Anyone remember the Chaser segment "this person votes"? Look it up on youtube if you haven't. The way I see it, the problem with non-compulsory voting is - what if all the dumb, uninformed people vote and the intelligent people don't??
First of all, voting isn't compulsory, getting your name marked off the electoral roll is compulsory. What you chose to do with the ballot paper handed to you is your right to do with as you wish ... fill it in, don't fill it in, draw Mickey Mouse on it. You are lucky enough to live in a fairly true and representative democracy. If this weren't a minimum requirement, the apathy would only get worse and the "passionate" (read - far left and far right nutjobs) would have a disproportionate representation (refer to the Tea Party in the US).
There are people fighting and dying for democracy in their country and have what we have. I don't think it is too much to ask the people of the "lucky country" to get off their butts a few times every 4 years or so and excerise the right to vote. Even if it is to honor those laying their lives on the line to have that same right.
I am also disillusioned with the current choices we have at both the National and State levels, and for the first time I have found myself swinging at the last few elections. Ironically, choosing not to vote means you choose to not hold the elected officials to account. Even a "protest vote" to a minor party can send a loud message to the major parties... and this is why we have a minority government today.
Compulsory voting means that you have to attend a polling point to have your name crossed off as having voted; you don't have to cast a vote.
Does having your name crossed off achieve anything even if you don't vote?
Yes!! It stops someone voting in your place, something that goes on in Britain where the slogan "Vote Early, Vote Often" probably originated.
Britain often has Governments that are elected on a minority vote as a percentage of the population of voting age.
No, i personally dont think it should be compulsory
Ok, so for all those that say do your research. Umm, this may be a dumb question but how/where do you find all that info. I have a hard enough time applying for maternity leave much less finding out everyone who is running (including all the independents), what they stand for and where their party preferences go to. Its not exactly easy to find info and the only pamphlets I have ever gotten never have any info they just say Vote 1 ME! Lots of people dont have hours to spend online trying to find this info.
Maybe if voting wasnt compulsory and the candidates had to convince us to vote in the first place they might actually go out of thier way to provide decent information beyond just seeing thier party name on the ballot paper on voting day.
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