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View Full Version : Should voting be compulsory everywhere?


Forever
October 29th, 2011, 09:14 PM
This was being discussed in another thread the other day and I figured the discussion could continue here. Basically, in countries like America, you don't have to vote, whereas in Australia, you do. Many say that people in countries without compulsory voting should just vote, and rather not complain about the government. But if the government isn't doing anything in the first place to make you want to vote for them, and both parties suck, then yeah chances are you aren't going to want to vote. On the other hand, you can get a much better public opinion if you force everyone to vote, but in the mean time those who don't care vote for just anyone and if the majority doesn't care, then the ones that do care miss out because they're not getting the best leader, if that makes sense.

Some things for you to consider now (no dot points):
- what are your thoughts on compulsory voting with those things in mind?
- can there ever be a middle-ground between the two (aka compulsory and non-compulsory)?
- if the government participates more actively in the community and was more of an open book on issues, could you ever reach a general majority of people wanting to vote (aka for it not needing to be compulsory)?

Bring any other points to the table if you wish, discuss!

FreakyLocz14
October 29th, 2011, 10:36 PM
I have to answer with a resounding... NO.

This is such a violation of liberty.

Kura
October 29th, 2011, 11:03 PM
Mine is also a huge no. People dont understand how hard it is when you need to care for someone who is bedridden at home and incapacitated. If the voting period fell on a day that the nurses couldn't come in, then we would need to pay a private healthcare company for that hour for someone to get in so that someone could vote. But if everyone is doing that, then obviously they wont have enough staff, and we'd get fined for what? Trying to take care of the elderly? It's not like we could get a simple doctor's note. Doctors also hardly make housecalls around here. So I think it's ridiculous to have to pay $600 roundtrip for an ambulence (yes they cost money here and wheel-trans is out of the question, they're even more) just to get her out of the house and vote?


It's impossible and incredibly unfair to a family that already has so much on their shoulders. They started doing this stuff with the Italian government needing the person to be there instead of being able to use their power of attorney to sign for my grandmother's pension, and it was like a full-day ordeal and like $300 later just to drive her 15 minutes to have her present to sign the damn documents at the place. At least that's a one time ordeal!! And we're getting money she's entitled to from it! It's ridiculous that we need to pay and have to much hassle just to reclaim her OWN money. But voting is not just a one time thing, obviously! If we can't use that power of attorney to vote on their behalf or be able to sign documents on their behalf proving that they are incapacitated and cannot vote for themselves.. then it's incredibly frustrating not to mention damn near an impossible feat for those who are in a worse situation than my own. Or especially now that my grandmother can't even sit into a wheelchair and she needs to be turned on each side every hour because of a rapid-grown bedwound that happened when she was sick with ceisures and the medicine weakened her immune system. I'm sure if you had a hole tunnelled into your muscle straight down to the bone you wouldn't want to succumb to that pain of putting pressure on that brittle tissue and bone in your spine just so someone has some ridiculous checkmark on some ballot that you're forced to do. In Australia it's a $20 fine for you not to vote, you can say that you should just pay up that $20, but that's $20 that she is entitled to. $20 better spent on diapers for her! Her money they're swindling for a rule that completely disregards these people and especially the elderly in this sort of situation. Regardless, even if we just upped and paid it, its the whole hassle and stress and frustration in the first place that weighs more on a family like mine than anything else. It's just like the damn new health cards they introduced where you need to get them renewed every 4 years. For some people it's not so freaking simple! Why should we be denied our freedoms and our care because of these restrictions?

I couldn't even imagine having to go through that kind of thing. The government shouldn't be forcing that stuff on anyone. Voting should always be a choice. If people want to complain about the government, then let them and ignore it.. but don't take away everyone else's freedoms or choice.


So yeah. Blah blah blah. Right? Well for the TL; DR pricks on this site- or the skepticals who think I'm full of BS then here:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b314/ichigo_kura/Kura2/294310_1948773173387_1664321767_1633603_1677837624_n-1.jpg

Have some compassion.

Zet brings up a good point. Not to mention.. what about those people who are still citizens but go on Missions to other countries? How are the expected to pay for their fines? What if people want to move to another country for a few years, but remain a citizen of the place they were born? How's that going to fly?

Zet
October 29th, 2011, 11:24 PM
Mine is also a huge no. People dont understand how hard it is when you need to care for someone who is bedridden at home and incapacitated. If the voting period fell on a day that the nurses couldn't come in, then we would need to pay a private healthcare company for that hour for someone to get in so that someone could vote. But if everyone is doing that, then obviously they wont have enough staff, and we'd get fined for what? Trying to take care of the elderly? It's not like we could get a simple doctor's note. Doctors also hardly make housecalls around here. So I think it's ridiculous to have to pay $600 roundtrip for an ambulence (yes they cost money here and wheel-trans is out of the question, they're even more) just to get her out of the house and vote?


It's impossible and incredibly unfair to a family that already has so much on their shoulders. They started doing this stuff with the Italian government needing the person to be there instead of being able to use their power of attorney to sign for my grandmother's pension, and it was like a full-day ordeal and like $300 later just to drive her 15 minutes to have her present to sign the damn documents at the place. At least that's a one time ordeal!! And we're getting money she's entitled to from it! It's ridiculous that we need to pay and have to much hassle just to reclaim her OWN money. But voting is not just a one time thing, obviously! If we can't use that power of attorney to vote on their behalf or be able to sign documents on their behalf proving that they are incapacitated and cannot vote for themselves.. then it's incredibly frustrating not to mention damn near an impossible feat for those who are in a worse situation than my own. Or especially now that my grandmother can't even sit into a wheelchair and she needs to be turned on each side every hour because of a rapid-grown bedwound that happened when she was sick with ceisures and the medicine weakened her immune system. I'm sure if you had a hole tunnelled into your muscle straight down to the bone you wouldn't want to succumb to that pain of putting pressure on that brittle tissue and bone in your spine just so someone has some ridiculous checkmark on some ballot that you're forced to do. In Australia it's a $20 fine for you not to vote, you can say that you should just pay up that $20, but that's $20 that she is entitled to. Her money they're swindling for a rule that completely disregards these people and especially the elderly in this sort of situation. Regardless, even if we just upped and paid it, its the whole hassle and stress and frustration in the first place that weighs more on a family like mine than anything else. It's just like the damn new health cards they introduced where you need to get them renewed every 4 years. For some people it's not so freaking simple! Why should we be denied our freedoms and our care because of these restrictions?

I couldn't even imagine having to go through that kind of thing. The government shouldn't be forcing that stuff on anyone. Voting should always be a choice. If people want to complain about the government, then let them and ignore it.. but don't take away everyone else's freedoms or choice.

My uncle was fined a lot more than $20 when he didn't vote because was out of town at the time and didn't know their was a vote going on.


Also I don't think it should be compulsory; either way one of the candidates will end up being hated for introducing something stupid or do a really bad job.

Sodom
October 29th, 2011, 11:33 PM
Incredibly long post.

In Australia, there is a vote-by-mail system that you can do in the weeks leading up to the day of the election which would work wonders in situations such as yours. While it was intended for the terminally ill, expectant mothers, holidaymakers and people who will (or might) be otherwise unavailable to vote on election day, anybody can do it. I think if that system were implemented everywhere that voting was made compulsory, then mandatory voting wouldn't matter so much.

Honestly, my opinion on the topic itself is that I don't really have strong feelings for it either way. I'm sure there are decent arguments for and against... though honestly, I don't really see how it is a big enough deal to be (as Freaky said) a 'violation of liberty'.

Kura
October 29th, 2011, 11:43 PM
In Australia, there is a vote-by-mail system that you can do in the weeks leading up to the day of the election which would work wonders in situations such as yours. While it was intended for the terminally ill, expectant mothers, holidaymakers and people who will (or might) be otherwise unavailable to vote on election day, anybody can do it. I think if that system were implemented everywhere that voting was made compulsory, then it wouldn't matter so much.

Honestly, my opinion on the topic itself is that I don't really have strong feelings for it either way. I'm sure there are decent arguments for and against... though honestly, I don't really see how it is a big enough deal to be (as Freaky said) a 'violation of liberty'.

We don't have that here.. so my post reflects the question as how we vote as of today in the country. It's a good idea.. but because it's not implemented here I dont see how mail would work, really.. as.. how would that be anonymous? I dont know if they provide you with blank return envelopes or something.. but then couldn't someone just steal your mail and vote double times?
And what about the mission and country LoA questions I posed earlier? I dont understand how that'd work TBH.

I have strong feelings, as you can notice with my long and heated post.. but really, there is a lot of jumping through hoops that the government has made us do regarding our situation- so much so that's it's like the only times I've ever seen my mother cry about anything (when the government decides to cut back nursing hours randomly or the middleman is an insensitive person who's trying to make cuts wherever they can, and that stuff just scratches the surface.) Pulling something like this just adds one more little thing our family needs to worry about in regards to our grandmother- and in my opinion, its something that's completely and utterly unnecessary.
For us, voting would become like a burden.. and that's how I see it'd be a violation of liberty. It's up to the people to choose to vote, and they shouldn't be forced to choose by instilling consequences.

Sodom
October 30th, 2011, 01:08 AM
Well it wouldn't really matter if the votes were anonymous if sent by mail because the only people that would see them would be the government-employed vote counters. They're not going to care who you are. As to the people who wish to vote multiple times, the way voting works here is that there is a list of everybody in an electorate area and you approach a person and have your name marked off the list and then you're given your voting slip to fill out and post anonymously in the ballot boxes. So the mail voters would just include their details and somebody would mark their name off the list before election day.

Oryx
October 30th, 2011, 07:20 AM
For people on missions or not in the country there is absentee voting, which kind of invalidates your entire post Kura. It's not difficult, I do it when I'm in a different state for college and want to vote on something back home. So if they made voting mandatory then I assume they'd create an absentee voting system. It obviously works in the US and they haven't gotten rid of it because of vote tampering so it can't be as terrible as you seem to think it would be unless you think Canadians are really bad people compared to us or something.

But despite that, I have to say no for a different reason than everyone else. When you're required to do something, you don't do it as well as someone who's doing it because they want to do it. Chances are there would be plenty of people who just voted for the first name on the list, eenie-meenie-miney-mo'd it, or the name they've heard the most because they don't know enough about politics to vote on either candidate. I want my political representatives decided by the people that care about the government, not the people that pick randomly so they don't have to pay the fine.

Shiny Celebi
October 30th, 2011, 07:27 AM
No, voting shouldnt be compulsery. People dont have to use their right to vote. If they dont and the candidate they dont like wins, thats their loss.

Esper
October 30th, 2011, 08:43 AM
All the arguments against mandatory voting make sense to me. I'd just like to add that people who don't want to vote are often going to be people who haven't taken much time to think about what they would be voting on if they were forced. I believe that it's very important for people to be informed citizens when they're participating in citizen-y things like voting. I'd hate to see the outcomes of forced voting in placed like America because you know there will be some unqualified nutjob out there whose only pledge would be to get rid of forced voting and maybe one of two other crazy ideas.

Absentee voting is a good idea, but I had a very hard time getting my ballot while I was living in Japan because of how the local postal system works and other reasons and long story short I don't even know if my ballot reached my home state in time to be counted. I knew other Americans who didn't have that trouble so I know it's not something that always happens, but it can and does happen.

Alley Cat
October 30th, 2011, 08:50 AM
Forcing people to vote wouldn't work, the solution comes in by INSPIRING people to vote. Because let's face it, you can force any number of people to do whatever you bloody want, but those people who don't want to do it, still won't do it. They will just go through and check the first candidate/option on the ballot and send it off. In countries like America where most people's political competency is very low, people would also be ripping hairs out trying to figure out what the hell half the things on their ballot means.

Cassino
October 30th, 2011, 09:36 AM
No. I do find it strange how a freedom to indifference and exclusion isn't necessarily granted in life.

Went
October 30th, 2011, 02:40 PM
Forcing people to vote wouldn't work, the solution comes in by INSPIRING people to vote. Because let's face it, you can force any number of people to do whatever you bloody want, but those people who don't want to do it, still won't do it. They will just go through and check the first candidate/option on the ballot and send it off. In countries like America where most people's political competency is very low, people would also be ripping hairs out trying to figure out what the hell half the things on their ballot means.

This. This. So much.

And hell I dislike people who just don't care and just don't vote (we have mail vote here too, by the way, and voting is not compulsory- it's just a service in case you need it). And hell I'd like people to learn and go vote other parties instead of complaining about the two major ones getting elected over and over again, but forcing people to vote isn't going to get anything (well, maybe money for the Government in fines- that's kind of useful I guess).

If someone doesn't care/doesn't know what to do, they'll vote for the first guy or the prettiest candidate or the one their closest friend tell them to. If they think voting is a waste of time, they are just going to send a blank ballot, which is equally as pointless in the end. If politicians want to know "the voice of the people", they need to encourage them to vote, by showing actual debates and not just "the Government sucks" "the opposition sucks even more" catfights (they exist, it's just that nobody bothers telling anybody about those- I blame my colleagues). People need to see different alternatives and not Jack Johnson and John Jackson. And a 40% turnover rate IS a very loud and clear message- it's saying that 60% of your citizens don't care about you and/or your system and/or the way you explain your job. It's something to think about.

Kenshin5
October 30th, 2011, 02:54 PM
The only problem I see is people not inspired to vote and generally not caring, casting an essentially uneducated vote cause they don't know the issues on the table or anything about the candidates they are voting for. So going in blind to me is just as bad as a no vote at all.

Even if there is a mail in, some post offices all across America are closing. And I doubt they come and pick up the mail for these people if there is no post office in the area. That forces people to go by to a near town and pick mail and send mail, which is not exactly convenient especially if they really don't want to vote in the first place.

Bluerang1
October 30th, 2011, 06:49 PM
No. It could lead to a less favorable outcome as forced voters may vote aimlessly. Voting is a priviledge not a duty hence can be accepted or not. It shouldn't be forced.

Sora
October 30th, 2011, 08:20 PM
lol. the thread you got this from was tcti, wasn't it.

Anyways, I don't think anyone should be required to vote. At all. Basically everything that was mentioned above is part, is not the whole reason why I think it's just silly and it wouldn't work. Especially not in some countries, like America. There are just too many rebellious people and people who don't even care for it to even work. It'll just be a waste of time to try to implement and it'll just make people more... rebellious.

PkMnTrainer Yellow
October 31st, 2011, 08:47 AM
Well, no. See, as has been evidenced in a certain recent election, the masses are so incompetent that if we were ever to inspired them to vote, compulsorily or not, they would have the power to sway the vote for dumb, often hair pullingly stupid reasons. Chances are, they'd do just that. For people to care enough to vote, they usually need to know a bit about what they're voting for. The masses are hilariously uneducated to the point that we've had to mandate government classes in school just so that we can improve the situation.

That being said. When it's only the people who want to vote enough to go do it, a higher percentage of these people are going to know what the heck they're voting for overall.