Should voting be compulsory? Watch

swallowsky
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#1
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In countries such as Australia, voting is compulsory, but is it attacking democracy? It's just that everybody is going too be ruled by the political leader, so shouldn't they vote for them? Personally, I think voting should be compulsory, or at least encouraged (maybe not with a fine if you don't vote), but that there should be a 'None of the above' box.

What do you think?
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Everglow
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The most important thing about a democracy is allowing people to vote. Therefore, if you're allowing them to vote but they don't want to, that's their choice to make. It just follows then that they can't complain or moan when they don't like the way their country or constituency is run.

People will waste their votes if they're forced to vote. Even if you have a 'none of the above' box, nobody is going to want to go to a polling station just to tick that box when they could just not vote at all in the first place.
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username33685
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Until we reach the point where everyone in society is fully informed and knowledgeable on the issues that affect the country, then compulsory voting shouldn't be considered. In fact, that voting is not compulsory handily weeds out a lot of the people who don't have a clue and shouldn't be influencing government policy, as they can't be bothered to vote and can leave that to the rest of us who do have a clue and who do care. You think it is a coincidence that a lot of the people who voted UKIP in the last elections previously hadn't voted for several years?
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mojojojo101
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Compulsory voting is fine in my book, as long as you provide an option to abstain.

For what it is worth I would continue to vote exactly the same way as I do now, by spoiling ballots. As far as I'm concerned you will never fix an entirely broken and corrupted system by participating in said systems machinations.
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zippity.doodah
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forcing stupid people to vote cannot possibly be a good thing practically
but that's not the thing I care about - if people don't want to vote (for whatever reason, political or apathetical) then they shouldn't be forced to do so
there are so many reasons I would encourage everybody to vote, and there are equally many reasons people may overlook these reasons (e.g. the system isn't fair for them so what point is there?) but if people don't care, I am not going to force them to care - that's their fault.
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natninja
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#6
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(Original post by mojojojo101)
Compulsory voting is fine in my book, as long as you provide an option to abstain.

For what it is worth I would continue to vote exactly the same way as I do now, by spoiling ballots. As far as I'm concerned you will never fix an entirely broken and corrupted system by participating in said systems machinations.
Or Re-open Nominations. I'd also be a fan of a hybrid between a single transferable vote and the first past the post system.
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The Lord
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(Original post by swallowsky)
In countries such as Australia, voting is compulsory, but is it attacking democracy? It's just that everybody is going too be ruled by the political leader, so shouldn't they vote for them? Personally, I think voting should be compulsory, or at least encouraged (maybe not with a fine if you don't vote), but that there should be a 'None of the above' box.

What do you think?
Personally I don't think it should be compulsory. Even if you have the option to abstain, people who haven't voted in the past will feel empowered to make a difference and are actually likely to vote for a party. Because of education and different social classes, the people who are generally disillusioned with politics and choose not to vote are those from the working classes who are unfortunately among the most uneducated people in the country. These people will at least convince themselves that they're vaguely interested in politics.

However, parties will take advantage of this massive untapped supply of votes by dumbing down their advertising and their message to try to appeal to these people (not to a ridiculous extent, as they'll still have to maintain support from other areas of society, but certainly a bit. This means populist parties like UKIP (or really any party that can present a simple message and convince voters that they will be the solution to all their problems) will gain a load of votes without the majority of these new voters really understanding what they're voting for.

The people that currently choose to vote are generally those who are reasonably well informed about politics and are able to assess the different parties' policies. For me, this is fine, because it means that election results are decided by those who are in a position to make an informed choice.

As for the principle of it, I would say that if you have a right to vote (this is pretty widely accepted in democracies across the world), you should also be able to choose not to vote.
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Kallisto
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(Original post by swallowsky)
In countries such as Australia, voting is compulsory, but is it attacking democracy? (...)
What do you think?
It is attacking the civil liberty in any case. Compulsory means to force someone. To force the population to vote a party cannot be the sense of a free society. So no a vote should not be compulsory nowhere.
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No Man
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If it is made compulsory there should be a 'None of the Above' option.
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Snagprophet
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#10
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(Original post by No Man)
If it is made compulsory there should be a 'None of the Above' option.
Yeah, this would be pretty useful. It would be nonsense if we were forced to vote for parties we didn't want. Casting the vote is important.
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username457532
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#11
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I don't understand why people don't vote. At least go and spoil your ballot. That says 'I don't think any of you are very good' rather than 'I can't be ****ed who runs the country'.
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Sanctimonious
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#12
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No. It is anti democratic and will force those with no knowledge of politics to vote. All this will do is create a ridiculous situation whereby people vote for what their friends did or any box to get it over with because they're not informed themselves as opposed to just not bothering.

If I was obligated to vote and I had no knowledge of politics I would just turn up, tick a box and leave. That would be it. Why would I care? If I cared I'd have taken an interest in politics off my own back and got involved.

It is a bad idea all around.
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malena123
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#13
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I think it should be encouraged - but not made compulsory. People should have the right to choose whether they want to vote or not. If it was made compulsory then I think that there should be a "None of the above" option (like someone mentioned earlier) but then doesn't that defeat the point? Everyone could end up picking that one and then the whole system collapses (obviously it's highly unlikely that that will happen but it's still a possible scenario).

What I can't stand is when people complain so much about the country's political system yet they don't care to vote to change it.
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Sally Cinnamon1
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#14
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Always astounds me. To think, the struggles this country went through to actually get the vote, and now people want to make it compulsory?
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