The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Monday, September 27, 2004

is any election better than no election at all?

(this is not a loaded question)

further to this

if you were installing democracy in a country, where there were peace "issues" in some areas which might stop elections from being held in those parts, how much of the population would need to be able to vote freely and fairly for you to be satisfied that it was democratic enough?

bit long winded, but you get the idea.

what percentage constitues free and fair? or - what percentage doesn't?


MrTips said...

I guess the Iraqi's might consider the apparent 80% who can vote enough. Its better than the choice they had previously.

100% CAN vote here, and only 30-40% do. I would consider that an abuse in terms of waste. I bet more than 30-40% of the total Iraqi population (ie. at least 50% of the 80% able to) would vote - does that make them better at it than us?

Greyshade said...

The short answer is 100%.

I guess if we were talking about unintentional disenfranchisement (eg the voting machine broke or there was a fire and the ballot papers got burned) then the test would be whether the outcome could have been affected. IE if the winning candidate had a majority of 10% and the number of lost ballots was only 5% then the outcome could not have been affected and the election could stand.

span said...

not sure where you get 30 - 40% from Mr Tips, unless you are referring to local body elections - NZ has one of the highest percentages of turnouts in general elections - usually around 85% of those enrolled and about 75% of those eligible, i think. although i did read some research that it has been falling slightly and slowly in recent decades.

i guess i wasn't really thinking about turnout but about access to voting, being able to vote without pressure or fear. in NZ i think this is something we very much take for granted.