June 01, 2004

Postal Ballots Not The Answer

Why do politicians always look for reasons for low turnout that don't focus on the real problem - the politicians themselves?

Voters are apathetic with politics and the way politicians conduct themselves. Years of perceived sleaze, lies and disappointment has lead many people to not bother voting at all. There's another problem - there appears to be little of fundamental difference between the parties. The Labour party, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are not ideologically miles apart.

The one-size-fits-all solution that the government has settled on is the postal vote. If they can make it easier for the voter, then maybe the turnout will be higher. This is not the answer. Apart from the democratic mess that will result from Royal Mail losing or delaying some votes - an inevitability - it doesn't address the core issues.

If we want to make it easy to vote - there's one answer. "I'm a Politician ... Get Me in There". We can all vote via phone, text, interactive. Nice an easy. Ridiculous? Of course it is.

The real solution is for politicians to start addressing the real needs of the people. If they stop lying, stop using the post for for their own goals and truly start to represent us - we will vote! In the meantime people like Paul face the choice of voting for a party that doesn't represent them or not voting at all. A no-vote is a vote for apathy, a vote to allow anyone (including the extremist parties) to represent them. It's no solution at all.