Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is it voter obstacles or apathy?

In today's SP (Apr. 28/11) there is an opinion piece by Marjaleena Repo opining the view that low voter turnout could be attributed to changes in the voting process, that being that you must have identity documentation and proof of residence in order to vote.

Another flag she raised was reducing the writ period from a historic high of 55 days to a minimum of 36 days. She theorizes that a longer campaign period would allow the public to be better engaged in a meaningful way. From comments that I hear, many people are tired of the campaign before it starts and the litter that comes with it. I would hope that voters follow the actions of government and its opposition during the previous term served and are not simply reliant on election buzz to make a decision.

I do think it is encumbent upon voters to prove their identity, citizenship and residence prior to being given the privilege of voting. There have been too many allegations, at all levels of elections, of ballot box stuffing, voting out of area or ineligible voters casting a ballot - including candidate/leadership selection events.

Although she does flag some legitimate circumstances that have created ire with some voters, those circumstances leave me with the impression that it is poorly trained DROs and election preparation people making bad judgment calls rather than the system as a whole being flawed. Perhaps its time that we consider voter identification cards with addresses.

It boils down to with rights and privileges come responsibilities.

And as much as I wish every voter in the country cared enough to exercise their franchise, I think it is just wishful thinking on my part.


  1. Tsk tsk Mistress, you know that Candians want all the rights with no responsibilities.

  2. Voter I.D. isn't a bad idea Mistress, however the reason it won't work is the society we live in now is so mobile how would one ever keep track of where people live. I notice my wife's new Drivers license which is suppose to last 5 years has our address on it. Does this mean it is void if we move or are there added expenses associated with getting it changed. Probably not the best thought process used. My biggest concern for those voting will be the long line-ups. I visited an advanced poll and it took each person a min. of 5 minutes to vote. What should be an easy in and out became a 1/2hr pain. It will be interesting to see if these problems persist on election day. Many voters may be turned away by the clock. As to the enumeration I have to agree it would move things along at least on proving your residency in the district. As to the rest of Repo's rant all I have to say is suck it up Princess!

  3. The new identity rules were in effect for the October 2008 election. This is not new for this year!


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