Lets put it to a Vote

You are one of twenty two people who are stranded on a life boat after the pleasure cruiser sinks.

Yes there is enough room and supplies for all of you for the immediate future so no decision has to be made as to who has to be thrown overboard.
However there is one problem: the skipper / navigator has gone down with the ship and no one actually knows which direction to row to ultimately reach the shipping lanes.
Even though no one knows for sure, eleven members of those on board have formulated ideas. Some think they can operate the sextant which has been saved, some believe they can tell which way to go by the currents, some by the sun, and some by the prevailing winds. The problem is that there is no general consensus from all these theories, and existing provisions will only allow for one attempt.
It is ultimately decided that a vote has to be taken to decide whose theory will be accepted to decide the course to follow.  Because the decision may well result in the life or death of everyone on board it is decided that everyone will have the right to vote.
Even though you yourself have come to no theory, you decide to vote with one person who, to you, gives the general impression of being slightly more astute and knowledgeable than the other amateur navigators.
This leaves the remaining ten occupants. Not only do they have no idea which is the best direction for rescue, they also share equal faith in all of those who have suggested theories. Therefore because they fear their vote may lead to the wrong decision, they have decided to abstain from voting.

Will you allow the ten to abstain form voting or will you insist that, because lives are at risk, they must partake in the vote?

Well, elections in Canada will never be life or death–but even in this situation, I’d say no. Realistically, however, the people on that boat will eventually abandon all civil conduct and fight amongst one another, a leader will arise, and voting goes down the shoot.

No they don’t have to vote…I’m the only bright one on this boat and
I don’t need uninformed voters voiding my vote

Part of a democracy is the right to choose whether to participate in something or not.

Look through the list of rights in the Charter, and ask yourself how many of those you’ve exercised recently? 

Rights are optional.  It’s your right to use them, not your obligation.

Have you moved from one province to another recently?  Section 6, for example, guarantees your right to move to any province and work.  I’m willing to be a large majority of Canadians haven’t done that recently.  Should they be obligated to exercise that right? 

Not voting is perfectly fine.  Just like not moving to another province is perfectly fine.  But you have the right to do both if you so choose.

It’s a free country.

Not voting is perfectly fine.  True, but one would hope that the powers-to-be would do more to encourage citizens to vote, as the cost of holding an election is high.  It would be more cost effective if more people voted - anyone want to crunch the numbers…the cost of the election divided by the number of voters equals cost per vote.  It’s probably a meaningless number, but interesting none-the-less. 

+1! I’d prefer that those who don’t have a clue not vote in the fear they will choose the wrong horse, which is a statistical probability.

OOPS! I meant to quote MiG on that.

Like what? They run commercials encouraging you to vote for their party, they offer rides to voting stations–in the end it’s up to the voter.

I’ve personally never heard of anyone complain that they didn’t feel that they were encouraged enough to vote.

you can’t force people to vote otherwise this wouldn’t be a free country-be nice if more people decided to though

If you forced people to vote, they would probably just pick a name if they weren’t interested in voting. This would probably lead to whatever party advertising the best winning the election. Forcing un-informed voters to vote would be stupid. And what, you’d send people to jail if they didn’t vote? Maybe if you gave tax incentives to people who vote it might help get the voting numbers up without forcing people to vote. If you wanted people to be slightly informed, you might allow small advertisements at polling locations for each party to say something like “christian heritage, because the family is most important” or “green party, because we only have one world to live in”, you get the idea… just something so that someone doesn’t walk in and be like hmmm, nathan cullen, nathan sounds like a friendly name i’ll pick him because i have to choose someone to get my tax credit.