Comment 72532

By Plus Ca Change (anonymous) | Posted December 25, 2011 at 16:18:34

Compulsory voting may engage the participation of the most disadvantaged voters, but since those are largely concentrated in certain key geographical areas, and since those populations, while sizeable, are not overwhelming (20% per capita), it's far from clear what outcome would result, however equitable.

Given the distribution of population between urban and suburban settings, it doesn't seem far-fetched to imagine that mandatory voting in Hamilton would favour the viewpoint of populations outside of an urban environment, in the same way that a referendum on rapid transit would have a real likelihood of torpedoing the entire initiative. Rather than pandering to certain voter demographics, politicians might now simply play to the middle of the road in the hopes of capturing the greatest number of votes.

Alternatively, if a ticket had two strong MOR voices, an unlikely outlier might have a better chance of tipping the scales. Imagine a field of 15 mayoral candidates, for example, with two high-profile name candidates, and a third candidate with high visibility, far less political experience, but a canny sense of how to play hot-button issues like a pinball machine could wind up mayor. Stranger things have happened,

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