I never intended to, but somehow missed last few elections because they were on dates when we were travelling. It looks like this time will be different so we have spent quite some time so far thinking about whom to give our votes. Like most people I know I find most parties in Slovenia distasteful and while I am not enamoured by anyone, I think I will be able to cast a vote. But I do wish our system was slightly different.
Here’s what I would change if I could:
- Introduce a preferential vote (only first and second choice). It kind of sucks that you have to decide between a party that you would like to vote for and a party that actually has a chance of getting in parliament according to polls. I know I am not alone with this dilemma and I often wonder who people would pick if they were not afraid of “wasting” their vote.
- Compulsory voting (but only with point 3). Everyone who can vote really should unless they can provide a good reason why they can’t. Voting every few years really should be the bare minimum of citizen’s civic engagement.
- Add an explicit choice “Nobody from this list”. Voting for least awful can still be unpalatable. Right now we also can’t distinguish between people who didn’t want to vote for anyone on the ballot and those who couldn’t be bothered. It’s easy to see low turnouts as a failure of democratic process when it has less to do with process and more with available choices. “Nobody” votes should be counted when calculating parliamentary threshold since they are votes against all parties, and ignored when calculating how many seats parties in parliament get.
Regretfully these changes wouldn’t benefit parties in parliament (whichever they are or will be) so there is almost a zero chance that above changes will happen. Unless of course there is enough popular support to have a referendum.