Take a look in the mirror and what do you see? A person who votes online, from the comfort of their own home? I don’t know because I don’t read the Mirror. Ha ha, see what I did there? I know, this is precisely the reason I have a blog and not a newspaper column.
Nevertheless, today we’re living in an age where you can tell your car to start running your bath when you’re driving home from the office- and you’re not even driving. So why, in 2017- do we not have online voting? This seems like one of the crazy ways our modern age doesn’t add up, but I would prefer to keep it this way- and here’s why:
I like to think that I’m a responsible teenager, not perfect, but pretty responsible. I occasionally do the dishes and take the washing out- and I’m not a racist. Just to put that out there. But even for a non-racist, lightly helpful around the house teenager like me, I have carried out several actions using the power of the internet that I somewhat regret. One of these such times was when I signed a petition calling for the production, distribution, and purchasing of Cannabis to be legalised. I also nearly ordered a combat knife by mistake.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, I’m still pretty sure that alcohol causes more related deaths than hemp– but someone should probably look at the full medical effect it has on the body before making this call. I will also add that I don’t smoke weed, but see nothing wrong with anyone who does. Unless they smoke a lot- then they’re a bit dopey. Literally.
Basically, that was a long way of saying that online, a culture can build up of pointing and clicking without thinking. The Internet is the ultimate tool for self sufficiency, but this often means that you’re busy reading other people’s viewpoints- so there’s no need for your own research. I also want to say that signing an online petition wasn’t the worst mistake I’ve made online (let’s be real) but I wanted to seem responsible and intelligent, just in case I get that column one day.
Not every person who goes down the polling station will know the difference between Direct Democracy and Representative Democracy– but at least when you leave your house, you’re making a clear and conscious effort to vote for a specific party- online, it might be just too easy. I like accessibility, but politics shouldn’t be dumbed down for people- only spoken in a way that’s easy to understand.
As a blogger and a teenager, I’m also aware of the sub-species known as trolls, who congregate on the interwebs. Most of the die hard trolls (the type who only type in caps lock and drink Mountain Dew) would vote for the funniest candidate- because everything’s just one big joke to them. I know we need higher voter turnouts, especially from the 18-24 slice, but filling this gap with trolls just doesn’t seem like a good idea.
I also know that politics can be a sensitive subject. Don’t get me wrong- getting as many people talking about politics is important, but as I said before- online voting could lead to more irrational voting, which would encourage irrational debate. What I’m saying is that people should be talking about POLICY and AGENDA on social media- not blindly shouting (metaphorically scrawling in crayon) about the part they voted for.
In summary, keeping the voting system limited to paper ballots would keep the trolls out, and encourage people to find out more about their candidates policies and agenda.
Thank you for your time…