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Ari Gold

Compulsory Voting

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Ari Gold

In my opinion, it shouldn't be. Voting is a right in most countries, of course, but I think that as a "right" it means that one should always have the option to vote rather than simply be forced. In societies which promote "free speech" and "democracy", surely we are allowed the choice to do what we want, right (apart from crimes, duh)? In every country, not everyone is interested in political affairs, whether people like it or not. It seems kind of unjust where perhaps a quarter of the votes in an election will be randomly directed to a party simply because they know nothing about any of the parties' policies, an with these votes handed to parties picked at random. There's another topic addressing whether people should pass intelligence tests to vote; frankly, I think people need to pass political interest tests (I'm not being serious here).

 

Do you live in a country where voting is compulsory? Apart from Australia (where I live) I don't actually know of other countries where voting is compulsory, but there's strong debate within the country about whether this status of compulsory voting should be removed. I mean, I'm interested in political affairs so my vote will always "count" (as in, it won't be randomly picked) so it won't really matter to me that much (as long as I live here), but for those who aren't interested, it does.

 

What's your take on the matter?

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Akavari

If I have to vote for a list of candidates and don't know anything about them I will usually just pick the person with the best sounding name.

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Ari Gold

Well, that's the thing. Let's say that you think the guy with the best name is "Mr. Gold". You think he has the best sounding name, so you vote for him. Another few million people who don't follow politics much and know nothing about it vote for him too 'cause he has an awesome name. But what if he's sh*t? What if he's some dictatorial communist who'll ban video games and drive all people to work ridiculous hours or on collective farms for the benefit of the state?

 

Extreme example, but that's the major flaw in the system.

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Typhus

I wish voting was compulsory. We need everyone to take the democratic process seriously, right down to the street-cleaners. When people stop caring, that's when the dangerous element often starts to slip in. Complacency is the greatest enemy of democracy. We must never take this freedom for granted. And if a few stragglers have to be forced to vote, then what's the problem?

But hey, just to appease those people who are naturally cynical. Why not add an option on every ballot, stating "All the candidates are twats, I don't like any of them"?

That should give everyone a voice, at least.

But staying at home should not be an option for those who are fit and healthy and able to vote.

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leeg1931

Well where I live for years Presbyterians and Catholics were forbidden from voting. A while ago Presbyterians got the right but even more recently Catholics got the right. Now, my mother is Presbyterian (As am I) and my father is Catholic and neither of them vote! People feakin' died so that they could do it and they just ignore it and slag off polotitians behind their backs. I agree that most of them are money hungry dicks but they're money hungry dicks who make the big decisions not to mention how big of an insult that is to the people who died so that we could do such a thing!

 

And what's to voting that makes so unbareable for a bunch of lazy goons. Going into a building, ticking a candidate on a page and putting it into a box. Wow that was difficult!

Edited by leeg1931

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Rhoda
But staying at home should not be an option for those who are fit and healthy and able to vote.

I am completely fit and able to vote, and yet for the whole day I did nothing but eat pizza and watch crap TV. It was my choice and my vote and I chose not to use it. Being 19, this year would have been my first year I could legally vote in the general election. While it's evident I may not appear to give a donkey's cigarette about my country, what if my belief was that either party would either make no difference, or do the same thing for anyone my age? My opportunities and circumstances didn't rest on either party leader.

 

Just a note to all those that did vote in the UK election and for those that voted Liberal Democrats, do you feel cheated out of your vote? Sure, Lib Dem have had an influence on some of the more extreme Tory policies but is that enough for you?

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General Goose

Those disillusioned with the political system or the parties available to them should be allowed not to vote. It's their choice. And those ignorant or apathetic about politics, well, their vote can't be helpful.

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Mike Tequeli

You have as much of a right to not vote as you do to vote. I figure people who think it should be compulsory are way to enthusiastic about the democratic process. They say sh*t like "if you don't vote you don't have the right to complain", which aside from being a logical fallacy is a good way to prove you're an ignoramus incapable of original thought, because some older ignorant f*ck told them that and they repeat it without giving it thought.

 

I think voting is vaguely important but if someone forced me to vote I wouldn't appreciate it one bit. Give me the choice as to whether I want to even support the process. I don't need a mandate to exercise freedom of expression, why should I be mandated to exercise any of my civil rights?

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Typhus

I do grow weary of that tired old arguement. "If you don't vote you don't have a right to complain".

I suppose I'd feel a lot better if we could identify those who don't vote because of genuine anger at the political process from those who don't vote because they're lazy, ignorant, bone idle simpletons.

I just can't tolerate apathy. Negativity, that's fine. There's often a lot to be negative about, after all. But this attitude of blissful ignorance is just infuriating. Those people don't deserve a voice, they don't deserve to vote.

 

In general, compulsory voting would be a diversion from the real issue. Which is how to get people like Masterkraft and yourself passionate and optimistic about the democratic process. So many people feel disenfranchised, utterly seperated from the mechanics of government. We need to reach out to such people and work together to create a system we can take pride in.

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Yarpie

Aslong as the pool is full of water and the fridge is full of food, I'm good.

 

You miserable gits can worry about politics all you want.

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Spaghetti Cat

I'd like to see a none of the above option on the ballot.

 

That way, instead of picking between two (or three) bad candidates, the process would yield the best elected officials. If the majority of the populace voted "none of the above" the whole election cycle would start over. Hopefully until we get it right, or at least get all the extreme party people cancelled out by rational voters in the middle.

 

Some time back in the 2000 election I read that the largest political block was people who could vote but didn't. Call it lazyness or whatever, but for whatever reason these people chose not to participate. In America, if you don't vote, you don't count. So we have all these political types who pour over election results to see how people are voting. Usually its the extremes in either party who comes out in elections, and it cycles every couple of years. Some to the Left, then to the Right, then back again. Now if you don't vote, then they might try to pull you into voting one party or another. But they really don't care what you think in the end, the two parties are just after votes.

 

A voting block that can not only vote a politician out of office, but also out of an election cycle, is a powerful thing. Once a majority of people make their voices heard in displeasure, then those same political types will start to listen to the majority. Hot button issues that polarize voters(and ironically gets them out in force) will start to fade, and the real pressing issues will start to be addressed. If we can have more than one choice in our soda, then we should be able to chose more that one of two bad political choices.

 

 

 

A bit more on-topic, I don't think voting should be mandatory. IQ tests, while good in theory, won't work in practice. Just another way of infringing on your liberty.

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Tornado Rex
I'd like to see a none of the above option on the ballot.

It's called a write in vote. One of my old bosses used to always write his name in on the Presidential ballot because he could never agree with the candidates.

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General Goose

Spaghetti Cat: I agree.

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SIKKS66
In general, compulsory voting would be a diversion from the real issue. Which is how to get people like Masterkraft and yourself passionate and optimistic about the democratic process. So many people feel disenfranchised, utterly seperated from the mechanics of government. We need to reach out to such people and work together to create a system we can take pride in.

This. What's the point of forcing people to vote if they don't have an interest or try to take an interest in politics? Getting people to want to vote is more democratic than forcing them to in my opinion.

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Tom Toole

I say f*ck this debate. It is just sufficiently shallow and sufficiently deep to be absolute sh*te. "Force" "people" to "vote". Lets analyse this f*cking f*cked up f*ck.

 

Force - you can fine them, you can put them in jail, you can kill them, you can do it for them, but you can't force people to do sh*te. not one f*cking sh*tting sh*te of a sh*t.

 

People - humanoid intelligences that are of your country meaning basically the same color and beliefs as you and same language - always remember - terrorists cant vote, cause they live in dictatorships that your democracy bought.

 

Vote. last one - how to explain how choosing one of three is equivalent to zero of zero... ummm... I really dont f*cking know i think maybe yeah wait no a ummm.... it's like a television that only catches japanese porn channels. I mean I f*cking love japan - one of the most fascist countries in the world yes, but very modern and very cool, very very fashionable. I love those japs. - I dont always want to watch f*cking japanese japs f*cking - even if it heterosexual missionary position. I mean really f*ck that sh*t.

 

so. did I manage to convince you? maybe it all came a little disorganized, that might be because Im on crack, amphetamines, and I drank a coke. The coke really did me in.

 

Welcome home johnny!

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