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Thread: Compulsory Voting - Should civic particitpation be required by law?

  1. #1
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Compulsory Voting - Should civic particitpation be required by law?

    I recently discovered the concept of compulsory voting.

    Fine all eligible voters that don't vote. It's done in Australia.

    Gets record turn-out.

    Australian electoral system

    I think that it may be a legitimate requirement for the voting age population of the nation. In most, nations the populace have numerous compulsory requirements that must be adhered to. There are criminal laws, civial laws, development codes, health codes, enironmental codes, taxes, etc. that must be complied with.

    What are your thoughts? (discussion originated in this thread.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  2. #2
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I thought this was a free country. While I lean towards a larger government, Socialism, etc., I cannot condone this. While we are free to vote whomever we want into office (so long as it is one of two Corporate-backed parties), we are also free to choose not to vote. That alone is very democratic and American.

    I do believe that if you do not vote, you have no place in a political argument.

    I like seeing the turn out for voting in newly established Democracies. People there are excited to finally be a part of their government, while we have long since taken this freedom of choice for granted. Maybe we need to stir the pot to get young Americans to vote again. Maybe take MTV in the afternoons, require Civil or Military Service for everyone between ages 18 and 20, or tax the hell out of dirt bikes, riding lawnmowers (eg), and three car garages... maybe then people will wake up.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  3. #3
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Compulsory Turnout, not voting

    I think we should all be required to submit a ballot, even if blank. Maybe we should have a multiple choice canadite (when all the others suck) for those who are looking for a little entertainment A) Foghorn Leghorn B) Trix Rabbit C) Count Chocula (gets my vote!) D) Popeye

    If we live in a system, we should make our voices (even as small as they are) heard in the system. It's probably one of the only non-violent ways to instigate a change in action, representation or thought in the system.

    Stupid people too.. everyone needs to vote. IQ unfortunately doesn't always equate to common sense and vice-versa.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Well here it's voluntary inscription and compulsory voting for those that are registered voters. Although the fines to those that don't vote are never charged anyways... I'm not registered... I could be and could have registered last year... I didn't because politicians here suck. The current government coalition is composed mostly of powerhungry idiots and corrupt morons. The extreme left wing (read communists and greenies) are a bunch of morons that are mostly still resented with what happenned over 30 years ago... the Right wing... well I like their economic ideas but the catholic conservative look on other things are annoying... and that leaves me.... nothing decent. I won't bother registering to vote and adding a null vote (I wouldn't trust to do a blank vote)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I suppose we could also mandate that people attend church.

    I just dont think people should be forced to do anything. If you dont want to vote then you should be forced into making a terribly uninformed decision.

  6. #6
    Politics itself is the problem. You're not going to fix it by forcing people to vote.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    Politics itself is the problem. You're not going to fix it by forcing people to vote.
    Inaction by the apathetic 80% often results in the "loud" 20% getting their special intrests served which is not a successful republic or democracy. Apathy is not an excuse. Whether you care or not, the system is providing quite a bit of positives and negatives. The beneficiaries of the system need to provide feedback to how it's working, even if they don't give a damn. Write it on the ballot: "I don't give a damn." It'll tell the politicians they can do what they want until someone does give a damn.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    No I don't think that it should be cumpolsory but if you didn't vote or don't vote you give up your right to complain about anything the government does. Voting should be done out of civic duty, just like jury duty. I think that it should be informed and easily accessible more so than it is now.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  9. #9
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek
    No I don't think that it should be cumpolsory but if you didn't vote or don't vote you give up your right to complain about anything the government does. .

    we live in a country where we still at least are supposed to have the right to voice our opinion. You cannot take that away from someone just because they did not vote.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I get a charge every time I vote. It is fun! If others don't care to experience the pleasure of participation, that is fine with me. They can vote by calling into American Idol.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    Inaction by the apathetic 80% often results in the "loud" 20% getting their special intrests served which is not a successful republic or democracy.
    The loud 20% are not getting their interests served any more than the other 80%. Most government activity is so far out of reach of common comprehension that there is no hope for the voters to understand and influence any of it. That's what the 80% have come to understand. However because this is a system of majority rule the political spectrum naturally splits into two sides, left and right, where two teams attempt to take over by duping the 20% into thinking they will get what they want, or some of what they want, by voting for the right side. Once victory is secured the winning team proceeds to do whatever it wants, ignoring the voters. For example in the last U.S. presidential election the right-wing team duped its base by hinting at an anti-gay-marriage amendment, a measure that made absolutely no sense and would have been impossible to execute in the process of government. Nevertheless they earned enough votes to win and immediately buried the measure forever. Now they rule the country as it pleases them.
    Apathy is not an excuse. Whether you care or not, the system is providing quite a bit of positives and negatives. The beneficiaries of the system need to provide feedback to how it's working, even if they don't give a damn.
    How does voting accomplish that? As opposed to, say, rioting?
    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek
    No I don't think that it should be cumpolsory but if you didn't vote or don't vote you give up your right to complain about anything the government does. Voting should be done out of civic duty, just like jury duty. I think that it should be informed and easily accessible more so than it is now.
    The logic is backwards. If you vote then you endorse the government and give up your right to complain. If you don't vote you reject the government and retain your right to complain about a system that is fundamentally unjust.

  12. #12
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I've always liked incentives as a way to influence behavior, personally.

    I would suggest a change to federal labor laws to require employers to give employees election day off. However, the catch would be that they must go to a polling place for a verification (not necessarily to vote) or present a verification from a mail-in ballot or early-voting ballot. If you take the day off but fail to provide verification, you are fined 3x your average daily income for that tax year.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman GŲring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  13. #13
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I donít understand why a person would not want to vote.

    I however do not think that persons in jail or prison should not be permitted to vote and I do not think that people who do not, and have not resided in the country for the past 5 years, other than on government related business such as military, should be permitted to vote.







    And I think that we should vote Jaws into office just to pi$$ him off.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  14. #14
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    And I think that we should vote Jaws into office just to pi$$ him off.
    I'd be quite happy to be the boss.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I donít understand why a person would not want to vote.
    Um... the candidates are all loser, career politicians. Your job won't give you time off to vote and you don't want to stand in line behind all the retirees who want to vote at 7 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. Your day care closes before the polls and hey, in a toss up, guess you'll get the kid instead of voting. You live in a county that doesn't embrace early voting (like mine!).

    I don't support mandatory voting simply because the vast majority who don't vote, don't have a clue. They do not read up on the candidates or issues and will vote by party or name recognition only. Better off without them.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Hmm yes compulsary voting...

    I guess over here people might whinge and grumble and moan that they have to vote- but at the end of the day everyone is able to have their say as to who is voted in.

    Otherwise we would be in the situation that both parties are going to do a crap job either way so no one is really bothered to vote.

    I am for compulsary voting, just so that people who do not vote, dont whinge etc etc
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Voting should not be a requirement. It is a dang shame that turnout is so low, but that's the way it is. Many of the folks who don't vote would probably vote IN things or people that disgust this Bear.....so, better off without 'em!

    I said it before.....we have to do a much better job of educating the youth of our country, and that includes solid education on what is at stake when you vote or chose not to vote.

    Slightly on-topic.....I can't vote for jaws.....I already wrote in elGaupo.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  18. #18
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Hell no. The people that don't vote are generally "uninformed" or "apathetic" in the area of politics anyway. If they weren't, then they'd be voting. With absentee voting and early voting and everything else these days, everyone that wants to vote is able to vote.

    If they don't want to vote for whatever reason, then that's fine. Same thing as "I plead the fifth." You then must accept the consequences of your decision not to decide. The consequence in this case being that they don't have a say in who gets elected.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  19. #19
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The first amendment to the Constitution says:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." (Emphasis added).

    Doesn't say anything about having to vote to exercise the freedom to beoutch about gov't.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    I would have to answer with a definite "no". While it would be good to see higher voter turn out I believe that the government forcing people to vote would be more government control that I'd like to see.

    If any one wants to do something useful to improve democracy it would be to remove the system that allows for the vast majority of incumbents to get re-elected. The gerrymandering of districts so that a tenth term congressmen gets re-elected should be illegal. But seeing as how the people that control this are the ones who benefit from this, this may be wishful thinking.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    I'd be quite happy to be the boss.
    And you think government is f***ed up now? Besides, bosses are hired and fired, political leaders are elected. If you were the boss, I would quit!

    I think that it is necessary to vote in the primaries and the regular elections. That way you have a better candidate going into the regular elections, and if you still don’t like either of them, you vote for the lesser of the two evils and then encourage people that you know to run for office.

    I think that there are a lot of possibilities for terrific people to get elected if they just try.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  22. #22

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    Why do you assume our voting does any such thing? The national political class is one amorphous mass, with very little really difference between them. Look at the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of people who have been irradiated or killed because of Democratic Party foreign policy. They are little different than Hezbollah.

    I think Mr. Scruggs sums it up pretty well. Why should I be requireed to validate people like Hillary Clinton or George W Bush. My solution: break up the empire. Small states at least don't have bases in 100 different countries. jaws: I increasingly agree with you. I am disgusted.

    Quote Originally posted by UFO Breakfast Recipients
    She is undoubtedly quite vain, Roger, and more than a little convinced of her importance to the world, but I think she also has a game plan of sorts. The entire class she belongs to has the conviction that the people they "represent" are a great threat to all that is good and holy -- their careers, that is, and the economic order that has elevated them to their present position. Deliberate defunding and demoralization initiatives have long been tools in the toolbox of the power hungry.

    I could accept that she's just another dimbulb celebrity if she didn't display some knowledge of how much ire her previous plots have generated. Like all managerial cheese movers, she hates her "employees" much more than her competition who, like Newt, can be expected to sympathize and put in a good word for her with a lobbying firm.

    She and the other dingbat Dems were scarred for life by the crisis of Watergate and the Vietnam debacle. So they did what any well-grounded management team does. They turned on their employees with a vengeance. It's part of the playbook now. We're a great beast, all of us, and they resent the extent to which they're required to seek legitimacy from us. It's their participation, after all, that gives the system its noble qualities.

  23. #23
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Yes, as long as there is a "none of the above" option for each office.

    If "none of the above" gets a higher vote than the winning candidate, a new campaign and election must be held.

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