Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So this is blah...

Now that the election is over, the confetti is swept up, and Mandel stored his luggage back into the closet, untouched for another three years, we can sit back and put our feet up with congratulations for a job well done. If only there was a job we'd done well.

What does it take to get voters out to the polls? The average voter turnout since 1989 is 39.9%. That means if you grab some random person from the street (don't really; people are so testy) the odds are in your favour that you grabbed a non-voter. Personally, I thought this election was exciting, but I also get really riled up about window-ledge frogs, so perhaps we'll consider that moot.

So we turn to the resident authority on everything: Wikipedia. The Wik-tastic funk machine spit out a formula for us which runs as such: PB+D > C where P represents the chance one vote will decide the election, B is the perceived gain for getting what the voter wants, D is the happiness one gets from voting, and C is the time and effort put into voting. Should PB+D weigh more strongly on Mr. John Q. Public than C, he gets his ass out and votes. We know, for certain, that this is not the case for the majority of people, but where does that lead us?

It is safe to assume that D > 0. Unless there is some kind of hidden belief in Canadian culture that it's "uncool" to vote (which I wrote off as preposterous...until I thought about it), we should be pretty confident about removing that off the variable charts for now.
P is a bit of a wild card. Given the highly publicized turnout of the last election, two things could have occurred: 1) people thought "Oh, that will motivate a lot of people, so I don't need to be motivated" or 2) "Wow that probably motivated people, my vote will count for less now". Both are likely the case, but these seem inconsequential, especially when you consider that even a small perception of voting power would be magnified by B.
Thus the problem is likely stemming from B. Especially in this election, where Mandel had already made it clear there was no turning back from what he'd done, only forward now, and this would appeal to the enthusiastic voters, but for the citizens demoralized by the issues, they're left with little to nothing. Dorward was not promising anything different, just a chance to have a say about making a difference, and Bonar was just too much of a risk.

Finally we're left with C. Since the weather was nice, and there were ample voting locations easily accessible, that means if we want people to vote we may have to commission Dowling enterprises to set up a cheap cell phone voting system. If voters really are either that apathetic or that content, we might have to drop C down to negative levels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What do you think about the Aussie answer of compelling people to vote? Hmmm.
lol, mapa