This may likely force the hand of our new Demo government to, like Australia and other countries, to not only make voter registration mandatory, but to also make voting a mandatory requirement, with the usual legal repercussions for those who fail to fulfil their civic and legal duty to society.
No doubt, there will be those who will say “it’s my freedom of choice if I want to vote or not!”, as several of my friends have smugly told me.
I say to them: “Yes, you’re quite right, but that very same express the freedom of choice right we’re all entitled to, also allows others the same choices to openly deceive, lie, cheat, defraud and bankrupt a nation, while ignoring their people’s very serious concerns, as an example. And then again, others would express it their right of choice to assault someone, or to even take another person’s life, should they choose to!”
The point is, for the common good of all societies, including our own Cook Islands society, good, decent and simple common sense rules and laws are legislated in parliament and instituted for the good of our people. Which is why there are legal consequences for those citizens who choose to ignore and break those laws.
Thus, assault, manslaughter, murder, intent to commit a crime and fraudulent behaviour (otherwise known as “ripping someone off”), are examples of crimes against our people and our society, that we do not tolerate, and have therefore legislated against for the good of our society.
And so like Australia, we too must seriously look at the issue of mandatory voting during all future elections – and put in place the legal consequences for those who choose to ignore and flout (because they just don’t care – really?) their civic and legal voting duty and obligation during the election of a new government, to their people and our society.
Yes, for the moral and obligatory betterment of our tiny but strong Te Ipukarea paradise, I hope and trust others in our country also express support for our new and caring Demo government to make voting mandatory.
“Let’s Make It Happen!”