EDITORIAL: Voters leaving system behind

If the aim is to engage more of the electorate, getting citizens involved at a young age is a great idea.

If the aim is to engage more of the electorate, getting citizens involved at a young age is a great idea. But the province’s plan to register 16-year-olds two years before they’re eligible to vote is missing the point.

The idea of providing high school students with a better understanding of our system of democracy is something that should have been done long ago.

With dismal numbers in municipal elections across B.C., and turnout dropping at both the federal and provincial polls, it’s time to take a long look at what role citizens want to play in government.

The concept of electing candidates and essentially giving them the keys to the cupboards for three years has served us surprisingly well.

But most people aren’t comfortable with the idea of voting in a benign dictatorship, which in many ways is what we do – at least at the federal and even provincial level.

The electorate prefers to have confidence that it holds the hammer, ready to wield it on any government that pushes its luck a little too far.

We also have learned to exercise our rights in other ways, exerting a collective will through choices we make as consumers and the causes we stand behind.

If anything, democracy seems to be thriving everywhere but at its most symbolic core – the ballot box.

Perhaps it is that citizens want to feel like they are engaged and that they can contribute in ways that are tangible.

One of the inevitable changes coming to the way we pick our politicians is by allowing online voting.

We’ve already seen with the last census that there are ways to engage citizens securely, and in a way that keeps individuals from being counted more than once.

It’s time for our democratic system to catch up to the rest of society.

– Victoria News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dump truck crash causes power outage in Nanaimo’s south end

No reports of injuries after crash Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

City of Nanaimo to hold invasive plant ‘drop zone’ event

Public invited to bring invasive plants to Bowen Park’s upper picnic shelter Saturday, May 30

International students ‘biggest unknown’ in Nanaimo school district’s budget planning

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ board will look at preliminary 2020-21 budget this week

Car cruise in Nanaimo lifts seniors’ spirits during pandemic

Cars 4 COVID includes Nanaimo Seniors Village in its route

Health authority extends administrator’s mandate at Nanaimo seniors home

Island Health says ‘significant progress’ being made at Nanaimo Seniors Village

UPDATE: Police say SUV driver crossed centre line in East Wellington crash

Woman sustained serious injuries, required extrication from vehicle

CVRD testing Shawnigan water after complaints of metallic taste, odour

“This type of problem has come up a number of times in summers in the past”

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

UPDATE: Police say SUV driver crossed centre line in serious East Wellington crash

Woman airlifted after requiring extrication from vehicle; baby unharmed

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Most Read