August 08, 2006

There are Two Kinds of People


I think all of us are pretty similar-minded when it comes to what we want the end-result to be. We all want peace. We all want to end poverty. Where we differ is when we get down to deciding the best means to these results. For example, in this case, all of us want to encourage people to vote, correct. So, here is what the OTHER kind of people decided to do. Arizona decided to turn the primary into a Powerball.

7 comments:

Arcane Rest said...

how about instead of that we do it like they do in New Zealand: if you dont vote you are sent to jail for 30 days. That way there is a punishment for not doing something rather than a "reward" for doing something you should have done anyway.

Jeff said...
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Jeff said...

Arcane beat me to it.

Like New Zealand, Australia fines you (I think ~$100) if you don't show up on election day -- but you don't even have to vote if you don't want to. You can simply sign in and leave. They also have a national holiday for elections.

I think that's something we should do over here, but I've run into a lot of opposition from people when I bring the idea up. Your thoughts?

And that Arizona lottery is indeed ridiculous. I was just laughing about it the other day with a coworker. How apathetic must we be if we need the incentive of potential lottery winnings to perform a basic civic duty? Particularly one that thousands (if not millions, globally) have died for?

Sabai said...

Explain the thought behind why I would want to force people to vote?

Jeff said...

You're not forcing anyone to vote. People can simply turn up on election day, sign in and walk away. Or file an absentee ballot with your name on it, leaving everything blank. It's almost a form of a census, in this respect.

The reason I support such an idea is because, yes, it would mean more people would vote who wouldn't otherwise. But it would also raise the level of people participating in the political discussion and more people paying attention to current events. More people would care about their elected government and investigate what was going at a local/state/federal level.

Simply put, I don't think it's asking too much of people to make people spend a ridiculously small amount of time considering the greatest freedom we have in this country. I find the level of apathy in this country so disheartening and bad for democracy. And this would be a way to improve on that.

Sabai said...

Why do we think that making people vote or walk in to not-vote would raise the level of political awareness? Our democracy currently allows all people to have a say, but does not force people to have an opinion.

Steve said...

Is increased voter turnout an end in and of itself? Would you prefer to have 100% voter turnout for a congressional election if 50% of the people couldn't tell you anything about the candidate (even more likely in a primary, where you can't even differentiate by party) or only 50% of people voting, but all of them having at least done some research on the race? And, perhaps the most scary question, would the results be different?