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  1. #1
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    Default Should voting be compulsory

    I've always been pro compulsory voting. I understand that throughout history, and even today in some parts of the world, people have fought and died for the right to vote and have a voice. Because of this I've alway felt extremely lucky to live in a country where every persons' vote counts and have never understood some people's apathetic attitude towards voting.

    However during this election period I have encountered so much negativity towards voting that it makes me wonder whether it should be compulsory. I've had a number of friends express the attitude that they don't care who wins, it's just an inconvenience to them having to vote and they'd probably throw their vote anyway in protest at having been forced. At the polling booth yesterday I stood behind a couple who basically complained the whole time at what a waste it was being forced to come out to vote, they'd just vote for whoever was first on the list. Then at the actual voting booth another couple next to me made such a mockery of the whole thing. The man quickly did his vote without even so much as looking down, placed it in the box, came back and was like "what are you doing, hurry up!". The woman was laughing hysterically and said "what do I do?", he says "just put a one on it, anywhere" so she goes to just write a 1 randomly on the page and he says "no in a box!", she goes "which one ??" And he replies "anyone! Just pick one! Who gives a f**k!". So she just puts a 1 anywhere and they walk out ****ing themselves.

    It just made me think, there seems to be so many people who don't give a damn about who they vote for or why; contrary to what I've always believed I'm starting to think maybe it would be better if people weren't compelled to vote, at least then only people who had put some thought into it and had an idea of what they were actually voting for would turn up. What do you think?

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  3. #2
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    I don't think it should be compulsory - it should be our right to choose if we want to vote or not - I will always vote but there are many who just don't care or have no interest who I don't think should be made to vote

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  5. #3
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    I think if voting is compulsary the governement should take more care to ensure privacy of our personal details.
    Our details shouldn't be on a public role for all to see!
    I think the AEC needs to get with the times too-having to take time out of your day to go line up forever just to get your name ticked off a list is a massive PITA! Not to mention how environmentally detrimental all that paper used is!
    Why not establish an online voting system ( or maybe that's not possible now that we have a liberal government). It would simplify the process for many and even if you don't give a damn, it won't take a great deal of time out of your day to do an informal or donkey vote.

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  7. #4
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    Those people you encountered sound like absolute idiots.

    However I do think voting should be compulsory in Aust. Having optional voting can cause a swing to the conservative right. You also see some questionable things going on such as the loooong voting queues in the US, especially in poorer areas, which has the effect of limiting those people's ability to cast a vote and giving an advantage to the right.

    The disadvantage of the compulsory preferential system is that eventually each voter needs to choose between labor and the coalition. I think this has brought the two parties closer together in their agenda and values.

    People can still vote informally in our system, and unfortunately many do.. I can't really understand why other than apathy or not understanding how the system works.

    I don't think it's too much to ask to have to go to your local primary school once every three years, and it's very easy to do an absentee vote too so I don't think the action of just getting up and having to go somewhere is much of an excuse.

    Those people you met, apart from being dumb, I don't think they have much of a reason to complain that their vote won't make a difference, or that it's a waste of time. If they really thought that and were a bit more educated they would have probably voted for a minor party since that is a form of protest vote too.

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  9. #5
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    I think it should be, but I can see why people think it shouldn't be. My concern with non compulsory voting is that only those who have strong and extremist political views end up being the ones deciding the fate for the rest of the country. In the US, non compulsory voting means only around 50% of the voting population actually vote which is terribly low IMO. At least being forced to vote I think makes people take a bit more notice of what's going on because they know they have to make a decision. And if people really don't want to vote, they can vote informally. Given its about 10 minutes out of people's lives every 3 years (for federal elections), I don't think it's too much of a burden. And really, I'd rather be in a country that forces you to vote than one that doesn't allow you to at all.

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    P.S. apparently Abbott has some agenda about abolishing compulsory voting that he hasn't announced transparently.

  12. #7
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    No it shouldn't be compulsory. It's great that we all have the choice to vote and I always will, but having it forced on you seems a bit against the spirit of democracy and choice IMO.

    I'm from the UK so I found it really odd when I moved here.

    I can see why the Govt wants it to be compulsory though.

  13. #8
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    No.

    Voting is a right.

    Rights are very different from obligations.

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    I don't think it should be compulsory

  16. #10
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    It should absolutely be a choice. We are not the US we have regulations regarding campaigning and finances for campaigns. It's ridiculous to imply that only extremists will vote, what it will mean is that the major political parties might actually have to sort out their BS and create policies that matter to the people!!! I did a dummy vote as I REFUSE TO PUT MY VOTE TO A POLITICAL party I don't believe in.


 

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