It is through elections that citizens of a particular country can elect leaders of their choice. Elections give people the right to choose the leaders they would want to serve them. Campaigns are among some of the methods that candidates seeking elective office use to woo voters to turn out in large numbers and vote for them. It is the democratic right of citizens above the age of 18 years to take part in elections and elect their preferred leaders.
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What could be done to increase voter turnout?
There is only one way through which voter turnout during an election can be increased. This can only be done by using positive campaign adverts. Campaign adverts used during elections can either be positive, negative, or mixed. Research has shown that candidates use negative campaign tactics whenever they are facing a stiff challenge from their opponents. Negative campaign adverts make people boycott elections. Recent research conducted also reveals that the use of negative campaign tactics may be the main reason why most people only vote for presidential candidates.
Would a program of reforms to increase voting turnout need to focus on the cost of voting, the benefits, or both? What do current reform proposals prioritize?
It is important to come up with effective programs that would help increase voter turnout during elections. It is important that during elections, voters turn out in large numbers and vote for their preferred candidates. These programs should focus mainly on the benefits of voting. People also need to be educated on the advantages of voting. Current programs aimed at increasing voter turnout focus on negative advertising, which makes more people avoiding taking part in elections.
Why not simply make voting compulsory or tie voting to the receipt of government benefits?
It is the democratic right of people to take part in elections. People should never be forced to take part in an election against their will. However, the government and other stakeholders need to come up with proper mechanisms that will encourage people to turn out in large numbers and take part in elections. It is also illegal to threaten people to take part in elections. Citizens who pay taxes are entitled to receive benefits from the government. It would also be impossible to prevent some people from receiving government benefits just because they did take part in elections.
Do you agree with the author’s assessment that television has negatively impacted politics and voters?
I agree with the author’s assessment that television adverts have had negative impacts on politics. It is because many candidates use television adverts to woo voters to vote for them. You will find candidates putting up adverts on various television networks as early as two years before the election. It is aimed at raising their popularity among the voters. This has hurt politics as it is through this media that some candidates attack their opponents and gain undue advantage over them.
These negative campaign techniques have been the main reason why many people don’t take part in elections. This has hurt elections. Voters do not like some of the negative adverts that most candidates use to drum up support for themselves while tarnishing the reputations of their rivals. However, if television adverts were used to campaign without tarnishing the reputation of other politicians, then the negative impacts would be reduced. Candidates should avoid using negative campaign adverts at all costs. Negative campaign adverts make people avoid taking part in elections. It is up to the government to intervene and restore the voters’ faith in the electoral process.