Saturday, September 24, 2005

Democracy Is A Religion Of Peace

(Did you know there was a provincial "Minister of Democratic Renewal" in Ontario?)

Ontarians can expect sweeping electoral reforms when they go to the polls in 2007, but mandatory voting will not be part of the changes, says Democratic Renewal Minister Marie Bountrogianni.

...Bountrogianni said there are no immediate plans to make it against the law not to vote.

"With respect to mandatory voting, that's a bigger issue, which requires more study, and we're not prepared at this point to look at that," she said
So diversity is respected, for the moment. This time around non-believers won't be subject to electoral jihad. Still, I'm always amazed to see the weak half-measure of compulsory voting given any respect at all. Surely it does not go far enough.

If the right to vote is so important that we must be forced by the police to exercise it, surely the even more fundamental right to freedom of speech also requires enforcement. Will we not also defend the marketplace of ideas?

Free speech inspectors should be sent to every home annually, to ensure that the voice of every person is accounted for in the workings of government. Each human resource should be required to give his or her opinion on a list of the various issues and controversies of the day, and of the steps the Party is taking to move us forward. This information would then be collated by the Minister for Open Government and used to shape policy and target efforts.

For the vast majority who would not be required to attend subsequent interviews in other locations, it would be a quick thirty-minute process.

People have fought and died for the right to freedom of speech. Let us, too, fight for it, against the apathy of those who do not respect this cherished principle enough to exercise it.