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View Poll Results: Should voting be compulsory ?
Yes 19 36.54%
No 33 63.46%
Other 0 0%
Who voted? Voters: 52
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Posts: 2391/2825
(18-Oct-2008 at 02:12)


Should voting be compulsory ?

Well i was talking with someone over the strange american tradition of actually having to register before you vote(from what i understand because they don't have national ID cards altough i could be wrong) and it got me thinking about another strange at least to me system. Namely compulsory voting. From what i read in wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compuls...pulsory_voting

very few countries actually have it and i can't say i know how well it works . For me personally i don't know but i am kinda leaning against it. It just doesn't seem like a good idea to entrust people who don't even care enough about their countries future to vote with chosing the future leaders

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common; they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit the views
#1  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 02:32)


Quote:
If an eligible voter does not attend a polling place, he/she may be subject to punitive measures such as fines, community service, or eventually imprisonment.
I think community service would be a productive alternative, but I wouldn't encourage fines or imprisonment for not voting. It bugs me, though, if I know someone who doesn't vote that complains about the elected politicians.

If all else fails, call someone a troll.
that can be fixed... /
#2  
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(Posted as Eldarad)
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(18-Oct-2008 at 02:53)


I remember having a conversation in a pub in Leamington Spa in...2001? (Yes, it must have been in the run-up to the 2001 election in the UK) with a random bloke.
He was saying that - although there was a problem with turnout - he should not be penalised for not voting; rather he should be incentivised for voting. He thought 5 would make it worth his while.

I pointed out that the 5 incentive would come from his taxes anyway so he wouldn't be any better off. He disagreed, and I left quickly because there were only 3 of us in the pub.

~~~
That story doesn't really lead anywhere, but it does show how a surprising number of people can't see the big picture. And yet I think democracy is something we need to defend with every last breath - the young men who got into Hurricanes and Spitfires are the same people who, today, would vent in a pub today. In that context, it's an insult to not vote.

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#3  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 02:54)


No, voting shouldn't be compulsory. If the uninformed are going to be forced to vote, I doubt most of them will bother getting informed, they'll just vote on a whim. That might be how it is in many cases anyway, but at least in that case they make the decision to vote.
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(18-Oct-2008 at 02:54)


First of all... it's really weird that you started this thread now. Like 2 hours ago I decided I was going to create an exact same thread later

Here in Australia, if you fail to vote you get sent a letter asking for an explanation why, and if your explanation is unsatisfactory you get a fine. But it's pretty small, like 20 bucks is what I've heard.

I am for compulsory voting, because I think democracy is about representation of the whole population, and I think if the whole population doesn't vote you completely lose that. I also don't think it is contradictory because I don't think democracy is about freedom - it is about choice of who leads you, but not freedom not to choose.

So yeah

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(Posted as Eldarad)
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(18-Oct-2008 at 03:00)


Re: Should voting be compulsory ?

Originally Posted by Nimon: View Post
No, voting shouldn't be compulsory. If the uninformed are going to be forced to vote, I doubt most of them will bother getting informed, they'll just vote on a whim. That might be how it is in many cases anyway, but at least in that case they make the decision to vote.
Great! So we'll get some page 3 girls with massive boobs as the Prime Minister! How is that a bad thing?

You only have power over people as long as you don't take everything from them.
But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power - he is free again.
#6  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 03:24)


Oh, and you also avoid bullshit like in the US where the candidates have to put so much effort into just geting people to vote at all, thereby saving a great deal of money that is spent on campaign advertising

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#7  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 04:05)


I don't think it should be, but it shouldn't be a problem if you don't. The volunteers at the polling station don't look at your ballot, so if you are uninformed or think that none of the people in the ballot are fit to lead, you can purposely spoil your ballot (not choose a candidate, choose more than one candidate, or other random tomfoolery). I always go vote so it doesn't affect me at all.

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#8  
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(Posted as Celtic20)
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(18-Oct-2008 at 05:17)


Originally Posted by Spectre19: View Post
First of all... it's really weird that you started this thread now. Like 2 hours ago I decided I was going to create an exact same thread later

Here in Australia, if you fail to vote you get sent a letter asking for an explanation why, and if your explanation is unsatisfactory you get a fine. But it's pretty small, like 20 bucks is what I've heard.

I am for compulsory voting, because I think democracy is about representation of the whole population, and I think if the whole population doesn't vote you completely lose that. I also don't think it is contradictory because I don't think democracy is about freedom - it is about choice of who leads you, but not freedom not to choose.

So yeah
I saw you voted yes and i was like "you muppet". So much for less government interference

Anyways I don't think it should be compulsory. What if I think all the politicians on the ballot are jackasses? I think people should be allowed to abstain from voting. And spoiling your vote is just a waste of everyones time.

If people really feel the need to change their government then they will go vote. If they dont and are happy with the status quo they will stay at home.

Now the last general election last year i didn't vote because i was lazy. However with the government of the past 15 years getting a majority again (and i dont particularly like them) i have decided to take a more active interest in politics down to the local level. However I do think it should be my choice.
#9  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 05:43)
Re: Should voting be compulsory ?

Originally Posted by Celtic20: View Post
I saw you voted yes and i was like "you muppet". So much for less government interference

Anyways I don't think it should be compulsory. What if I think all the politicians on the ballot are jackasses? I think people should be allowed to abstain from voting. And spoiling your vote is just a waste of everyones time.

If people really feel the need to change their government then they will go vote. If they dont and are happy with the status quo they will stay at home.

Now the last general election last year i didn't vote because i was lazy. However with the government of the past 15 years getting a majority again (and i dont particularly like them) i have decided to take a more active interest in politics down to the local level. However I do think it should be my choice.
thats why you donkey vote. many australians who don't like any party simply write on or decorate their form in some way that there voting form was 'incorrectly filled out' and discarded. many polititians use the number of donkey votes in their electorate to see who is peeved with everyone.

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#10  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 08:23)


I've been voting for myself(as a write-in) in just about every single election I can think of since I turned 18.

I am the only one, after all, that won't lie to myself.

That being said, you can't force people to vote. It's a waste of time.

In the U.S. you're forced to choose between the two party's candidates for all practical purposes. Those guys are so busy trying to make everyone under their political umbrella happy, that they would say anything if they thought people would vote for it. If you force everyone to vote, then whoever tells the rosiest smelling lies will be elected.

And the time will come when you see we're all one
And life flows on within you and without you

Last edited by Trial by Fire, 18-Oct-2008 at 08:29.
#11  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 08:27)


I'm not exactly sure how other countries are, but what are we talking about voting for? There are referendums, primaries, run off elections all for the local, state, and national levels at least here in the US.

Overall, no, I don't think it should be compulsory. If you're making the choice to not vote, that's your prerogative, not that I agree with it. However for many elections, I don't even really know who/what I'm voting for for a bunch of the local offices.

Just as an aside, there are religious groups that are against voting. What would be done with them?

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(18-Oct-2008 at 09:43)


Re: Should voting be compulsory ?

Originally Posted by Spectre19: View Post

Here in Australia, if you fail to vote you get sent a letter asking for an explanation why, and if your explanation is unsatisfactory you get a fine. But it's pretty small, like 20 bucks is what I've heard.
$70

I think I owe a couple hundred dollars.

Voting should not be compulsory, especially if you don't believe in the system.

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(18-Oct-2008 at 10:14)


Originally Posted by HarleyQuinnROX: View Post
...

Voting should not be compulsory, especially if you don't believe in the system.
AMEN! I'm an unregistered American and damn proud of that fact. Yes, I understand my vote does actually matter (in some minute degree) for most things ... but when it comes to voting for the president, my vote means shit. And if my vote means nothing when it comes to my opinion on who I want to lead my nation, then why bother with the rest?

Even if I was a registered voter, I still would abstain from the presidential election (even though I'd be really annoyed with myself for being a registered voter who didn't vote, those people are just morons.) ... the electoral college is an archaic system which either needs to be severely ratified or completely abolished. It was only created because the government felt that the vast majority of the masses weren't educated enough to pick the most worthy candidate for office. Times have changed and it hasn't.

I think it would be funny if a law was to be voted on, on whether or not voting should be compulsory here in America. Make the masses of unregistered voters register, just to vote 'No' on this - simply out of the threat that they may actually have to vote against their will. But as DHoffryn pointed out, I don't think it's such a good idea having multitudes of people who don't care enough about their country's future to be voting on their future leaders.
#14  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 11:50)


Forcing people to vote is a silly idea imo. Why should someone who thinks that spending some 30 mins of his time on throwing in a vote is a waste of time be punished?

Even more so, what will punishing him accomplish? Either he'll throw his vote at someone random, which in fact hurts democracy, or he'll just vote blanco, vote for several people, or waste his vote in another matter. None of this will actually be a good thing for the democractic process. Forcing people to vote just for the formal idea of a fully represented people is just a very bad idea.

Not to mention a fully represented people is an illusion anyway, because not every person has a politician who represents what they stand for.

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#15  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 12:26)


Absolutly not. How can we call ourselves free if the right not to exercise is taken away ?

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#16  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 12:55)


Quote:
$70

I think I owe a couple hundred dollars.

Voting should not be compulsory, especially if you don't believe in the system.
Awesome. "I don't believe in the system so I will seperate myself as far as possible from the only way I might ever contribute to changing it"

=\

Quote:
Even more so, what will punishing him accomplish? Either he'll throw his vote at someone random, which in fact hurts democracy, or he'll just vote blanco, vote for several people, or waste his vote in another matter. None of this will actually be a good thing for the democractic process. Forcing people to vote just for the formal idea of a fully represented people is just a very bad idea.
Nope.

I'm not sure of the exact percentage of informal votes that occur in Australia, but I am certain that over 90% of votes are formal.

As for randoming... no. Most people will, if you force them to vote, think about who they want to vote for. Even if they don't look at policies closely, they will at least vote for the party that they feel they most identify with, and that is important.

You will never create a society that cares about its government by allowing them not to.

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#17  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 13:20)


Re: Should voting be compulsory ?

Originally Posted by Spectre19: View Post
You will never create a society that cares about its government by allowing them not to.
As if you can force people to care about something
#18  
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(Posted as Celtic20)
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(18-Oct-2008 at 13:21)


Re: Should voting be compulsory ?

Originally Posted by Spectre19: View Post
I'm not sure of the exact percentage of informal votes that occur in Australia, but I am certain that over 90% of votes are formal.

As for randoming... no. Most people will, if you force them to vote, think about who they want to vote for. Even if they don't look at policies closely, they will at least vote for the party that they feel they most identify with, and that is important.

You will never create a society that cares about its government by allowing them not to.
You will never create a society that completely cares about its government period. You will ALWAYS have some element of the population who wouldn't bother with voting.

And what would you do in stewies case? The electoral college system basically dictates that if his vote is in a red state and he votes democrat its worth less the paper he used. If that was the case id be pissed to and not vote...

Quote:
thats why you donkey vote. many australians who don't like any party simply write on or decorate their form in some way that there voting form was 'incorrectly filled out' and discarded. many polititians use the number of donkey votes in their electorate to see who is peeved with everyone.
Here we call it "spoiling your vote". Waste of time really. Because politicians arent going to change policies if they got the government majority again. Not until close to the next election....
#19  
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(18-Oct-2008 at 13:38)


Quote:
As if you can force people to care about something
You can force those that do care a tiny bit to make a difference. And yes, you can, because if you force somebody to make a choice, most arent going to have a big cry about how you are infringing their freedoms, they will just think about what choice to make and choose.

Quote:
You will never create a society that completely cares about its government period. You will ALWAYS have some element of the population who wouldn't bother with voting.
But you can maximise the care factor.

Quote:
And what would you do in stewies case? The electoral college system basically dictates that if his vote is in a red state and he votes democrat its worth less the paper he used. If that was the case id be pissed to and not vote...
which is exactly why it should be compulsory - so people that care don't boycott out of being "pissed off" because the system can't be perfect.

Tax collectors are a valid military target - chobham
#20  
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