Voting. Maybe it isn’t for everyone.
Now nobody should ever be excluded based on their race, religion, gender or any other general reason. Based on what’s been happening in the world lately, however, I just think we’d be better off if voting was restricted to those with a very basic understanding of the issues.
Before you all explode with rage at the audacity of this idea, consider a Tinder match. The person might lie and embellish to get you to meet them.
Then in the flesh you realise they’re nothing like their photo, their car is a BMX and they’re not a lawyer but sell charity raffle tickets in shopping centres. So after that first meeting, you’re out of there.
But say you didn’t have that option and were stuck with that Tinder dud for years? Well, that’s our political system. If you have a child, maybe several, before buying anything for them, feeding them or choosing where they go to school, I bet you do some research.
Or if you’re buying a new anything — going on holiday, dining out, selecting who goes in your fantasy football team — before making a decision, you do some research.
From personal experience you’ve learned that, the more you know, the better the chance that you’ll end up with a decent outcome.
Maybe once you rushed a choice and ended up on holiday in Darwin during torrential rain and flash flooding, with food poisoning on a dud Tinder date.
When it comes to choosing who gets to make decisions on behalf of all of us, should the vote of a person who hasn’t bothered to do the smallest bit of thinking and misunderstands the most basic of facts, be worth as much as someone who has?
That’s the current state of our democracy. Instead, I think what we need is a meritocracy.
I’ve got a few friends who are over to the far right when it comes to politics — and driving. Which in both cases, in my opinion, puts them squarely in the gutter.
Something we do agree on, however, is the facts. Thus I might think their views are as valuable as a rotten banana but I respect their right to hold them and to vote.
Now personally I can’t stand anyone who only complains and offers up zero solutions. They make the worst doctors, mechanics and spouses.
So one idea is to give everyone a short and simple test before they vote — with the questions and answers available in advance and agreed upon by all sides of politics. Or maybe we stop voting for people entirely and instead we vote for ideas.
Then your vote would go to the candidate whose policies best represent your position on a range of issues.
An added benefit would be that the debate leading up to each election stays centred on the issues, not scandals.
My preferred solution is to invest far more in education, so that the next generation isn’t as stupid and easily swayed as this one.
Otherwise, all that remains is to leave things the way they are.
In which case, my big tip for dealing with the future is to immediately start work on your emergency bunker and stockpiling shotgun shells and canned goods.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.
His second comedy memoir ‘Going Out of My Mined’ is available now.