Monday, January 17, 2011

Voting By Proxy?

The Star newspaper reported today that the Election Commission is proposing to introduce proxy voting.

It chairman was quoted as saying "We are proposing new measures to increase votes although the average voter turnout is satisfactory. The average voter turnout of around 75% is satisfactory. But we would like to introduce new measures to have a higher turnout."

If the voter turnout is satisfactory and, in fact a 75% turnout is high even in developed democratic countries, why the eagerness to introduce proxy voting? Is something wrong?

And how are you going to ensure that a proxy votes according to your wish? Are there going to be laws to punish a proxy who does not vote according to your wish? How is this going to be done? Afterall, votes are supposed to be secret.

I am sure few countries, if any, in the world allow proxy voting as it is easily open to abuse and makes a mockery of a citizen's right to vote because you cannot ensure that the proxy votes according to your choice.

And sure enough, the chairman of the Election Commission was only able to cite one country, Canada allegedly, where proxy voting is allowed and even there it seems only in some provinces.

The Malaysian Election Commission is better off  looking into complaints of phantom voters and election offences than to waste precious time and the rakyat's money trying to introduce proxy voting.

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