Thursday, December 15, 2005

The NOTA Party

Many voters, when asked who they prefer, are quick to respond with "none of the above". Ultimately, when they do cast their vote, it's for the least offensive option rather than someone they really believe in.

The actual turnout by eligible voters was only 61% in the last election. That means nearly four out of every ten voters couldn't even be bothered to go vote. Add to these voters the people who aren't happy with their choices and you start to see that a hell of a lot of people aren't pleased. Given the number of
options voters do have, something is missing.

Why not have a "none of the above" (NOTA) option on the ballot? The demand is clearly there. What would it mean to the electoral process? If 155 ridings or more chose "none of the above" as their majority option we'd have a ruling party of empty seats. Wouldn't that be silly? Would it? At least it would save money. What about the people who are always calling for less government? Well there you go. You asked for it you got it.

Implementing the NOTA Option

Here are some suggestions for a more practical approach to the NOTA option. Taxpayers already give $1.75 to a party annually for every vote that party receives. If a NOTA option was included on the ballot we could mandate that the same money be allocated to that option and earmarked for charity, medical research, etc. This would potentially "incentivize" citizens to get involved and vote.

Additionally, other incentives could be adopted. Perhaps, any candidate that receives fewer votes than the NOTA option would not get their registration fees and expenses covered.
But, what happens in the case where the NOTA option receives the majority of the votes in an electoral district? Who represents the district then?

Clearly, the voters can make a statement with the NOTA option. How else do you convince the parties that their choice for the district is perhaps not a suitable one? Can you prevent the same candidates from running again in a bi-election? Why should we let them continue to torment the voters?

The Green Party

Speaking about "none of the above" options, the Green Party is recieving some much needed publicity as a result of being left out of the debates. Media outlets, perhaps feeling a little guilty, are devoting time to them during this quiet pre-debate period.

Although it is clear that they are getting increased voter acceptance, one has to wonder where this will lead. The criticism is that they are a one issue party. True, the environment is important and many people are concerned but what is a voter saying by casting their ballot for the Green Party? They are dissatisfied with the treatment of this one issue and want some attention paid to it?

Imagine waking up the morning after the election and seeing that the Green Party has formed the next government. Can everything be run through the perspective of the environment? Long before that happens, the major parties will adopt a stronger environmental platform in an opportunistic attempt to grab these voters.

Don't get us wrong. We are not against the environment or the Green Party at all. It just seems that it's more of a lobby group than a potential candidate for running this country. With the increasing fragmentation of the electoral process in Canada, we'll probably be seeing a Red Party (Forcefully Supporting Health Care Issues), a Khaki Party (Increased Defense For a Stronger Canada), and the Book Party (Education is Our Future).

In this age of infinite choice, can you think of any other Parties we're missing?

Election Tracker


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with that article very much. Right now I am sure we would get a lot of votes for NOTA

6:55 PM  

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