I’ve had one too many conversations with adults about politics lately. So many people stand firmly behind a leader of a political party yet can’t even explain what that party’s platform is about. It pisses me off. We’ve become a nation of lazy voters influenced by sound bites, nice hair and whimsical responses about serious issues by politicians.
In 2015, there will be two key national elections I’ll be following closely: The United Kingdom’s and most importantly, Canada’s.
So, in light of my recent political conversations and the relevance of 2015, I want to touch on the issue of voters.
Should every adult citizen be allowed to vote in a democracy?
While there are, of course, certain stipulations for those who want to vote already, I think there needs to be more. People who haven’t demonstrated diligence and respect for their basic responsibilities as a citizen should have no say in who runs our country. Let me tell you two ‘should-be’ deal breakers for voters.
Those Who are Imprisoned
Just because you kill, steal or rape does not mean your voting privileges can be taken away, according to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in the Great White North…
In Canada, prisoners can vote. How ridiculous. These people demonstrated their lack of respect for our laws and are paying the price for their decisions. For whatever reason, we want to grant them the right to vote for legislators who will enact more laws upon us? Ain’t right. It’s an oxymoron.
Don’t File a Tax Return, Can’t Vote
Before you get all crazy and accuse me of supporting elitism, hear me out. This has nothing to do with only allowing those who make a certain amount of money the right to vote. Nothing. What it requires, however, is that voters ‘file a return’ whether they are rich or poor, owing money or deserving of a refund.
What’s the benefit/purpose?
It lays the groundwork for a culture of personal accountability and at least some diligence among our voting citizens.
Furthermore, it promotes equality among voters. How so? Rich people spend tens of thousands on accountants, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, every year paying taxes that we all benefit from. So would it not be fair to ask our not-so-rich and even poor people to simply file a return? After all, those politicians who we elect decide what to do with the tax revenue collected, and we are all beneficiaries of this process so let’s all contribute some effort to it.
Promoting a Culture of Effort
By making people file a tax return every year if they want to vote, it creates what we call in business a barrier to entry. Those people who are too lazy to file a return like the rest of us are unlikely to make an educated vote and probably haven’t thought about what’s good for the long-term viability of our nation.
Am I a kook for wanting to require at least a modest track record of effort from citizens before allowing them to vote?
By creating so-called barriers to entry (which in this case simply requires a smidgen of effort and law abiding behavior) we attempt to create a population of voters who might put an ounce of effort into the process of selecting a leader.