Mandatory voting


the caracal kid
#1
This topic comes and goes as voter turnout goes up and down.

Personally, I think the system needs to be re-invented so people have a reason to feel they should vote rather than just more band-aid fixes to a broken process. "keep the plebs in line" attitudes don't fair well with me.

Of course, the parties that enjoy the power from their exclusive hold on politcs are in no rush to promote an open system.

Here is a story from CTV on the issue:
Quote:

Mandatory voting could improve Canadian turnout
Updated Wed. Jan. 18 2006 1:21 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Voter turnout in the 2004 federal election hit a record low, prompting some Canadian officials to consider introducing mandatory voting, a practice already law in Australia.

Officials Down Under have seen higher than 90 per cent voter turnout since installing a mandatory voting law in 1924. That compares to 60.3 per cent in Canada in the 2004 election, the lowest since 1898.

The Australian high commissioner to Canada says his country's high turnout can be attributed to the simple law-abiding and fine-avoiding nature among most of his country's population.

"Fifty dollars is not going to send you to the bank, but it's enough to encourage people to do the right thing," William Fisher told CTV's Canada AM Wednesday.

He explained that because Australia's elections are always held on a Saturday, if citizens weren't forced to vote many people would find other things to do with their time.

"If we had voluntary voting now, we would still have very low voting turn-out because, as you can guess, in Australia, a weekend is something to value."

The country invoked the measure after voting levels dropped to 40 per cent in the early 1920s. Offenders aren't asked to qualify why they didn't participate in the election, but receive a ticket much like a parking fine in the mail.

Fisher said a small percentage of voters who haven't chosen a party turn in a blank ballot to avoiding being fined, but the majority devote at least some time to figuring out which party best represents their views.

"It does make people think about what they're going to vote for, so even if people were not naturally inclined to be interested in politics, the fact that they are going to vote means that they do give it some thought," he said.

"I think it has a general educational effect on the population."

Experts in Canada, including Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley and a Winnipeg think tank called the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, think mandatory voting could have equally positive results in Canada.

After announcing a 61.2 per cent turnout for the 2000 election -- a record low at that time -- Kingsley suggested politicians take another look at the idea. It was later proposed in a Senate bill in 2004.

"Sometimes, in order to save democracy, you have to do things that might seem to run a little bit against it," said Kingsley.

The Frontier Centre's Dennis Owens, who has studied the issue extensively, believes higher turnout would prevent special interests from having a disproportionate effect on election results.

He recommends a law that would allow for exemptions for those who could show they have good reason to abstain from casting a ballot.

Australia isn't the only democracy to implement mandatory voting. Citizens are required to vote in more than 30 countries worldwide, including Belgium and Greece. The turnout rates for elections in those countries are 92 and 80 per cent respectively.

http://www.ctv.ca//servlet/ArticleNews/story/
CTVNews/20060118/mandatory_voting_060118/20060118?
s_name=election2006&no_ads=
 
Basic
#2
I think that a representative democracy would solve these problems much more effectively then instituting mandatory voting. Such a think would most definately be fought strongly by many people.
 
Finder
#3
It wouldn't solve it but it may help, regain confidance with a few people in the system..

Also I think that Elections Canada is too passive and have become more and more passive in the last 20 years. One of the problems in my mother's riding is the polling station is just too far away and she isn't voting this election because of it. No matter what I tell her she think's by not voting she's going to show the government that she doesn't think they've done right. *sighs* unfortunitly my mother (A soft NDP supporter) does not always vote and I think has only voted twice in the past 20 years.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#4
In my opinion, Canada should not implement any legislative measures that would make voting compulsory. I would assert that while voting is a right, it should not be made into an obligation — although, perhaps we could create some sort of incentive to vote.

For example, a certain tax credit could be granted to those who were recorded as having voted; that's just a suggestion, but it could work, I guess.

However, if we ever were to institute compulsory voting, I would think that we should permit there to be a checkbox such as "I choose to abstain from the Thirty-ninth General Election," or something to that effect.
 
Alberta'sfinest
#5
I don't want to force people to vote, I wan't to keep idiots from voting. I can often shoot holes through many peoples views with simple logic. To actually know what's right for this country, you need a good understanding of philosophy, sociology, and government function. Without these three skills it's not possible to understand the choice, spot the best policy, or judge a leader properly.

The proof that people aren't smart enough to vote is the fact that all majour party policies are riddled with flaws. All you have to do is think for a little while about some of their ideas, and the flaw is obvious. The polititions aren't even trying to bother explaining these flaws why? Because people aren't smart enough to understand the arguements and can be easily led astray by any source of information. In other words, they don't get technical because it will create confusion, and the source will come off as arrogant.
I've seen this with my own two eyes, and experienced it. I won in a debate in highschool, but the crowd cheered for the other guy. I was right, proved I was right, destroyed the other guys opinion, but I used too large of words doing it, got too technical, and lost the opinion of the crowd. In the end, I got 90% and my opposition got 35% or something.
Until people get educated enough to ask the right questions, spot the bull, and think how the social policies will actually affect our country with an open mind to possibilities, elections will be no more than a popularity contest, and leadership will always be less than acceptable.
I don't even want to vote anymore after seeing the true colours of the parties this time around, and if I did, it wouldn't be for the best candidate, but for the one that will screw up our country the least. I've lost all faith in our government, have no respect for our judicial system. I don't have equal rights, I'm oppressed for my way of life(not gay), and polititions don't even respond to my well thought out letters that ask to rectify the problem.

Now I do as my ancestors have done, not give a shit about the system and work around it. Why? It's merely a cage for those who can't see the wires.
 
Finder
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Alberta'sfinest

I don't want to force people to vote, I wan't to keep idiots from voting. I can often shoot holes through many peoples views with simple logic. To actually know what's right for this country, you need a good understanding of philosophy, sociology, and government function. Without these three skills it's not possible to understand the choice, spot the best policy, or judge a leader properly.

The proof that people aren't smart enough to vote is the fact that all majour party policies are riddled with flaws. All you have to do is think for a little while about some of their ideas, and the flaw is obvious. The polititions aren't even trying to bother explaining these flaws why? Because people aren't smart enough to understand the arguements and can be easily led astray by any source of information. In other words, they don't get technical because it will create confusion, and the source will come off as arrogant.
I've seen this with my own two eyes, and experienced it. I won in a debate in highschool, but the crowd cheered for the other guy. I was right, proved I was right, destroyed the other guys opinion, but I used too large of words doing it, got too technical, and lost the opinion of the crowd. In the end, I got 90% and my opposition got 35% or something.
Until people get educated enough to ask the right questions, spot the bull, and think how the social policies will actually affect our country with an open mind to possibilities, elections will be no more than a popularity contest, and leadership will always be less than acceptable.
I don't even want to vote anymore after seeing the true colours of the parties this time around, and if I did, it wouldn't be for the best candidate, but for the one that will screw up our country the least. I've lost all faith in our government, have no respect for our judicial system. I don't have equal rights, I'm oppressed for my way of life(not gay), and polititions don't even respond to my well thought out letters that ask to rectify the problem.

Now I do as my ancestors have done, not give a shit about the system and work around it. Why? It's merely a cage for those who can't see the wires.

It seems like you live in your own little world since you seem to often find people who you disagree with and you profess to "shoot holes through many peoples views". You might be happier under a
absolute monarchy with you as the monarch, because until then I doubt you will ever find too many people with the same views as you, as you have such a low opinion of the vast magority of people.
 
Calberty
#7
Good Grief. Let's create a problem to throw more resources at. A couple million Canadians will refuse to vote on principle (including me who would otherwise vote)) and, like the gun Registry, be left with a multi-billion dollar boondoggle.

The pros and cons of mandatory voting will be swamped by the insanity of trying to implement such a system. It might have been possible decades ago but in 2006 there would be court case after court case..protests...overloaded courts..folks arrested?

Yikes...go away with the insane idea.
 
Jay
#8
Mandatory voting would be illegal in this country anyways; we have freedom of expression and freedom of mobility.
 
Calberty
#9
Jay you may be right...or you may be wrong. And that's the problem. There would be no consensus and we'd be in for decades of legal squabbling and smiling lawyers.

It's one of the same reasons I'm against the Death Penalty in Canada. In a 'moral' sense I don't care about the issue that much one way or the other (thee's legitimate arguments on each side) BUT....can you imagine a Death sentence ever actually being carried out??!!. there would be years of litigation...politicians squabbling...street protests...multi-milion dollar infrastructure built to carry out the execution...doctors...ethicists...a staff of executioners...and on and on and on...then at the end of a twenty year fight the Governor General or someone would grant some reprieve to convert the death sentence to life in prison.
 
the caracal kid
#10
Strangely enough, the first time I had this issue come up as a possibility in Canada was when I talked to a Con candidate during the last election. I told him I wasn't voting because I had no confidence in any of the candidates or their leaders and he asked me how i better vote or else canada might bring in manditory voting.
 
Jay
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by Calberty

Jay you may be right...or you may be wrong.


Oh don't worry....they would probably bring in a Bill to make it mandatory and I would take it to the supreme court and they would tell me it was "demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." yada yada BS....

I sure don't support mandatory voting because most of the people I talk to that don’t vote…if you listen to their ideals, they would vote left anyways.
 
Doryman
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Jay

Quote: Originally Posted by Calberty

Jay you may be right...or you may be wrong.


Oh don't worry....they would probably bring in a Bill to make it mandatory and I would take it to the supreme court and they would tell me it was "demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society." yada yada BS....

I sure don't support mandatory voting because most of the people I talk to that don’t vote…if you listen to their ideals, they would vote left anyways.

Most of the people who don't vote don't know anything about the issues, the system, the candidates, anything. If they voted, they'd vote stupidly and screw up the country. If these people were forced to vote they'd vote for some weird fringe party so they could giggle over dope and dorito's with their skeet friends later.

"Mahahaha. Oh man I voted for that Communist party, dude. Civic duty and shit right? Maybe they'd let me be like one of those parachute guys in Red Dawn. I'd be all like ratatatatat!! man! Huuhh!!"

"Oh That's Burnt, dude!! I voted for that Liberian party or whatever!! I think that shit's in africa or something, right!"

And their hats would be on sideways too. That rots the hell out of me.
 
MMMike
#13
I think less people should vote. If you are too ignorant or apathetic to spend 10 minutes to go vote, don't bother. Let my vote count for even more. In fact, there should be a test on the issues and the parties that you have to pass before being allowed to vote.
 
Calberty
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by MMMike

I think less people should vote. If you are too ignorant or apathetic to spend 10 minutes to go vote, don't bother. Let my vote count for even more. In fact, there should be a test on the issues and the parties that you have to pass before being allowed to vote.

Do you ever watch that show, 'A Millionaire' or something like that? the contestant builds up their money to a million dollars with right answers and have 'life lines"?

One of those life lines is 'ask the audience'. If I was on the show and went to use that life line, I'd make a request to the audience: "If you don't know, don't vote".
 
the caracal kid
#15
there is a BIG difference between knowing and thinking one knows. people tend to know a great deal less than they think they know. People overestimate themselves.

But as to the whimsical comments on who the "nonvoters" are, it would be hillarious to see a government introduce such a law and then be defeated because of its effects. At the bare minimum it would suggest a wonderful way to quickly obtain power over the plebs.

The worst people are the one's that think they do know it all, don't forget that. For once one convinces oneself of such a position, he/she closes oneself off to discovery, correction, enlightenment.

It would be wonderful to see everybody just show up and do something to the ballot. At a bare minimum, perhaps we could see the effect of the mindless masses that blindly support a party be "watered down".
 
cyberclark
#16
The vote laws as they relate to boundaries has to be re worked. Currently 1 in 15 eligible people are voting. The way the boundaries are in Alberta, 1 vote in Rural Alberta is equal to 6 votes in the city.

This makes a lot of people think it is a waste of time in the city and a lot of people in Rural places think they own the Government.

This is carefully tailored in Alberta so that the Government has only to sweet talk rural votes to get the majority. It would astound you to see how many farmers have pavement up to their door while the rest of Alberta's infrastructure went down the tubes.

Change the vote laws and boundaries to properly represent the population and interest will pick up! In that much at least, Mr. Layton has it right.
 

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