Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Voting mandatory

Betsy Newmark A British think tank has come up with a truly stupid idea, one so dumb that I expect that some liberals will soon be endorsing it here in the U.S. They propose that Britain make mandatory for people to vote and thus stop the decline in voter participation.

What is the penalty if you do not vote? Do they take you off the voter rolls?
I suspect that the Institute for Public Policy Research, which bills itself as the "UK's leading progressive think tank" and is proud of how past research they've done has formed the foundation for the Labour Party's positions on issues, is more interested in increasing voter turnout for that party than voter turnout overall. And, if the UK is anything like the U.S., lower voter turnout is more prevalent in low income and less educated folk, those who are more likely to vote for the more liberal candidate who promises them more government largesse.
I would rather have voters have to pass a test in order to vote. Perhaps ask them 5 questions that someone must answer to become a citizen, and you must answer 2 or 3 right in order to vote.
In the United States, we have so many ways that people can participate in politics other than voting. They can sign petitions, participate in demonstrations, write letters to politicians, donate money, or helping campaigns.
Or become blogers.

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