The turnout of the last elections in the UK is critical. Like in all European countries is the turnout low and decreases at each election more. Until now politicians didn't find a solution for this problem. In the following I will list, explain and analyze the usefulness and chance of doing this idea. The turnout at the general election in 2010 increased slightly compared to the general election in 2005 (2005: 61. 3 % 2010 65. 1 %), but the reason for that was mostly the discontent with the government around Prime Minister Gordon Brown and cannot be seen as a success in the improvement of turnout.
But when we are looking on turnout we shouldn't just speak about the general elections. The local elections and in the UK especially the election of the European Parliament are alarming. 2009 turnout in England was 34. 8 %. That means that approximately just every third was voting. This little turnout can easily open small extreme parties the way into parliament because supporter of these parties are save voters. (I don't know how to express that right I want to say that they go to the vote at any case.
) For the European vote the German Minister of finance had an interesting idea, after the bad turnout in Germany (also that it wasn't as bad as in the United Kingdom). His idea was to change the vote system of the UK Parliament. It should change in the way, which people vote the EU president directly. That should make the candidates to do a bigger and harder election campaign which actually gets through to the people. In my opinion this is a start in increasing the turnout for the EU election, because people don't really know how important this election is actually for them.
It's the duty of the present EU parliament to make the people aware about its importance. If that happens in the next few years is very questionable. The EU has already without an discussion about the election system enough problems, which are also much more important than this issue. I do not really expect an improvement there. At the general election in Colombia 2006 offered the government a kind of lottery. They set a price of equaling 1. 1 million Euros for the commune with the highest turnout. This way of motivation for non voters to go voting is in my opinion not really successful.
Firstly it's not really democratic to make people to vote, because they have the chance to win money. Secondly are the costs which are given to one commune based on the taxes of all people. The probability that something like this happens in a country like England is very small. Another method could be the E-voting or I-voting. The difference is that E-voting is voting with electronically device and I-voting is voting on the Internet. The E-voting which was already practiced at the general election in Estonia 2011 where the voters could vote by texting is a method which will be used in the future.
At the moment is this method not safe enough because it's an easily target for hackers. The same affects the I-voting but it's just a matter of time when this technology will be used for voting. That could actually increase the turnout because people don't have to go to their voting place but can just vote comfortable from the homely sofa. The way how the elections are presented by the media could be improved as well. Then we just take the elections campaign in the United States as an example. Barrack Obama spend 2009 3 million dollars on a 30 seconds spot during the Super Bowl which had over 100 million viewers.
For England could such events be the European Championship or TV shows. The problem of this is that the Parties in England do not have that big budget as the American. But in my opinion there is still an improvement possibly in the media presentation of parties. And not only are the TV with the Internet more people to get through to. This method is shows quite great promise to be successful. A drastically method would be to establish compulsory voting. If somebody still doesn't vote he get punished with a fine, loss the right to vote or imprisonment. These methods are quite radical but still established in some countries.