The health of our democracy continues its seemingly inexorable decline:
Voter participation on decline despite MMP
Outspoken – Victoria University academics are worried that despite the introduction of MMP 20 years ago voter participation in elections is continuing to decline.
They said the country’s democracy was not in as good a shape as it should be and that the young, the poor and Māori and Pasifika saw little point in voting.
In the 2014 election only 77 percent of eligible voters voted. For younger people the results were worse, with only 62 percent of those aged under 30 bothering to vote.
The head of the School of Māori Studies at Victoria University, Maria Bargh, said she believed economic changes that began in the 1980s have had a bigger impact on voter turnout and democracy than MMP.
Dr Bargh said those free market economic changes had turned many people off voting.
How do we turn this around?
The question has a big simple answer – “make politics engaging / relevant to people so that they want to vote” – but that answer doesn’t tell us how. So what about smaller, practical answers. How do we get more people voting?