It is the morning after the Scottish elections the day before and there are some odd stories being broadcast about voters being confused. As a Scottish voter myself, I am wondering where the confusion came from?
Yes, there was a new voting system for the council elections, single transferable vote (STV), where voters were asked to rank candidates by order of preference using numbers. It was not exactly rocket science! Before election day there were ads in the papers and on TV explaining how the new voting system worked, a leaflet was sent to every address on the electoral roll and there was a notice in the voting both. All the voter had to do was read the instructions. Scotland used to be, thanks to John Knox, the most literate nation in the world, but now we can’t read and follow a simple set of instructions? What went so badly wrong? Was it because there were two ballot papers? They were clearly different and clear instructions were given.
Also worrying is the low turn out. In France where there were elections just a few weeks ago the turn out was over 80%, here it was less than 60%. If democracy is to work, it requires the electorate to be engaged. Otherwise, you end up with a gibbering chimp as a leader, just look across the Atlantic to a country where voter turnout is below 50%.