Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A trip to the Polling Station discourages thoughtless voters.

There is an argument that Internet based Interactive Democracy is too easy and that the very effort of making a trip to cast your vote discourages those that really don't care about politics and haven't thought about the issues. This may be true to an extent. But it may also discourage many others: those that are busy, those that are disabled or old and infirm. I wonder, if the weather takes a turn for the worse, do fewer people vote?

Certain areas of the country carry a well documented historical bias for one party or another: the Tory/Labour heartlands. Is this evidence of people making the effort to vote without giving fair consideration to all the options? And some people feel it is a moral duty to vote, despite having no strong conviction on the matter... My point is that even if a trip to a voting booth discourages thoughtless voters it may do nothing to encourage thoughtfulness.

On the other hand, I suspect that Internet voting on individual topics, with the pros and cons listed in bullet format (created by Parliament) and with fingertip access to the wealth of information and debate on the world wide web may encourage more voters and more deep consideration of the issues.

I'm sure that votes will be cast by those rolling in from the Pub during the early hours of the morning, in no fit state to articulate anything, but they may be changed the next day (votes can be reviewed and changed at any time prior to the cut off time). Besides, those votes cast randomly, and without due consideration, are likely to fall on both sides of the argument, balancing each other out.

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