Starting to think about social ways to help increase participation in next year's General Election. I spent some time looking for other people already doing stuff in the UK. Seems to boil down to the Electoral Commission although GOV.UK is also rebuilding the electoral roll system to create individual registration rather than doing it by household. Will be interesting to see what (if anything) changes with that.
I'm not sure what the dynamics are around registration - in the 2010 General Election about 93% of the voting-age population were registered, meaning that the voter turnout figure most quoted of 66% is actually only 61% of the VAP. However, maybe 93% is as good as it gets, don't really know what the factors are in this - I assume that there are some exclusions but that then it's down to people moving and not registering or else not wanting Government to know where they are.
And then there's the more obvious issue of getting people out to vote on the day itself. What social things could we do to encourage voting? What #wewillgather type of things? Could one say "I'm going to vote and I'm going to take 15 people with me."? What different things could happen for different groups - I mean, people who vote at particular times of day because of work, family or health issues. Could you also have a kind of ElectionReminder.com a bit like BirthdayAlarm - something that sends you a tweet/e-mail/SMS to encourage you to make time for it or to apply for a postal/proxy vote if you know you're not going to be around.
Anyway, I'm not the first to think about this. Who else is working on it? How can we help?
I walked very little yesterday as I started feeling some pain in my shoulder and upper back on Sunday night which just got worse through the night and meant I didn't feel up to much at all. Plus it was pouring with rain. It's subsided a bit today. I walked this morning, but couldn't turn my neck without difficulty, especially to the right, so every time I crossed the road I had to turn my whole upper torso...
It's felt a lot better since I got home.
It seems to be centred around an old injury. I dislocated my right shoulder about nineteen years ago in a stage-fighting class. I hadn't been paying attention when we were being taught how to roll out of a fall and then I was grabbed, thrown over the top of someone and instead of pulling my arm in and rolling on my shoulder, I put my arm out to stop the fall and it took the brunt of my weight and went the wrong way. I went to A&E and got it put back OK but it's always been weak. And on occasions when I've gotten angry and in a strop, it's almost popped out again. Nothing like that this time though, it just feels like my body's going "Oh, now you've remembered I'm here, there's this thing you've not been dealing with for twenty years."