Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Surely There's a Better Way?

I've just read about the result of the recent local elections in Conclurry. Apparently the votes were tied 428 a piece between Businessman Andrew Daniels and former councillor John Swalling. After a recount, the votes were still tied. So they did what the official Electoral Commission rules stated, and draw a name out of a hat. Apparently, this also happened in Winton.

In the case of such a close election, I hardly think it is fair to the electorate as a whole to reduce the entire affair to chance. And it is kind of ridiculous that a random draw is part of the official rules for elections. Especially when there are reports of missing postal votes.

Really there should be a new election. For a start, this would likely get more people involved in the election. Since mandatory voting did not apply to a local election, and given the low number of votes (856), I think it's safe to say that not everyone voted (even though it's a backwards nowhere kind of place (no hard feelings Conclurry), I'm sure there are more eligible voters who didn't vote. If there were to be a new election, I think more people would vote knowing how close it was, and that the value of their vote will be even more important than usual.

Random selection can also lead to acrimonious feelings in the community. There will always be the feeling among some that the winner didn't really win, and shouldn't be mayor. It is when things are close that we need to be most certain. Random chance does not help that.

My last objection is that democracy is meant to be the will of the people. No dice or draw from a hat can truly represent the will of the people.

End Post
Writing time: 28 minutes
Time since last post: 2 days
Current media: The Office

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