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Voter Registration,


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In the run up to the last General Election, (November last year), there was much anger expressed over the 'missing' voters. Apparently about 10% of those eligible to vote had 'disapeared' from the voters list, so were disenfranchised.

After much hand wringing and expressions of outrage, the Government made it plain that something had to be done! A new data base of the voting population was to be built. To this end a voter registration form was sent, one assumes, to ever household on the Isle of Man. (Although I do in fact know of instances where the registration documents were not delivered). Of those who recieved the dread document, apparently fewer than a third completed and returned the required voter registration forms.

 

OK, so who's fault is it, this voter apathy? Should the Government be much more proactive in promoting the need to register to vote, as active as they were with last years local Radio blitz on the failed all island speed limit campaign? For the purpose of the census, the Goverment employs a team of enumerators, who visit every household on the Isle of Man. Should the same body of skills be employed for the collection of data for the voters list? Is one of the problems that by registering to vote, one also becomes eligible for jury duty? It must alweys be kept in mind that jury trial is one of the cornerstones of our Legal System. Many, I know, see not registering as a way of avoiding jury duty, but is not the requirement to register a legal one, for just the reason of jury selection? If registration is not legally required, then it most certainly is as a civic duty and responsibility.

 

I am not suggesting that voting be made compulsary, though a good argument can be made for making this the case, but surely registering to vote should be incumbent on all who are eligible. Democracy, unused will, inevitably die.

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I am not suggesting that voting be made compulsary, though a good argument can be made for making this the case, but surely registering to vote should be incumbent on all who are eligible. Democracy, unused will, inevitably die.

 

I exercise my democratic right not to vote....enforced democracy isnt healthy!

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I am not suggesting that voting be made compulsary, though a good argument can be made for making this the case, but surely registering to vote should be incumbent on all who are eligible. Democracy, unused will, inevitably die.

 

I exercise my democratic right not to vote....enforced democracy isnt healthy!

Agreed - no one should be forced to vote - and IMO not even forced to register to vote. IMO, as long as you pay your taxes and obey the laws of the land, then the government have no right to tell you what to do in a democracy. They are there to serve us - not vice versa. Juries etc. could be done randomly via the census data.

 

The real issue for me is to get some better candidates, as it's poor candidates that breed apathy - and focussing the debate on compulsory registration is just yet another attempt to pass the buck onto the electorate. Politicians need to look at themselves first. We as an electorate also need to understand that we need to encourage far better candidates (even if that means paying better MHK salaries to get the right business types etc. involved).

 

The island is run by a bunch of low level uk-borough-council equivalents, most of whom have difficulty in spelling 'economy' never mind understanding how it works or the complexities of international business. If it wasn't for a couple of key MHKs from the past pushing for the development of the finance sector we'd be right in the sh1t by now.

 

The island could do so much better.

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I dont register to vote as I have no intention of voting. Why waste my time and theirs? I'm ineligible for jury duty so there's absolutely no reason to bother.

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As the members of Tynwald appear to have very little knowledge about voting - witness the debacle when it came to electing a Chief Minister followed by the one to elect a couple of MLCs - I hardly think they have any right to tell us about the need to vote.

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Democracy, unused will, inevitably die.

Democracy abused will inevitably die, too.

 

/Old chestnut mode on

 

If one could register a vote for "none of the above" instead of having to spoil a ballot paper, that could be a start (it should be that way in the Keys/Tynwald too)

 

If non-publicly elected politicians were not allowed to be offered pensions-pending posts as Ministers, or bounced onto LegCo, this could help too

 

If voting was at weekends it could help

 

If one could cast ones vote anywhere on the island it could help

 

If young people were politically educated it could help

 

If there were all-island elections it could help create interest

 

But for those who are entitled to vote yet choose not to, that's their right. I wonder if their right to vote was removed, would they feel so indifferent.

 

I agree with others though, that the standard of candidate on offer can be off-putting.

 

Regarding jury service, I'd rather be judged by my peers any day than by some self-important, ambitious masonic rotarian any day. But it can't be done without jurors, can it?

 

Jury service is one of the most important civic duties that anyone can be asked to perform. You do not need any knowledge of the legal system to be a juror. The experiences and knowledge of each person summoned to serve will differ, yet each individual juror will be asked to consider the evidence presented and then decide whether the defendant is guilty or not.

Jurors usually try the more serious cases such as assault, burglary, fraud or murder. These trials take place in the Crown Court, where they are heard by a jury of 12 people and a judge. The task of the jury is to consider the evidence and then reach a verdict of 'guilty' or 'not guilty'.

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I am not suggesting that voting be made compulsary, though a good argument can be made for making this the case, but surely registering to vote should be incumbent on all who are eligible. Democracy, unused will, inevitably die.

 

I exercise my democratic right not to vote....enforced democracy isnt healthy!

 

Surely the rights you are so keen to use are the result of other people being responsible for you having the rights. 'Rights' only exist as the result of 'responsibilities'. You have as many responsibilties as you do rights! Democracy rests on being responsible.

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I don't vote because

  1. I haven't any seen a candidate that I believe in
  2. When candidates win they suddenly forget who got them there
  3. You never see any of these people until they need your vote

I'm not fussed about Jury duty at all, it is purely the above that puts me off. I still want the right to vote and if ever there comes an honest politician (if such a thing can actually exist!) then I will vote and prob back that person 100%

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I exercise my democratic right not to vote....enforced democracy isnt healthy!

 

Surely the rights you are so keen to use are the result of other people being responsible for you having the rights. 'Rights' only exist as the result of 'responsibilities'. You have as many responsibilties as you do rights! Democracy rests on being responsible.

 

But low electoral turn out isn't simply a case of being due to electoral apathy, often it is the case that that apathy is a result of disillusionment in the quality of candidates or the political system as a whole to the point where voting becomes a meaningless exercise in spoiling ballot papers or simply backing whichever lame horse turned up to the track that day. In this sense a decline in the turn out is compatible with democracy in so much that not turning up to vote expresses that voters opinion as well as placing a cross next to a name. The problem is that there's no way to register this lack of confidence in the political system: a candidate who is elected by a genuine majority of his or her constituents has the same powers and as broad a mandate as one who is voted by a relatively small minority who turn out to vote.

 

Before trying to coerce or browbeat the electorate into participating in a process regardless of how little enthusiasm they may have for it, perhaps it would be better to address some of the problems in the electoral and constitutional systems first and see if that has any effect.

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I am not suggesting that voting be made compulsary, though a good argument can be made for making this the case, but surely registering to vote should be incumbent on all who are eligible. Democracy, unused will, inevitably die.

 

I exercise my democratic right not to vote....enforced democracy isnt healthy!

 

Surely the rights you are so keen to use are the result of other people being responsible for you having the rights. 'Rights' only exist as the result of 'responsibilities'. You have as many responsibilties as you do rights! Democracy rests on being responsible.

 

Forgive me for not having a clue what you are wittering on about....are you saying that I have to vote in order to maintain the democracy that I wish to extol in order not to vote. You seem to have disappeared up your own ass dude.

 

To me its cause and effect....my desire not to vote is based on the fact that I dont beleive that a) there is anyone worth voting for and b ) it will make any difference in the long run.

 

If there is voter apathy then lets address the root cause of that first rather than compel everyone to do something that has caused the problem in the first place.

Edited by When Skies Are Grey
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