Sunday, 14 June 2009

Make voting compulsory

Democracy doesn't work. It doesn't even exist.

Democracy, where the government is voted for by the masses, assumes that the masses know what they're voting for. But they don't. They rely on newspapers, TV, radio and their mate down the pub to understand which party is going to put up taxes, which party is going to keep them safe, which party is going to ensure equitable prosperity for all.

And the man down the pub is usually talking out of his proverbials.

So what is the solution? Well, there are laws that force TV and radio to be impartial during an election campaign, and generally they are. But no such law exists to ensure the British newspapers and other print media are impartial... so that is the first step.

Stop the Daily Mail/Sport/Mirror/Sun/Express from making stuff up. The Times, Telegraph, Guardian and Independent probably do too... but to a far lesser extent. Anyway, they're usually preaching to the converted.

Second step? Make voting compulsory. People around the world are dying and being tortured and imprisoned because they want the right to vote. And yet lazy fools in the United Kingdom and many other so-called democracies don't vote...are too lazy to get off their proverbials and walk down to the polling station.

If voters don't like any of the options, they can always spoil their ballot paper... i.e. abstain. But then there is an official abstention of 70% of the electorate, which would say something to all parties.

As it is, in the recent European elections in the UK, there were 45 million eligible voters and only 15 million bothered to exert their democratic right.

It should be a democratic obligation. Failure to vote would be sanctioned by fines, or making them walk around for the following year wearing a big sign on their head saying 'I'm a feckin' eejit!'.

But if laziness is the issue, people can vote by post... and perhaps the authorities can enable online voting... or calling a 0845 number. If those feckin' eejits are able to exert their democratic right and vote for 'Britain has an embarrassing number of talentless extroverts' then surely the logistics can be sorted out to ensure one vote per person and they can do it from their vinyl covered reclining armchair.

Whatever the solution, there is no excuse for a country such as the UK which has always been a haven for refugees from dictatorships around the world, to suddenly have elected officials from rascist parties such as the BNP.

Better still, let's only allow people to vote in Second Life, and then start a new party where everyone is half-penguin-half-vampire? It's a more intelligent suggestion than anything the knuckle dragging BNP have come up with...

And maybe people will start paying attention to policies and not personalities or how good they look on the evening news.

... harumph, harumph and thrice harumph!