Monday, August 12, 2019

Another brilliant idea

Stuff reports today that Patrick Barrett, a senior lecturer in public policy and political science at Waikato University, is concerned that not enough young people vote in local government elections.

Fine. I agree that if only 33 per cent of eligible voters in Hamilton cast votes, as happened in 2016, a lot of people are missing out on an important opportunity to exercise their democratic right. Perhaps more to the point, low voter turnout can skew the result and lead to the election of a council that’s not truly representative of the community.

So what’s Barrett’s solution? He’s urging that the voting age be lowered from 18 to 16.

Brilliant. I wonder what makes him think 16-18 year-olds are any more likely to vote than all the millennials who don’t bother. I mean, really.


Vaughan said...

It may go against custom to follow Australia, but in this case why not make voting compulsory as is the case over the ditch.

That way people take responsibility and can see the result is somewhat democratic.

MarkJ said...

I support the status quo. I believe you should need to have "skin in the game" to vote. You have to be impacted by the decisions you and your peers make. I might disagree with your choices but I respect your desire to make a change. If you have to live with your decision then you have a right to make it. In fairness I've always had an issue of NZ citizens living overseas for years who regularly vote in the NZ elections - yet never have to live under the result either way.

MarkJ said...

At least enforce the mandate that you must be on the electoral role - or be charged...

Trev1 said...

Voting should be for ratepayers only as it once was. No representation without taxation!

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Philob said...

Perhaps young people have more important things to do with their time than weigh up all the factors to make a political decision.
This should come as no surprise or concern. I am sure multiculturalists would Agree that in most societies it is the elders who make the decisions