Idea alert


The Alberta Liberals offer a tax credit for voting.

“I’m hearing more and more from Albertans that they have disengaged from politics, that they don’t trust anybody, that the political process stinks in Alberta, that they’re tired of the culture of cronyism that we’ve talked about,” Swann told CBC News. “I think it’s time to say very clearly where we stand and what we’re trying to do to try and improve the credibility and the consistent messages people receive about their government.”

The full program, a 12-step plan for better government, is here.


Idea alert

  1. Hahaha, that was funny Wherry ; – )

  2. I'll bet you can buy a lot of democracy with the current individual political contributions of $15,000 per year.

    Reading the monograph of the proposed 'medicine', it seems true that a petro-economy really rots out any kind of healthy, functioning democratic government.

    Willikers ! I can hardly wait until Canada becomes the Energy Superpower the PM is always touting !

  3. I'm down with this 12 step program, but I can't help feeling like David Swann is a character in a John Irving novel.

    • David Swann is a wingnut and his top MLA's are jumping off the ship!
      But hey, I'll take 50 bucks to vote Wildrose!

  4. Let's include in Step 10 proportional representation so that every vote will count.

    Boycott the antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system!

    • Every vote already counts.

  5. I'm not sure I want people voting who can't be bothered without this kind of incentive.

    • I agree. We shouldn't have to bribe people to vote.

    • I think I'm with you, avr. Some of these ideas are bang on and many of them are something I'd like to see at the Federal level. A few of them are smoke and mirrors that give the politicians a screen to hide behind and accept no responsibility. But at this point, I want the Canadian people to care enough to vote–not because they are required by law, or they get a nifty prize. Ideally, I'd like a recurring citizenship test (like every five years or so) because I get so mad at my neighbours for tuning out to the point that they don't know we don't have a President. And I think if you pay some attention, you might pay a bit more attention, until you realize you actually have an opinion and use your vote to voice it.

      Of course if you are going to do that, you're going to have to usher in some parliamentary reform before hand, because I can't see paying attention to Question Period would do more than make you want to put a gun to your head. Or someone's.

      • It does seem like a crutch for a deeper political problem: cronies.

    • Absolutely totally agreed. There is not a whole lot asked of any citizen in a rich democracy. Obey the laws, pay your taxes, and haul-ass off to the voting booth once in a while. And only the first two are requirements; the last would be nice but is by no means mandatory.

      If even a friggin' X on a ballot comes with a what's-in-it-for-me demand, please, loser, do us all a favour and just stay home.

  6. Amy: What do you think of him?
    Josh: Stackhouse? I love Stackhouse, but he's not on the ballot in Conneticut, or 22 other states, perhaps I should vote in New York or California where he's polling at 4%
    Amy: Of likely voters
    Josh: I'm sorry?
    Amy: Those polls sample likely voters
    Josh: Yeah…
    Amy: When a third candidate gets elected it's going to be by unlikely voters
    Josh: And why is that good? Why are we encouraging a group of people who are so howl at the moon, lazy ass stupid that they can't bring themselves to raise their hands? Why is it important that they be brought into the process?

    • The thing is, and this goes for the above comment too, is that I find plenty of stupid lazy uninformed people vote anyways, more isn't going to hurt!

  7. The problem with a tax credit is that it is not an equal incentive for all Albertans. People that don't pay taxes (most young/poor people) don't get tax credits. In other words, this is an incentive for only some people to vote (generally the sort of people that already vote).

    Given the growing Alberta deficit, it might make more sense to fine people that don't vote. Not only would such a policy raise revenue (unless 100% of people voted), it would also provide a stronger push for lower income people to push, since they would lose more from a fine.

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