Should you get a lottery ticket for voting?

As I touched on in a previous post, there is much to debate in the Government’s Communities in Control White Paper published over the summer, even if Hazel Blears’ recent speech on the topic seemed to rather miss the opportunity.

Here’s another morsel:

We will give local authorities the power to provide incentives for voting in local government elections, for example by entering voters into a prize draw. Voting incentives should not be construed as ‘paying for votes’ or create a major new financial burden on councils. Instead, they should be viewed as an eye-catching method to increase awareness and engagement, especially with young people who have never voted and who might view the process with suspicion. [p.70]

What do you think of the idea?

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11 Comments

  • Andrew Tennant 9th Nov '08 - 2:19pm

    I find this idea truly appalling, completely abhorrent.

    That people should need a financial incentive to exerting their voting privilege – awful.

    That rather than offer people a political reason for voting our country could resort to something so vulgar – terrible.

    That the fate on an election could be decided by people who only bothered to turn out because they might win a year’s free council tax – genuinely horrifying.

  • Hywel Morgan 9th Nov '08 - 2:27pm

    I doubt it would have much impact either way.

    Though it would be perverse to give a prize of “free council tax” to get people to vote for a body that in effect has little power to alter the rate of council tax.

  • This isn’t just vulgar, but it shows Labour is willing to resort to bribery where it can’t make a coherent argument.

  • Pathetic.

  • Personally, I’m not entirely opposed to weighting votes, perhaps using some basic multiple-choice questionnaire about the candidates, their parties and politics, to favour those who actually understand the issues they’re voting on.

    Such a system would be less affected by the problem of people voting for a reward, particularly if their chance of receiving said reward were similarly weighted.

  • nah

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