Tuesday, March 5, 2024

The Voter's Rights

The idea behind voting is that an eligible voter indicates what candidate or a set of policies they wish to support.  The effort should be rewarded by counting towards their choice.  In reality most votes don't do that.  In fact it is common for most votes to be wasted in jurisdictions.  This suits some people just fine.

At one time it seemed like there were only two parties to be concerned with.  There may have been other parties, but they were mostly fringe and had no real power.  Many voters would have preferred a non contender.  Some were concerned that a detested party would get in and so they needed to vote for a party that was not their first choice to prevent the detested party from winning.

In the United States there are periodic debates about spending money for a third party because the two main parties are not satisfactory.  Inevitably one of the two main parties suffers more than the other, but one of them does win and the third party does not win.  Third parties offer more choice for voters

Not every nation uses our system of first past the post that too often distorts the will of the people often with unhappy results.  In Ontario one party is in control while three other parties combined to have more votes, but with policies literally opposed to the controlling party.

By itself that may seem unfair, but there is more.  Politicians have figured out that some geographic areas favor them and other areas don't.  The analysis of that can be pretty sophisticated telling politicians where to spend their time and their money.  Many politicians find they gain attention by going overboard criticizing their opponents.  A likely problem is that they would find it difficult to co-operate with their opponents when they have mutual problems.  

In a proportional system each voter can vote for their first choice.  Instead of one victor in a riding at least some of the votes would be counted towards a larger jurisdiction such as nation or province or states.  There might only be a small percentage of some parties in a voting district but combined  with other voting districts they could have some power in the bigger jurisdiction.  If one party has more than 50% of the winners they of course have the most power.  More often no one receives a majority and they have to split the power, which means they cannot ignore the choices of other voters.

Voting should be easy as we want everyone to take their responsibility.  This means that days and hours have to reflect availability of a variety of people.  Online or mail in votes would also extend ease of voting especially shut-ins.  Voting locations can also be a factor in ease of voting. 

As more voters realize their vote can make a difference they will be more inclined to study the issues.  Voters cannot be forced to take their vote seriously or even to vote.  My belief is that a proportional representational system encourages people to take their vote seriously and also that the winning representatives to take their roles more seriously and work more cooperatively.

A previous blog of an American political  book points out that the other side of rights is obligations, even if they are not enforceable  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2023/12/the-bill-of-obligations.html

In pre historic days followers chose who they followed and had ways of replacing unsatisfying leaders.  Check http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2014/07/selected.html  Are you really free if your vote can be ignored?   Proportional representation offers a way to boost your freedom.  Check it out.

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