Related rabble.ca story:
Over one million eligible young adults did not vote in the last federal election. If a new initiative works, many of the young people who ignored the ballot boxes last time around will be transformed into voters when an election is called.
John Tory will be Toronto's next mayor with almost 395,000 votes while Doug Ford racked up over 330,000 votes. Olivia Chow, placed third with almost 227,000 votes.
"As your new mayor, I will work with the council that you elected tonight in moving Toronto not left, not right, but forward. I will be a balanced and accountable leader and we're going to do this together. Tonight is not a victory for any one person. It is a victory for Toronto -- all of us who love this city and care about its future," said Tory in his victory speech.
Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) can still win the next election, scheduled for October 2015. Yes, opinion polls have turned against the CPC. It's true many Canadians cannot abide Harper. And there is no great economic news in sight that can be used to whip up Conservative support among non-partisan voters.
Thanks to Canada's first-past-the-post electoral system, Stephen Harper can repeat his 2011 victory by garnering support from one voter in four. All he needs is for four voters out of 10 to stay home.
Ed Miliband's challenge to "the manufactured, the polished, the presentational" practice of politics, where democracy is reduced to "showbiz, a game, who is up and who is down," deserves to be discussed in terms that go beyond the effect this may have on his own electoral prospects. It should open up a larger debate on what's wrong with the practice of democracy today. For it is indeed the case that "people's sense of the artificiality, the triviality, the superficiality of politics is more highly tuned than ever," not only in the U.K., but in one country after another.
Let's face up to it. Making voting mandatory under the electoral system we have now would be like demanding that a student learn music on a keyboard that produces the intended note less than half the time -- and requires them to wait four years between keystrokes.