Results & A Whole Lot of Head Scratching

Well November 19th has come, gone and left us in a state of confusion. People wanted change and the voting public only voted in 3 new council members. The voting public is another area that has left me and many others confused. The cities inhabitants complain about Snow Removal, Potholes, Crime, Train Noise, Air Quality and yet only 27% of the Prince George Population decided to get out and vote. When I ask people if they had voted or were going to vote most didn’t care about the election what so ever. How could people not care about who is running their city. It’s an aspect of life that touches and influences all other aspects of your life. How? Well when your city raises property taxes to cover the growing debit of the city, that takes money out of your pocket. Money that could be spent on food, cloths, a place to live or that Big Mac you crave. When the city decides to let a business open next to your house that brings the value of your neighborhood down, again more money out of your pocket. Crime is a problem in every city, and Prince George is not an exception to this. When someone you know is assaulted,  robbed, raped, vandalized, or killed your city has failed you by not having enough police officers on duty for the city. When the company you work for leaves town or closes because there is not enough business you are again being let down by your municipal government. This is just a few examples and some may not apply to you or you haven’t experienced yet. The point I’m trying to get across is people need to vote. I don’t want to sound cliché, but there are people around the world fighting and being murdered for that right and we don’t care.

I am an avid Twitter user and the conversion that has been going on for 3 days now, since the November 19th election, is why do people not exercise their right to vote and how do we get people exercise that right. With idea’s being thrown out left and right here are a few that have gotten the most attention:

Online Voting: has been brought up and I think this is something that should be happening now. The internet is a huge part of our lives and using it as a tool to vote only seems natural. The cities of Vancouver and Surrey are looking at online voting, but nothing has come of that yet. The city of Markham, Ontario has been using online voting since 2003 and has seen increases to the tune of:

  • 91% of online voters said they would be “very likely” to vote online in the future
  • 88% of online voters in 2006 cite “convenience” as their primary reason for voting online
  • Markham saw online voting jump 48% from 7,210 in 2003 to 10,639 in 2006

Online voting does not come without some negative aspects to it. According to a discussion paper on internet voting  done by Elections B.C. in August of this year, is that it is harder to guarantee a fair election online. With a person sitting in a chair at home casting a vote there is no way to guarantee that the right person is casting the vote. If someone got a hold of a PIN number in my name then we are dealing with fraud. There is also the problem of Hackers getting into the system. From the articles I have been reading it looks like online voting is coming, it’s just a matter of time and security.

Compulsory Voting: which is used in Australia at all levels of government makes it mandatory to vote. Failure to vote results in a fine of $20 if a satisfactory explanation is not given (for example, illness or religious prohibition). If this fine is not paid then a court hearing is held for the offense. The percent of the population that this affects is about 5% so it does get a vast majority of the voters out during election time. Now there are pro’s and con’s to this system. The Pro’s obviously is higher voter turn out which in turn maximizes the amount of campaign cost reimbursement. The Con’s are that it goes against human rights of a persons right to choose wither or not to vote.

It is hard to understand why it is that people don’t want to vote and I’m sure we’ll be talking about voter apathy for years to come. I’m sure everyone has their reason for not voting all polished up so that when asked they can have a viable answer. Some don’t have an answer at all they just have no interest. As Carol Hanisch once said “The Personal is Political” and one day the people who do not vote will get affected in some form by their government. Until that day we, the people who do vote, will be left scratching our heads trying to figure it out. Maybe a study should be undertaken by UNBC’s political science department to find out why voter apathy is so high in today’s society.

Oh yeah the results of Prince George’s municipal election. If you haven’t already heard the results here is the breakdown of the count:

Mayor

Council

Shari Green: 6148

Lyn Hall: 9038

Dan Rogers: 5043

Brian Skakun: 8553

AlexHuber: 1104

Murry Krause: 7555

Brandon Lewis: 683

Albert Koehler: 6996

Eugene Fetterly: 474

Cameron Stolz: 6809

Bruce Fader: 298

Dave Wilbur: 6586

Garth Frizzell: 5850

Frank Everitt: 5342

Jordan Gadsby: 4910

Debora Munoz: 4617

Myrt Turner: 3952

Dorothy Friesen: 3348

Harry Ulch: 2643

Brad Gagnon: 2493

Scot Afflect: 2491

Joanne Dickenson: 2387

John Beebe: 2338

Travis Shaw: 1536

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: