An election quorum?

Politicians seem to be obsessed with a few ideas about election turnouts. Firstly, they seem to think that if they can't persuade electors to vote, this represents some failing on the part of the electors, not the politicians. Secondly, they seem to think that the more people who turn out the better. Apparently, if people who don't know or care anything about the issues turn out in an election, it adds to the legitimacy of the election, rather than subtracting from it.

Some politicians even advocate compulsory voting - as in Australia, where voters can be fined for not turning up.

A better idea is to make politicians pay the price for low turnout. How about a quorum in elections? If turnout falls below 50% the position simply remains unfilled for the term. In the UK that would mean dozens of MPs would currently be unemployed, and every local authority would have more vacancies than filled places.

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