Should Compulsory Voting Be Abolished?


Only a small percentage of countries around the world have compulsory voting, Australia being one. There have been arguments for and against abolishing compulsory voting and some countries have removed the law in recent years. People in favour of removing compulsory voting argue that only people who genuinely want to vote will continue to without it being compulsory, removing the people that vote in anger because “they have to”. What do you think LiveTribers? Would you like to see compulsory voting abolished? Do you happily vote every election?

Posted by on 22 Oct 2020

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  • [0] [0]
    Sammbo

    Everybody, 18+ is entitled to their say. However if you object to being forced to vote, then either don't and pay the fine or drop in an invalid vote. Either way your opinion won't matter It's not like you're being asked to wear a Collingwood Jumper.,

    Posted by Sammbo on 25 Nov 2020

  • [1] [0]
    wendles

    I don't believe in forcing people to vote, if they don't want to, after all it supposed to be our choice on who to vote for, why can't it be our choice too on whether or not we want to vote. If you have to threaten people with fines if they don't vote, that is not what I call a free country. If we have a choice to make on whether we want to vote or not then probably more people will want to vote.

    Posted by wendles on 07 Nov 2020

  • [1] [1]
    vegandelight

    I'm surprised by the number of members who believe Australia is a democracy. We are not. We never were designed to be from the outset. By definition, a democracy is a society whose citizens are sovereign and control government. We are neither! If our citizens are sovereign, the government must Not compel us to vote. Our government is not controlled by us, but by one foreign vote, as our recent history proves. According to international opinion, we're the most over-represented people on earth, but how is that possible when our two-party duopoly is entirely unrepresentative of our population? In 2006, the Australian Bureau of Statistics recorded Total party membership at just 1.3% of the adult population and falling each year. What more solid proof do you need that the three parties don't represent us? We don't believe in them! Historically, we didn't use Compulsory Voting to curb poor voter turn out. Its first recorded use was in the 1915 QLD state election, which without compulsion previously turned out a very healthy 75%. It's intention was to deliberately stop the original Labor Movement (which was Entirely different for what the ALP stands for today). Workers for the movement received no pay or compo for motivating huge numbers to vote for them, so the conservative parties feared permanently losing power to Labor unless they forced everyone to vote (which failed miserably anyway). Years later, it became Commonwealth Law for the same reason - to stop Labor. Incidentally, nobody has ever been jailed for failing to vote - a fine is issued and if multiple fines go unpaid, then the person's jailed for failing to pay fines! To be properly democratic, every ballot needs to come with a box at the bottom to provide the voter with an option of "none of these candidates fit my requirements" and even another one which states "I do not support compulsory voting".

    Posted by vegandelight on 27 Oct 2020

  • [3] [2]
    Lee

    No Abolish compulsory voting It’s a ridiculous antiquated system It’s a huge waste on resources money and time to count votes that do not reflect the true feelings of Australians as a result of being angry at compulsory voting Simple psychology

    Posted by Lee on 25 Oct 2020

  • [0] [0]
    coaster

    Even if it was not compulsory I think you would find these so call donkey votes would still exist.

    Posted by coaster on 29 Oct 2020

  • [6] [1]
    tassiegirl

    I always vote. I do know many people who don't vote. They just get their name marked off and leave a blank paper. These people are the loudest complaining about the politicians. Everybody has a right to vote. We should make our vote count as especially in the senate, the balance is held by a few cross benchers who are making important decisions that affect us. I pay attention to what is happening and who is voting for what.

    Posted by tassiegirl on 25 Oct 2020

  • [2] [3]
    Aussie5

    Good on you tassiegirl. I wish others were as intelligent as you.

    Posted by Aussie5 on 26 Oct 2020

  • [2] [3]
    sam

    I think we should have a choice also I we should be a republic and vote for a president i'm sick of voting for the leader of a particular party only for his/her cabinet to depose them for someone they voted for.

    Posted by sam on 25 Oct 2020

  • [0] [0]
    coaster

    I agree that the person voted should stay in power unless for legal reasons or health reasons. However, I am also against them using my vote to preference someone else. If I wanted the person they give my vote to I would have voted for them. Nice to think of a President but even he has to have a party behind him to get elected so same thing under a different banner.

    Posted by coaster on 29 Oct 2020

  • [1] [0]
    socker

    Yoo never get to vote for a leader unless you actually live in their electorate

    Posted by socker on 26 Oct 2020

  • [5] [4]
    lordofthekitchen

    Keep it compulsory, it makes the lazy bastards get off the arse, remember Hitler was voted into power by the few maniacs that got up to vote, most of the rest were to lazy or apathetic. the zealots will always vote just look at the Islamic world, run by maniacs, voted for by the ignorant

    Posted by lordofthekitchen on 23 Oct 2020

  • [0] [3]
    vegandelight

    It's a much bigger argument than that! Compulsory voting is just one small part of an election process that urgently demands a total overhaul. The system we have now is entirely undemocratic and was forced upon us from the beginning by imperialist England, who still controls the outcome of Every election with just One Vote! Real Australians have demanded these simple changes from the beginning and I'm here to remind you of their efforts throughout the ages. May their struggles not be in vain nor their voices wasted on willfully deaf ears nor their vision trashed by those blinded by decades of propaganda under the stupid banner of "if you don't like 'our' system, then leave". It's not even Our System - it never was! The first issue that needs addressing is to ban all Public (taxpayer) funding of elections. The memberships of the two main parties have collapsed and with them, contributions. Why? Because they don't represent their voters at all. Responsible Government, from the very first use of that term, has always only ever meant “Responsible to the British Crown" and not the voter. Nobody should be forced to fund election campaigns they don't wish to join. The only public funding that should be made available is the reimbursement of expenses for independently auditing financial records of all registered parties every year as well as individual candidates at election time. Only individual citizens should be allowed to make donations, loans and contributions to parties or individual candidates with unions, companies and other institutions banned from doing so with heavy fines. Any contributions over $5k must be publicly disclosed and capped at $20k. All government advertising and info should be done on the ABC network and no election advertising should be seen on other TV or broadcast channels. Any media coverage should give fair and equal coverage of all candidates and parties at any time. Okay, getting back to voting now... all Preferential Voting must be abolished, as it was deliberately designed in 1918 to entrench our two-party system and stop the ALP of that era by allowing vote-swapping between the conservative parties. The Menzies Government employed it to enormous effect in concert with the DLP time and time again. Keep a very simple system instead, whereby the one in any electorate with the most votes wins. Set your thresholds and agree to do it. Now, the argument in favour of the system is that it takes into consideration the preferences of the voter, but the reality is quite different. In nearly every case, the system of preference-sharing is entirely unknown to the voter. The current system demands loads of computer automation and the voter has no idea where their vote will end up. In larger ballots, it's nigh-impossible to determine who will win, so the choice comes down to "which of the two main parties do you want to win?". This system is open to exploitation by phantom candidates who direct their votes to others in deals which the public has no knowledge of. Voters who are disinterested should not be forced to vote just to avoid penalties. This makes the outcome wildly unrepresentative, inaccurate and encourages parties to make policies and run campaigns that are unpopular and self-serving. The choice not to vote is made based on either the parties or the whole system being not worthy of their support. It is just basic honesty and should not be penalised in any democracy.

    Posted by vegandelight on 23 Oct 2020

  • [7] [2]
    Aussie5

    I consider it an honour and a privilege to be able to vote and always vote at every election. Yes, sometimes it is a nuisance, when you have to stand in a queue for 45 minutes in the heat to cast your vote, but then I think of all of the thousands of people around the world who would give anything to be able to vote and are not allowed, because they do not live in a democracy. I cannot understand why anyone would object to being given a chance to say who they think should run their country. Many people don't vote, then complain about who wins the election. Their vote could possibly change the course of the election if they bothered to vote. I cannot see any reason to abolish compulsory voting and cannot believe that people would not consider it an honour to be able to vote. If you took away their voting privilege, you would then hear the howls of protest from the same people who complain about compulsory voting now.

    Posted by Aussie5 on 23 Oct 2020

  • [0] [0]
    Iggy's mum

    Entirely agree with you

    Posted by Iggy's mum on 27 Oct 2020

  • [3] [1]
    chocogirl21

    I think compulsory voting should be abolished. I shouldn't be forced to vote for people I don't believe. You should vote because you want to, compulsory voting has no place in a free democracy.

    Posted by chocogirl21 on 23 Oct 2020

  • [5] [2]
    mact

    Thank God Oz has Compulsory Voting. It gives all rational adults an unavoidable option to vote. Given the relatively low informal votes in any election it ensures a more believable result in our democracy. Unlike the USA where the weather on the day and the current prevailing sense of need seems to dictate if people will make the effort to vote. No wonder the USA is in the mess it appears to be in!

    Posted by mact on 22 Oct 2020

  • [4] [2]
    michb

    I think compulsory voting leads to incorrect election results. Those who don't want to vote should have that option instead of submitting invalid votes.

    Posted by michb on 22 Oct 2020

  • [2] [1]
    ere

    I resent having to vote for a party that I don't like and don't want to represent me. The stupid preferential system we have in Australia means that because of 'sweetheart' deals my vote may end up with a party I strongly dislike. For this reason I deliberately vote informal and will continue to do so. Abolish the preferential voting system and I may reconsider my current stand.

    Posted by ere on 23 Oct 2020

  • [0] [0]
    coaster

    Yes I am not enamoured with this system of preferences the Liberals bought in. I think compulsory voting is the way to go as people are lazy otherwise and only complain if the one they preferred does not get in. I think a box for people who do not like the representatives should be available for them to put their vote it as this would give a true indication of how the people feel about the options. I think one vote = who gets in. This seat business also has been fiddled so it is a Liberal or Labor safe seat. We have councils to look after suburbs so why do we need anyone else. A state representative is necessary of course. We could do away with so many of these politicians who just drain the tax money into their pockets one way or another.

    Posted by coaster on 29 Oct 2020

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