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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: 3425/3861
(05-Nov-2008 at 05:52)


no it shouldnt be compulsory but if one doesnt vote they got no right to complain about anything. I voted today and ya know what it was fun to get involved in something millions across the world wish they had a chance to do.

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September 11, 2001
#41  
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Posts: 3028/3642
(05-Nov-2008 at 06:12)


Re: Should voting be compulsory ?

Originally Posted by Invictus2001: View Post
no it shouldnt be compulsory but if one doesnt vote they got no right to complain about anything. I voted today and ya know what it was fun to get involved in something millions across the world wish they had a chance to do.
Yeah, I agree with that, people who voted for Bush (or Obama now) have far more of a reason to complain about him than people who chose not to vote at all.

If all else fails, call someone a troll.
that can be fixed... /
#42  
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(05-Nov-2008 at 06:18)


Re: Should voting be compulsory ?

Originally Posted by Caelis666: View Post
I'm pretty sure that it's the same in Australia. You can't run saying that you want to abolish the democracy, because that would be against the constitution.
We dont have a constitution, at least not in your american form of a constitution.

Democracy and voting here in Australia is very very different to your system in America. We also place different values on what it means to be democratic. Compulsory voting works for us but i dont think it would work for you. I find hardly anyone complains about voting and most people find it in their interest to make themself informed as their vote will count and affect their future. Therefore compulsory voting works. If you chose not to be informed and voted for a random party that got into power and you hated their policies. Then you are responsible for your choice.

People these days are always quick to pass the blame onto someone else. Take responsability for your own actions and stop being a dumb arse

But Americans have a completely different view of democracy and a completely different voting system that i dont think comparing a compulsory system can apply.

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#43  
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Posts: 1288/1971
(05-Nov-2008 at 10:11)


Quote:
We dont have a constitution, at least not in your american form of a constitution.
Actually we do, even if it is different from America's (Caelis is Dutch btw not American)... but yeah, you are most definitely allowed to run on the platform of changing the constitution to form a dictatorship... just nobody would vote for you.

Quote:
Democracy and voting here in Australia is very very different to your system in America. We also place different values on what it means to be democratic. Compulsory voting works for us but i dont think it would work for you. I find hardly anyone complains about voting and most people find it in their interest to make themself informed as their vote will count and affect their future. Therefore compulsory voting works. If you chose not to be informed and voted for a random party that got into power and you hated their policies. Then you are responsible for your choice.

People these days are always quick to pass the blame onto someone else. Take responsability for your own actions and stop being a dumb arse

But Americans have a completely different view of democracy and a completely different voting system that i dont think comparing a compulsory system can apply.
While I agree that compulsory voting does work here, I don't think it has anything to do with the difference in electoral systems. The reason it wouldn't work in America is because they don't currently have compulsory voting. If we didn't have it, and the government tried to bring it in, we probably wouldn't allow it either.

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(05-Nov-2008 at 16:26)


Re: Should voting be compulsory ?

Originally Posted by Spectre19: View Post
Yep... because if you don't have a university education, you are useless to society
Don't put those words in my mouth.

You said an argument for compulsory voting is to ensure that less educated people have representation. I'm just pointing out that forcing less educated people to participate in an election simply produces dumbed-down results (and candidates, and campaigns that pander to people who vote on emotion or propaganda).

All I'm saying is that argument isn't compelling.

Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to.-- Mark Twain
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Posts: 1291/1971
(06-Nov-2008 at 03:04)


Quote:
Don't put those words in my mouth.

You said an argument for compulsory voting is to ensure that less educated people have representation. I'm just pointing out that forcing less educated people to participate in an election simply produces dumbed-down results (and candidates, and campaigns that pander to people who vote on emotion or propaganda).

All I'm saying is that argument isn't compelling.
I didn't mean to put words in your mouth... you said "evolution", I didn't really think what else I could possibly have drawn from that...

Anyway, you do have a point... and it really comes down to which is more important - really informed voters, or all groups being represented. I'd say it is the latter, and I'd say you don't sacrifice all that much "informedness" by doing that anyway. While educated people are more likely to be informed, I don't think it is by that much, and at least not as much as they are more likely to vote. No matter how educated we all are, we will always be affected by the empty sound-bytes and eloquent speeches, and by populist policies.

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#46  
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Posts: 248/252
(06-Nov-2008 at 03:51)


Quote:
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.
Small interjection -- after election judging for 12 hours, I can tell you it is not even necessary to purposefully spoil your ballot. You can override your ballots straight into the machine.

"I once went on a long marathon session of masturbation with the goal of doing it 5 times and towards the end I was losing the ability to get it up. I started freaking out because that had never happened to me before and thought I had somehow broken something. After getting that fear in my head I had REAL difficulty getting it up no matter much much I touched it. -RA3
#47  
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(06-Nov-2008 at 05:27)


Re: Should voting be compulsory ?

Originally Posted by Spectre19: View Post
I didn't mean to put words in your mouth... you said "evolution", I didn't really think what else I could possibly have drawn from that...
well ... maybe I was just thinking about old phrase 'stupid is what stupid does'...

Quote:
Anyway, you do have a point... and it really comes down to which is more important - really informed voters, or all groups being represented. I'd say it is the latter, and I'd say you don't sacrifice all that much "informedness" by doing that anyway. While educated people are more likely to be informed, I don't think it is by that much, and at least not as much as they are more likely to vote. No matter how educated we all are, we will always be affected by the empty sound-bytes and eloquent speeches, and by populist policies.
... and in that you too have a good point.

Educated, smart, well-informed people represent to me the future and what we should be striving for. Certainly I don't want to oppress the less educated, or dumb.

I DO believe that the educated, smart, yet uninformed have in essenece abdicated some of their rights if they choose to not participate, and that's why I don't condone FORCING them to vote.

Forcing stupid people to vote yields stupd results. Forcing educated, smart, yet apathetic people to vote yields sarcastic results.

I'd rather every voter be compelled to vote based on their personal desire to do so and not by government mandate. I can't understand any system that would compel me to vote 'either/or' unless it gave me the option of 'none of the above', in which case I would be voting for me not voting.

Isn't 'none of the above' simply me opting out of compulsory voting?

Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to.-- Mark Twain
#48  
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Posts: 5/117
(11-Nov-2008 at 22:48)
Just to throw another hat in the pile, I have problems with just letting anyone vote.

The vast majority of the people I have met who vote have little to no idea what is going on. They vote based on the TV commercials insteal of based on the actual stances of the parties on various topics. They dont understand the problems the nation faces, nor the severity of these problems. They are incredibly uninformed and frankly they remind me of a monkey with a gun.

They know nothing of the other parties other then "if they get in power we are all screwed".

Many of my friends who voted only did so because their parents told them it was their civic duty and their responsibility. It was unpatriotic to not vote. This was usually accompanied by a large conversation about how all the parties are going to send the country to hell except the one the parents voted for. I sit there listening to my friends discuss politics only to hear a poorly regurgitated version of their parents lack of knowledge.

The sad state of the matter is that politics si complex and to truely be informed, one has to spend many hours doing research. This is simply beyond what most people are willing to invest.

I have struggled with my feelings towards voting because my vote means just as much as the person who knows nothing, and ignorance is a lot easier to pass on then knowledge is.

One idea I have tried to refine and decide upon is the idea of having to fulfil certain requirements to be able to vote. Some of the ideas remind me a bit of the system from the Starship Troopers series. Like you could somehow make it so there are residents of a country and then citizens. Citizens could vote but residents couldnt. You would just have to somehow make sure that the ability to become a citizen wasnt discriminatory in any way and didnt cost money. Maybe make it include mandatory military service (assuming you had a well established consciencious objector system), required vounteer work, ect. But this idea of course scares a lot of people, there are a lot of ways it could go very wrong.

Off a bit from that, I had been debating with myself over the idea of having a test. Every time you voted, you would be quizzed on where the parties stood on issues, the state of several large issue facing the nation, ect. I also though of an interesting way to reward the knowledge. Perhaps your vote would only count if you got 60% or higher on the test. Or maybe for every 10% you got on the test, the candidate you voted for would get a vote (so in total you would have a possible 10 votes you could give to your candidate).

Only the ignorant have the capacity to be offended.
#49  
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Posts: 535/616
(11-Nov-2008 at 23:40)


Wouldn't that discriminate against people who are not able to research the parties as easily for whatever reason? If they're poor, they would not have nearly the same access to resources for research.

Or what about people who vote based on one primary issue that is important to them? For example, my mother always votes for the Republican Party based on their stance on abortion. It's not that she doesn't understand the issues that affect the country, she just has a much higher priority set on one particular issue.


On the other hand, it'd be really interesting to see how something like that would affect elections in a hypothetical situation.

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#50  
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Posts: 2173/2515
(03-Jan-2009 at 21:35)


It should be compulsory. If you don't vote, you are not doing your civic duty. I agree that the people you vote for are complete idiots who lie just to win, but that's why you vote for the least likely person to win (Communist Party of Canada anyone?) or the person whom you hate the least. If you don';t vote, you have no right to complain about their agenda. Why? Your vote is your ticket to complain.
#51  
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(03-Jan-2009 at 23:57)
I think many arguments against the introduction of compulsory voting are based on over-simplifications. The biggest one is that people don't vote because they don't care. I live in Aus, and I agree voting should be compulsory. But I can honestly say that if voting had not been compulsory at the last Federal election, I probably wouldn't have voted. It's not because I don't care, or because I'm not well-informed. But I was busy on that day, and given I live in a safe seat I couldn't have been arsed. Of course, on an individual level that reasoning works fine - my 1 vote wouldn't have made any difference to the outcome of the election - but the problem is when it becomes allowed it's not just a matter of 1 person not voting; it's a matter of 40 or 50 percent not voting, like you get in the US. How you can honestly say a seat is safe one way or another when fewer than 1 in 2 eligible voters turn out is a little beyond me.

Further, as Spectre says the vast majority of Australian votes are formal. In the 2004 Federal election, only 5.2% of votes were invalid - of those, 73% were invalid because of irregularities (eg: incorrect numbering). So something like 1.9% of voters choose not to post a valid vote: significanly lower than the 46.9% who elected to do so in the '08 US presidential election. The reason is it's wrong to simply assume that people don't care about who gets elected. Most people do care, but in many cases (like me) just couldn't be bothered to express that opinion for various reasons. But when they're forced to show up at a polling place (which is all "compulsory voting" does), as the stats show people figure they may as well lodge their preference, since they're here anyway.

But then comes the argument that those who don't vote are uninformed anyway, so it's better that they don't vote. That has two possible responses. The first is - the thing with democracy is that everyone's opinion matters, even if it's stupid. The second is based on common sense. Do you really think that it's the ill-informed who don't vote? All you need to do is look at the number of people swept off their feet by Sarah Palin's female-ness, Barack Obama's black-ness, John McCain's experience-ness or Joe Biden's...whatever Biden has...ness. People who are less informed about politics (or, indeed, anything) are often those with the strongest opinions. Apathy tends to be the result of being more aware of these things, ironically.

Finally as has already been pointed out there are a few other advantages to enforcing compulsory voting. Since everyone has to vote there's no need to use time or money - or policies - to encourage people to do so. Also, the chance of people not voting due to coercion, bribery or their enrolments being "accidentally" lost (ahem) is minimised.

Last edited by Az 90, 03-Jan-2009 at 23:58.
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