Comment 72382

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted December 19, 2011 at 11:30:51 in reply to Comment 72381

This, in turn, suggests that election results based on voluntary voting alone are not actually representative of what citizens want and that compulsory voting would produce more representative electoral results.

God, you're such a programmer, Ryan.


(My apologies up-front if what I'm going to say smacks of an ad hominem attack in any way, shape or form.)

I wonder how you'd have done during the 60s, Ryan. And I'm not being glib, I'm wondering aloud how your 'systems-based, problem-solving' mechanisms would have transferred to that era, especially were you living in the States, what with civil rights unrest, what with anti-war protests, what with an entire culture at odds with itself. My bet is 'Not well.'

Now, you and I have had these discussions about civic engagement in the past. (Once again, for those unfamiliar with the story, Ryan was a seminal influence in me forming Town Halls Hamilton.) And I think that we can, at the very least, sum up my approach as 'a lifestyle' proposition. A 'mindset paradigm shift'. Whereas you seem to apply your energies to projects and specific situations. (I'm actually quite loath to describe your approach, because I'm not so interested in exploring what you're attached to as I am in trying to further do so with mine. Self-referential via Virgo-rising? Moi...?) Was it not you who declared that the best conditions within which to try to get people 'mobilized' was those where you had an issue to 'push against'? In other words, a specific problem to fight the fight over?

For the sake of argument, let's take a look at both strategies of increasing voter turnout. Mine involves finding ways to get people to naturally and organically care more about their streets, their neighbourhoods, their communities, their the process seeing them more engaged, participating in their governance process...and eventually, because they're more invested in things, voting with a more informed set of referenced, having developed a 'qualified opinion' about the candidates. This doesn't require any further input by 'anyone in power', by any bureaucracy, by any City Staff. Nor does it require any further 'funding' or costs by government.

Yours involves an initiative for the provincial government to pass a bill requiring mandatory voting at the municipal level. Which would require some substantive discussion, some protracted research, and whatever's attached to changing the status quo in a legislative way. Including the not-inconsequential cost.

So; which approach do you think that people would be more willing to consider?

Do you want more government messing around in how each of us should and shouldn't be living our lives? Do you want to be paying for this increased 'involvement'?

I know I don't.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-12-19 11:31:52

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