Vote to affect the outcome of important decisions

The following is my opinion about last year’s referendum.

As reported last year by the Victoria News, 47,388 voters effectively said yes on the bridge referendum by not voting.  This resulted in a letter by Gregory Hartnell (Dec. 1, 2010) saying the election was a farce and should have been done at the same time as the municipal elections in November 2011.

What is the difference if the referendum was done in Nov. 20, 2010 or in November 2011? Is he saying if it is a municipal election then more voters will show up? However, for democracy to work, everyone eligible must vote in either an election or a referendum. If they do not vote, they forfeit their right to complain about the outcome.

If you do not vote the result will always be yes. So, in the case of the bridge, the 47,388 have nothing to say. In some other countries you are forced to vote. A way to make people vote in an election or a referendum is by giving them a fine.

In this past year we had a referendum in which only 26 percent voted while 74 per cent twiddled their thumbs. Please make your choice count by voting.

Alexander Schmid

Victoria