics. Fifty per cent of a 40% voter turnout equals 20% and a number
of those people voted on the basis of name recognition, rumour or ill-informed opinions,
leaving a convincing figure of 15% genuine approval.
This makes a mockery of the democratic process and invites abuse. The dangers of
staying away from the polls are evident south of the border.
Thanks for the opportunity to comment on this issue.
Frank and Nancy Prothero.