Should voting be mandatory?

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by yazzer, May 3, 2007.

  1. Individual

    Individual Senior Member

    Did I?

    So you are saying that mandatory voting IS necessary?

    I assume the question was asked in relation to the system currently in use.

    Mandatory voting only increases the number who vote. Would you prefer to be hung or shot to death? A choice is mandatory.

    Democracy is not a synonym for good government. While it may provide a choice of who represents you, it does not necessarily mean that you will be represented as you would like. What would be the difference between a 25% voter turnout which resulted in candidate "A" being elected with 51% of the vote, or a 100% voter turnout which resulted in candidate "A" being elected by 51% if the reason for the 75% non-voting did not vote because they disliked both candidates? I think the 25% turnout would be much more meaningful and perhaps lead to the opposition selecting a more suitable candidate in the next election cycle. Then, possibly, the incumbent candidate "A" would be replaced also.

    To keep things simple, stick with the voting system currently in place.
  2. lunarverse

    lunarverse The Living End

    Voting should not be mandatory. The government has no right to force people against their will to partake in their little puppet show. Not voting is one of the easiest ways to tell them, "fuck you."
  3. Balbus

    Balbus Members


    Which voting system, the one in place where you live, do they vote in that communist country you live in? The systems where I live (there are three here) the voting system somewhere else in the world (the OP mentions Australia for instance, and Yazzer gives his location as Earth) or the system we would like to have?

    To me the type of system is of great importance in the question of compulsory voting.

    I might see the argument for it in a PR system with a wide spectrum of political choice and a well regulated funding system.

    But I think that in the kind of quasi-oligarchal system you have proposed where a few would always have the power to block the wishes of the majority it would be totally unfair. I mean forcing someone to vote even when they know that the party they would vote for might win the majority of the votes but still lose because a few don’t like them because their policies don’t suite them, would seem to me cruel.

  4. the false ideologies of man fed by the bankers/priestly class who have catalogued the true nature of reality.

    lead us to this very question.
  5. Individual

    Individual Senior Member

    Most of what I have responded to has been in reference to U.S. politics, the only one I have voting rights in, regardless of where I live. But the question only asks "Should voting be mandatory?", so to me where you live remains irrelevant, and the question only applies to those where voting is allowed.

    The system would make no difference to me.

    I don't see a rational argument for forcing anyone to do anything with the obvious exceptions you might try to change the topic and argue about.

    So what? that doesn't answer the question that was asked.
  6. Balbus

    Balbus Members

    To me voting is about education not compulsion, but in many places the type of political knowledge and education needed is lacking or has been corrupted and so compulsion might focus people’s minds on political issues.

    I mean in a system like the one Indie has proposed, where a majority vote could be overruled by a few, mandatory voting might just make people angry enough to change the system.

    Although I would expect that the proposers of such a system would see that danger and so be against mandatory voting.
  7. Balbus

    Balbus Members


    I wonder if people might not accept mandatory voting more readily if there was some kind of payback - for example making voting days holidays. So a citizen would get a whole day off work as a reward for taking a few minutes of their time in voting?

  8. Individual

    Individual Senior Member

    You continue to avoid answering the question and turn it into a debate over something I said in another thread that is totally irrelevant and out of context in relation to the OP. I assume, and would expect you to assume the same, that the question we are being asked to respond to is in relation to a democratic voting process in which one person gets to make one vote, and only be counted as one vote. I'm not proposing changing the voting system, although you do provide adequate reason to believe that perhaps some persons should not be allowed to vote. Enough said, either answer the OP question or bug off.
  9. Individual

    Individual Senior Member

    I suggested a payment for the time and effort expended, which you appear to have missed.

    A voting day holiday, even if paid would not necessarily motivate people to use it to go and vote, and what motivation would the unemployed have? They already have the day off.
  10. Balbus

    Balbus Members


    This is a debate about mandatory voting about should it be applied or not and so it seems legitimate to wonder about the appropriateness or fairness of it under differing systems.

    As I’ve said it might seem fairer under a full PR system but would only seem cruel under the type of quasi-oligarchal system that you seem to favour. Both would have a democratic element it’s just that in your system a majority vote could be overruled by a minority.

    But it is possible that if people were forced to vote in an unfair system they might be moved to change the system.

    Well I would expect it to be a carrot and stick kind of system, a fine for not voting but a paid day off work or a direct payment as reward for voting.

    But as I’ve said the political education of people is important as well as the political system - to me a low voter turnout is an indication that the system is not working, so compulsory voting might hide those faults.
  11. Individual

    Individual Senior Member

    Once again, a question was asked "Should voting be mandatory?", which should require a simple "yes" or a simple "no" answer with an explanation of why if desired.
    If you wish to answer yes or no depending upon the system, do so, but apply it to existing systems which might then produce something worth debating or arguing over, as the case may be.

    I haven't said anything about what system I favor, and in a previous thread I only presented a possible option of how votes could be counted, not claiming that I would support such. As it is the majority is often overruled by a minority when elected representatives act in ways that are at odds with the desires of their constituents who put them in office.

    I don't really think forced voting would bring about change any quicker than allowing the freedom to vote or not vote.

    Only those who are employed would benefit from a paid work holiday, what about the unemployed? And you would impose a fine on those who are unemployed for not voting?

    So it boils down to hiding the faults of the system/government.
  12. makihiko

    makihiko Official hippie since 2005

    voting should be mandatory in canada!

    we have like 8 parties!

    2of them are pretty hippish!
  13. makihiko

    makihiko Official hippie since 2005

    hell, we even have a communist party in canada!
  14. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    nothing should be mandatory. and as little as possible forbidden.
  15. dark suger

    dark suger Dripping With Sin!

    Vote or die
  16. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    only as long as i can vote against anyone who'd rather remain enslaved to what their familiar with then to be either moral or free (otherwise known as those who presume to call themselves conservative)
  17. It should be completely voluntary if it was mandatory you would just have a lot more un-informed voters. Plus mandating voting also defeats the principles of a free society.

    WOLF ANGEL Senior Member - A Fool on the Hill Lifetime Supporter

    Though I believe that everyone should vote - for the reason that so many people do not have the right to do so and so many have given most / all for people to do so, it has to be because they choose to.
    The vote of a candidate should be becuase of education. If the Parties that run were to be more upfront, explanatory and; dare I say it honest (?!) then more people could make a decision based on a judgement of considered deliberation.
    The right of choice is just that and if one chooses not to, it is because their conscience / conviction is not to vote any rather than a preferred choice.
    Also - I don't like the idea of being told what to do :)
  19. tricknologist

    tricknologist menace to sobriety

    Yeah seriously. When your asked to choose between lump of shit a or b, refusing to choose between them is the best choice.
  20. Individual

    Individual Senior Member

    Surprising based upon some of the posts that there is not greater demand for limiting the powers of the Federal government, or at least limiting it to that which is clearly enumerated in the Constitution and not deviating through reinterpretation to fit an agenda.
    Governments will grow and evolve to suit the needs of those who govern if the governed remain complacent.

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