Poll

Candidates could send in a PDF leaflet to the election dept. of SBC to vet and then have this leaflet emailed to people on the electoral register with a registered email, electoral information for these people would not be included in lists sent to candid

Good Idea, lets make it possible. O0
2 (25%)
Needs work.
3 (37.5%)
Duh? Vote? Who me?
0 (0%)
Impossible to implement. Not everyone one uses email
2 (25%)
No way, it would put printers/forresters/paper mills/rubbish men out of business :tickedoff:
1 (12.5%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Author Topic: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?  (Read 4647 times)

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Offline Karsten

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Problem with local Elections is that most people don't know anything about the person standing, just the Party.
There is often nothing more than a name.

When SBC dabbled with E -Voting we were sent a photo and short description given by each candidate.
Nowadays it's only the readers of the Pradvadiser that get an election insert and an edited description of candidates.
The main parties are favoured just because they have and spend money on leafleting etc..

I have an idea that would give voters better information about candidates and cost very little to implement.
Idea: Candidates could send in a PDF leaflet to the election dept. of SBC to vet and then have this leaflet emailed to people on the electoral register with a registered email, electoral information for these people would not be included in lists sent to candidates.

That way it would remove the importance of leafleting and improve the playing field for candidates that aren’t in rich parties.
It would perhaps also make bollocktical claims less likely as all the email PDF leaflets would go out same time and would have to go through a vetting process similar to the one the Post Office does of leaflets it delivers.
Anyone think this is worth taking further?

 

Offline Mellon

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 02:02:42 PM »
Free alchohol and tea.... Might aswell have a party.
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Offline Karsten

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 02:06:25 PM »
Mellon you didn't vote?

Offline Muggins

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 02:09:01 PM »
Emails are as easy, if not easier to dump straight in the bin than paper copies.  Although in the armoury of information giving, they could, maybe should, be utilised.

However I do not see the point of having them go through SBC - surely parties and/or candidates could do that for themselves?

I thought the point of door knocking was to introduce themselves to as many people as possible and has the dual purpose of picking up local concerns.  It also show that they do actually have the time, energy and will make the effort for the ward.

I know that we (community use all thelatest technology to reach as many as we can, but what we have found is that we have 'virtual' friends but they don't much put the energy into coming out, no matter how many people sign up so to do. 

On election day they need people to turn up, i.e. make a physical effort to turn up at the polling station. I wonder why they didn't keep with online voting?

Mr Muggins and I have been to vote.
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Offline 20Eyes

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 02:18:01 PM »
Anyone think this is worth taking further?

Depends on the cost. If it's left to SBC, I'd imagine it'd end up costing far more than it's worth. Also, this 'vetting' you mention, who gets to do that?

Also, I'm not sure how many people have an email address listed against their name on the electoral register?

Whether we like, or understand, it or not, roughly a third of the electorate doesn't make the effort to vote (that figure is even higher in local elections). I can't really see a way of encouraging them to do so, the only way you'll get a significant percentage of them out is to make voting compulsory.
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 02:23:37 PM »


There must be ways to incentivise non-voters to make the effort.

Maybe redeemable & transferable local authority vouchers for something or other could be handed out at polling stations.

Offline Mellon

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 02:27:50 PM »
Or free hats, or biscuits or how about a discount meal voucher?

Karsten - Just finished work, on my way home to do it now,
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Offline Muggins

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2011, 02:32:25 PM »
No No No - Crikey haven't we got enough things that can manipulated for the wrong reasons as it is?

Having the vote all should be reward enough.  Perhaps threatening to taking peoples vote away if they regularly don't use them and giving them to some else  might work!   :wakeup:

Could do a double your money if you vote for me scheme!  Or two for the price of one.

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Offline 20Eyes

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2011, 02:33:05 PM »
Maybe redeemable & transferable local authority vouchers for something or other could be handed out at polling stations.

Not a bad idea, and I think you're right that people would need to feel there's 'something in it' for them if they're to bother.

Only potential issue I can think of with your suggestion is that opposition parties might feel it very slightly gives the main council party a possible psychological advantage. And, again, it'd have to be assessed as to whether the cost of doing it would really be worthwhile.

The problem with carrots, or compulsory voting, is that you run the risk of people simply turning up, putting their cross next to whoever happens to be first on the list and walking out to claim their freebie/satisfy their legal obligation.

I used to be slightly in favour of compulsory voting, but I've slipped slightly into being against it, mainly because I'm not sure of the value in forcing people who clearly have no interest into having to choose somebody/anybody just so they don't get fined (or whatever).
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Offline Karsten

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 02:41:28 PM »
Muggins,

This is an online poll, you are supposed to vote in a poll not just comment.

Most leaflets are delivered by the Post Office in a General Election and to a great deal in Local Elections too.  Door Knocking is from days of olde..
A candidate can't possibly walk around 6-7000 houses/flats and talk to each one.
If politicians do that, it is just for the Camera/News Media.  Like when Mr Brown left his microphone on and called a woman a Bigot..  ;D  :idiot2:

It would have to go through the Election Department as they are the holders of the Electoral Register.
Candidates can not be given personal data as it contradicts the EEC's Data protection law.

If you know of any emails lists of people in Central or even Swindon, please let me know?
It's not easy to find people using email ids alone.

The reason for it is to level the playing field and give any candidate the same access to the public as the bigger political parties have.

As you said it's a lot easier to block an email than stopping people leafleting.
That is part of the point too.  To remove the excessive use of Leafleting.
It would also save costs in an Election.   
Any Candidate in a General Election can post a Leaflet free of charge to every voter using the Post Office after it has been vetted.
That is one of the larger costs of a General Election.
The printing/sorting costs are the only costs to the political parties and candidates for a postal leafleting campaign.. Unless they lose their deposit of £500 that is.  :-\

Offline Muggins

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 02:50:51 PM »
"This is an online poll, you are supposed to vote in a poll not just comment."

Take it that I am just a rebel!

"A candidate can't possibly walk around 6-7000 houses/flats and talk to each one". 

No but they can tackle a good few, word spreads.
and look at the grumbling on TS about candidates that have not been seen.

"If politicians do that, it is just for the Camera/News Media". 

Then they have lost the plot. Forgotten what it's all about.

If it were not about party politics I could think of a few ways of getting the message out.  I can't see why that in the future, email addresses could be collected for the purpose the same as any other form of address.
Trouble is some people are always changing their email address so it would take more to keep that data up to date.

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Karsten

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2011, 02:53:39 PM »
There must be ways to incentivise non-voters to make the effort.

How about not having you name and address sent to political parties and any candidate.
Making your details on the electoral role completely private in accordance with EEC's data protection law.
Not having leaflet after leaflet pushed through your door.  Less junk paper to recycle.
The idea that by saving paper you are a little more green!

The UK has been granted an exception from the data proetection law to allow the electoral role to be sent out to election candidate and their agents as it is claimed it is needed so candidates can leaflet.

Did you update your election details and give an email?  if so you'd be one of the ~50% that did.
That email is on the electoral role.  It can not be given out tho to candidates or agents.
or sold , like your name and address can.

Offline Mellon

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 02:57:29 PM »
Muggins I don't see voting as a reward I see it as a 'right'. I think the whole purpose of this debate was to discuss ways of getting people interest in their right to vote. Giving a small incentive is probably one of the most actionable or simplest ways to do it.

But that's me, I don't agree with the forced vote thing with fee's because a person also has the right to not vote if they feel there is no one candidate that they feel can represent them but I also don't like the sound of AV because one persons vote can be counted as many times as there are candidates which is also unfair to another person if they only selected a single candidate, if anything its more unfair to the voter which is wrong.
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Offline Karsten

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2011, 03:15:06 PM »
"A candidate can't possibly walk around 6-7000 houses/flats and talk to each one". 
No but they can tackle a good few, word spreads.
and look at the grumbling on TS about candidates that have not been seen.

In 1999 2000, I walked from Rushy Platt to GreenBridge posting leaflets,
I picked up litter in Faringdon park and talked to tons of people..

Most usually wished me "Good luck!" etc and then said they didn't bother voting as there was no point.  Which was true as voter turnout in Central was 18-20% back then.   
I got 100+ votes and the people that got in 400+. back in '99.

In 2000 I created my own party.. The Swindon Org UK party and the Advertiser kept misreporting its name calling it the people before profit party.. I walked around leafleting and it didn't do much good as I was talking about the Mechanics and not many people care about it.
I've stood as a green and as they are not too good at organising, they had no leaflets to hand out..  I made some of my own but not many and just leafleted Zone K  400+..
I got 160 votes for doing nothing..
I haven't leafleted since and kept getting 100+votes.
In 2010 I did try to take advantage of the Free Post available in a General Election and stood in both the GE and the LE.
I sent leaflets to all of Central and Westcott which is all the Parking Zones.
but the Post office delivered them a day before and even a day after the election due to the work they had delivering the ones for Cons. Lab. LibDem.
Mine were delivered with Takeaway Menus and the second delivery of junk mail.
6000 were supposed to have been posted.. Hardly anyone I spoke to afterwards had 'seen' my leaflet.
I got fewer votes than when I didn't leaflet as the election got very polarised.
 
So in my opinion leafleting is waste of papir/time and money.

People have to update their electoral data every year.. so emails would be more likely to be current than on a bought email list.

Offline Muggins

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2011, 03:33:53 PM »
Mellon "Muggins I don't see voting as a reward I see it as a 'right'."

Yes, and I see it that way too, but Geoff had suggested rewarding people to go to vote, my comment was in that context.

Karsten, from years of community work, I know what you mean and how you feel.  Neither of us can blame all the apathy on the people we speak to, if the 'product' we are delivering is not what they want, or not wrapped up in the packages they want, then it's falling on deaf ears.  By the same token, emails and any other sort of technological canvassing, will b either taken seriously or with a pinch of salt by those who receive it. 

I suppose that a good course in phsycology? and marketing might not go amiss.   Certainly, I can tell when peoples eyes are glazing over, much the same as mine I expect when faced with a zealous politician or religious person.  I like mine both written down or far away i.e. on th tele.  I will listen, I will take in, but at my time and pace.

So it's true that no matter how many people you speak to, if your presentation (not talking about you personally) is not what they want, if you steal their time and their space, they switch off.   

They might be nodding sagely and tweeking their chin, but they might be thinking " what a numpty"  especially if your behaviour since the last election has not been up to usually acceptable behaviour.  And again I stress this is not about you personally.

One thing is for sure though, the best and longing lasting action I have got over the years, came from face to face contact with people.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Karsten

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2011, 04:35:15 PM »
If AV is so bad why do the political parties use it to select their leaders???

I've spoken to a few people today and asked what they voted for in regards AV and was pleasnatly surprised to hear most don't agree with it and would have voted to keep it as it is, but they don't like Cameron and so voted YES.
Not quite the right reason, but hey I thought Clegg would be the reason people voted NO.

Should add that the most people I've spoken to are women.. it seems that
Calm down, Dear! remark has not helped Cameron.

Could I ask people posting to take the time to tick an option in this poll if they haven't already.
Whether you have or not actually voted in the Election isn't relevant, I want people to vote in this online poll...  :spin:

Offline 20Eyes

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2011, 04:53:08 PM »
If AV is so bad why do the political parties use it to select their leaders???

AV is like any system, it's not intrinsically good or bad. It's how that system works when applied to the overall machine that determines its worth.

As I've said on another thread, if the UK had four main parties neck and neck at the polls, AV would be a great system and I'd have voted 'Yes' today. But, that's not the case. All AV would do in this country is reward averagely popular LibDem candidates who would never have won otherwise. Hence the LibDems are whinging about how their 'Yes' campaign hasn't worked.
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Offline Karsten

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2011, 04:53:33 PM »
One thing is for sure though, the best and longing lasting action I have got over the years, came from face to face contact with people.


I totally agree.  That's why one reason I started picking up rubbish in my street/area.
It a great way to start talking to your neighbours and people living close to you.
The other reason is I believe children learn by example.
I would have been litter picking in Faringdon Park, but put my back out 3 weeks ago and only yestaday bit the bullet and went to my Chiropractor in the Health Hydro.. http://www.janefaulkes.co.uk/  cheap at £35 really but not if you aren't working.
Scuse the link but Jane is the best Chiropractor I know..
Actually, I'm going to go out and pick up rubbish as I walk to the Polling station and talk to people.  Bit late but I'm not standing based on politics and the path has quite a bit of litter on it.

Offline Muggins

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2011, 05:12:34 PM »
More tips for talking to people, but all for active people I'm afraid.

Clear out a stream from the middle of the stream - people love to talk to you when you are doing that! Bless them!

Do your front garden regular.

If you have a dog, you have a friend, if you have a puppy, you have even more friends.

Take the children/grandchildren to school and pick them up - loads of people to talk to at the school gates.

I'd say go to the pub I suppose, if it's quiet enough for conversation.

Go to your community cafe if you have one.

I'd be subtle though, i.e. engage them in conversation and not mention politics at all, just enjoy the conversation and get to know a bit about them - the action should be speaking louder than works. i.e. when you leaflet drops thorugh their door, they say "Oh look that's the bloke? I saw litter picking in the park - good bloke he seems, I'll vote for him!"  Well that's the theory, probably what they will do is say, "shame he's not from suchand such a party or I would have voted for him."  :'(

If you have got a bad back don't tell anyone, they may think you are not fit enough to do the job!



Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Mellon

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2011, 05:16:30 PM »
I still haven't voted in the poll, I don't know if I will, persuade me Mr Karsten.

Also to add to Muggins list, get yourself just the right smile, don't go to the same bloke that gordon brown got his from (because that is freakishly terrifying)
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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2011, 05:23:53 PM »
Bring back hustings.

Get local political parties to update their websites regularly.

Remind candidates to canvas local areas.

And then... local noticeboards and websites?

Offline Karsten

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2011, 05:28:20 PM »
If you have got a bad back don't tell anyone, they may think you are not fit enough to do the job!

That's discrimination, Back'ist!
Maybe there are more people with bad backs than you think and we will unite and take over.. if we can just get our shoes on.. .and after we've seen our chiropractor.
perhaps going for empathy in Swindon is not the right way.

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2011, 05:30:08 PM »
Quote
I don't see voting as a reward I see it as a 'right'

Precisely - and as much as it is a right to vote so the same right is extended for people to not vote

That is the freedom which we enjoy in this land, the right to confound the pundits who wax lyrical about the sacrifices made by others to preserve our freedoms only to discover that definitions of freedom are not all the same. 

For my part I treasure the right to vote even though i know sometimes it is a waste of time - it doesn't give me a feeling of superiority but it does make me feel that i am able to speak up on issues such as Wi-Fi. I would be less inclined to criticise the council if i hadn't voted in the election.  But each to his or her own.

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2011, 05:30:38 PM »
A few more suggestions

- Don't spend all your time talking about smoking in pubs

- Find out what local people care about

- Be an active member of the community (volunteer, use the shop, visit the library, use the schools)

- Try not to f*ck it up once you are in power

Offline Karsten

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2011, 05:50:48 PM »
Bring back hustings.

And then... local noticeboards and websites?

Last year I was ignored delibrately and not invited to any hustings.
I gate crashed one accidently, and they tried to ignore me.
The excuse was that they didn't know my contact details.
The SA were calling me within an hour of me returning from handing my nomination in.
You only have to google my name.  The hustings was part arranged by the SA.

Last year, I managed to have a Joanna Lumley moment with  Ed Milliband as he came down the stairs from the pitch of the County ground.
He did his wide grin and shook my hand and asked if I had any questions, Anne Sneelgrove at his side and the BBC camera behind him.
Should have seen the frown on Anne's face....  >:(
She recognised me and my "Never mind the Bollocks" T-Shirt. So did Ed's PR guys.

Yes! Plenty! I exclaimed and whoosh they were off... Ed was whisked away down the stairs..

Ed's visit was on the News, but that bit was edited out .. they just showed the minister, walking up the stairs off the pitch and then  quickly driving off and said he drove off in a hurry for some unexplained reason.

The BBC camera man had 10 mins earlier made a quick interview of me and my views on bollocktics.  That wasn't used either.

I can't see why candidates can not display their leaflet in the halls of polling stations.
that way you could find out more about who you are voting for.
Each candidate could have an A3 area to display their views. 
Vetted by the election dept. of course to avoid legal issues.

Offline Mart

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Re: An idea on how to improve interest in voting in Elections?
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2011, 08:14:40 PM »
There must be ways to incentivise non-voters to make the effort.

I have many ideas, but they tend to the punitive which will upset all you lefties of which, apparently, there is a preponderance on this forum.

I tend more towards it being a duty to vote, all the bloody aggro that goes into getting the right to, a continuing battle in many places, it seems bloody disrespectful not to.

Bit hacked off with the dearth of inspiring candidates with fire in their bellies, exciting ideas and an aspect to them that suggests they might actually do what they promise (or had done what they said they had) without regard to party dogma.

And when I planted my beans they grew so big I could climb them into a magical land......
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.