Following on from my article mentioning that resonating quote that “We are too much inclined to treat voters as consumers who are are always right, rather than voters who have a civic duty to inform themselves.” I’m increasingly inclined to suggest that people should have to pass an exam before voting.
I’m certainly aware that this is in stark contrast to the Australian system of compulsory voting – which, I fear, judging by both the recent and present incumbent government, does not appear to offer any great solution.
But we could at least require a compulsory civics exam to all those we might give the vote to at sixteen – as a start. It would need to be well thought through, rather than complex – similar for example, to the theory part of the driving exam. Mutiple choice. but concentrating on the practicalities – in this case – of the constitution.
This will, I’d conjecture, encourage a healthy and sceptical view of much of the press critical crassness, of politicians.
I suggest that, like the driving exam, no pass, no drive, no vote.
I hesitate to put forward that we should, like drivers, all take a test (I’m afraid ‘grandfather rights’ would have to take care of all existing adults who have the vote) but it should, for upcoming youth, be a right of passage into our ‘democracy’.
And probably voting should be permitted regardless of the exam results at perhaps, aged 25, with a gradual increase over time in order to indicate the importance of the understanding of our (woefully inadequate) constitution.
I think we would have to consider whether we should increase the powers of proxy voters in order to assist the mentally disabled.
All this would encourage, I suggest, the importance of government and a knowledge of the constitution.
This would be simply a first step in order to prevent our government being taken over and provided by, even further than it has already, liars, charlatans and corrupt politicians.
We really must ensure our children are educated in order to actually understand their own futures!