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The Forum > General Discussion > Compulsory Voting

Compulsory Voting

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A recent article on ABC online advises that compulsory voting was imposed on Australians in 1924. Why? Well, according to the forgettable academic who wrote the article, our politicians were “proud of Australia’s reputation as a democracy”. She doesn’t expand on that, nor does she say what the ‘pride’ of a few federal politicians has to do with forcing people to vote under pain of penalty.

Just in passing, of course, the plebians of 1924 were not actually asked if they wanted to be made to vote, or if they wanted their descendents to be made to vote. Our current not-so-proud politicians wouldn’t get away with such undemocratic behaviour now without a referendum. And records show that there were no referenda on anything at all between 1919 and 1926.

No, the politicians kept this one to themselves, voting in favour of a private member’s Bill put by a Senator Payne from Tasmania. Yes, Tasmania!

With whole-hearted approval of compulsory voting, our elitist academic prattled on to say that it “that it makes it easier for ‘new entrants’ to contest seats”, using the single-issue activist and recently elected Member for Wentworth as an example. Grrrrr! Of course, that other highly shonky business of preferential voting got that one in.

Our academic goes on to tell us, rightly, that there is now not so much trust, pride and confidence in our politicians which, amazingly, is another reason (94 year old pride being the only other one) for compulsory voting. Without it, she says, many “disillusioned (people) would stop voting altogether”!

Get it? We have compulsory voting because Australians had trust and confidence in government (not that they were asked); but now, when she admits that there is a lot less trust and confidence in government, we need compulsory voting”. She finishes with, “It’s a very good thing”.

Hey. They don’t trust us? Make the buggers vote! Hang on. We don’t know if they actually do vote when they get into the polling booth. Let’s put in surveillance. A Tassie Green could put up a Bill.
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 4 March 2019 12:59:14 PM
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ttbn,
I think people should be required to have a license to vote. To just vote because mum & dad voted so & their school teacher told them to vote so too is nothing more than sabotaging the whole election.
Posted by individual, Monday, 4 March 2019 6:29:19 PM
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Voting is compulsory by law and that is a good thing, but no one has to actually cast a vote, one can write anything at all on the ballot paper.

One thing that it does do is cut down the number of multiple votes, the system of vote early, vote often doesn't pertain.
Posted by Is Mise, Monday, 4 March 2019 7:22:29 PM
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Individual,

If you are suggesting that some people are too dumb to vote, I agree with you.

Is Mise,

Yes. We all know that. Someone always brings it up every time the matter of undemocratic compulsory attendance is brought up. Not turning up at a polling station is a political act that is denied to Australians, and the inhabitants 17 countries who fine people for not turning up. It is significant that two thirds of OECD countries do not have compulsory voting. Compulsory voting is totally undemocratic.

Please see my comment to my individual. We would get! better governments if voting was voluntary.
Posted by ttbn, Monday, 4 March 2019 8:23:35 PM
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We would get! better governments if voting was voluntary.
ttbn,
I believe that not only would we get a better Govt but better citizens also if we threw in a Non-military National Service !
Posted by individual, Monday, 4 March 2019 9:53:52 PM
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Weird. I would expect dumb-arse leftist children and/or academics (somewhat interchangeable categories), with their disapproval of the dreadful imperfections of democracy (it allows neo-liberalism, after all), to go for voluntary, or even no, voting - after all, once a Utopian Blueprint has been drawn up, and the right Party is in power, with its almost-divine Leader (hey, I've been there, done that), what does anybody need democracy, or voting, for ?

But no. Conservatives here opposing compulsory voting: what next ? Yes, like any system it has its weaknesses and defects and imperfections, and to paraphrase Churchill, it's the worst system except for all the others.

So you want only a handful of 'knowledgeable' people voting ? Perhaps none at all, since - with the right party in power - why change it at all ? And after all, such a system lasted in the Soviet Union for more than seventy years; such a system in China has lasted nearly seventy years - 140 years between them, so clearly dictatorship is durable. And do we see Chinese people complaining, rising up and trying to overthrow the system ? No ? Why's that ? Could it be because they are happy, contented, that they don't need democracy or voting ? How else can you explain it ?

Yeah, right.

Ttbn, etc., beware ! Your dumb-arse adolescent grandsons have just been listening to their teachers and have stolen your passwords !

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Tuesday, 5 March 2019 12:13:56 PM
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