"In 2006, we're hearing more than ever from politiicians that 'right' and 'left' are no longer meaningful terms. To the contary, they're as meaningful as ever, providing that it's understood that they're simply defining economic positions. However, with all the main parties embracing to a greater or lesser extent the prevailing neoliberal economic orthodoxy, it's increasingly - and embarrassingly - difficult for them to define their economic differences. No wonder they're anxious to scrap this measure !
Voter turnout is highest when ideological differences are most significant. This helps explain why the voter turnout is lower in the US than in all other western democracies , most of which have a multiplicity of parties and proportional representation. In the UK, voter turnout may continue to fall to US levels. Lowering the voting age isn't likely to excite participation in elections when the choice is less and less to do with a clash of visions than mere managerial competence. And without those traditionally big choices, one might well wonder where this is going to ultimately leave democracy."