Saturday, 12 April 2014
Why don't people vote?
Thanks to Anthony Tuffin of STV News for the following reminder:
Thursday 1 May is the last day for the UK’s House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee to receive evidence on why people don’t vote and what can be done to improve voter turnout.
If you have not given evidence yet, will you please do so?
Although there may be many reasons for not voting, the most common one seems to be that people feel that it makes no difference and, when the election result is a foregone conclusion in about 70% of constituencies, who can deny that feeling? The best answer has to be to change to a voting system that would make votes effective, so voting could make a difference and more people would want to vote; i.e. change to STV. To be realistic, changing the voting system may not improve turnout immediately, but it should do so in time as parties work harder in what are currently their electoral deserts and as people come to see that election results reflect voting.
Making it easier to vote (e.g. by Internet and mobile phone) might encourage some non-voters to vote, but it would raise new problems of voting security and cast doubt on the validity of results. It might even deter some people from voting because of fears about voting security.
You can find more about this in STV News 14/01 of 31 March and there is a short reference on http://www.stvaction.org.uk/node/494.
Please visit http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/political-and-constitutional-reform-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/voter-engagement-in-the-uk for details of the Select Committee and how to give evidence.
Please do not be put off from giving evidence because of lack of time. Although long and detailed evidence may have its place, you can, if you wish, just send a sentence or two.
Please send your personal evidence in your own words. If you are also a member of a relevant organization, would you please also ask it to send evidence?