Daniel Adams at Stuff reports:
A Waikato MP leading an inquiry into November’s general election says young people are turned off by politics and do not care how they are governed, or by whom.
Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe, newly elected chairman of Parliament’s justice and electoral select committee, expects to be tasked with confronting the election’s poor voter turnout.
Final election results showed only 74 per cent of eligible voters had their say, down from 79 per cent in 2008, prompting Green Party calls to modernise the electoral process by allowing online registration and voting to attract young and Maori voters. …
He believed concerns over voter turnout would be among the terms of reference for one of its first items of business – its regular inquiry into the last general election.
“I suspect there were fewer young people engaged in the political process than ever before.
“To a large extent the biggest question is why such large numbers of young people have no interest in how they are governed, and who governs them,” he said. Online voting was almost certainly the next natural evolution of the electoral process, but there was no single answer and underpinning the issue was widespread disinterest.
Tim is right that online voting is a natural evolution, but no silver bullet will help increase turnout.
Rodney Hide as Local Govt Minister signed off on a possible trial of online voting for the 2013 local body elections, and a number of local bodies are working with Local Government Online to try and do a trial for 2013.
However I get the impression that central Government bureaucrats are less than enthused, and roadblocks are being constructed.
It would be very useful if the new Justice and Local Government Ministers made it very clear to officials they want a trial for the 2013 local body elections to occur. If we can trial online voting (as an option) in 2013, then it could be rolled out to all areas for 2016 local body elections and then extended to national elections in 2017.