Sunday, December 9, 2007

Prizes for voting - Nooooooooo - ooooooooooooo!

Come off it. Do stop it. They are taking the Michael.

Giving people the chance to win a fortune in a lottery, if they vote. That's one of the ideas from a commission chaired by Dame Jane Roberts.

For the sake of that is sacred, can this idea please be thrown in a lake?

What on earth would the suffragettes think of this? People have given their lives to win the right to vote. The idea of giving prizes for voting is an insult to their memories.

We vote out of duty, not out of greed! It is a right, not something to be subject to inducements!

If someone votes only because they think they might win a prize, then their vote is not worth a "flying bat's fart" (Nick Clegg's phrase).

Of course, make voting more convenient, educate children in citizenship and try to make candidates more representative of the populace. But you reach a point where you either make voting compulsory (my preference - well done you Aussies) or you simply accept that there are times when some people do not feel moved to vote.

If there is a public meeting about something uncontroversial, you will get about two people turning up. If there is a proposal to do something controversial, then the meeting will be packed out. It's the same with voting, if there really is something crucial going on, like the dawn of a new era in South Africa, then they'll be queuing round the block.

But if the choice is Mr Grey and Mr Greyer, or Dumb and Dumber, then don't expect a rush.

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