Compulsory voting. Yes or No?

Forums - Politics Discussion - Compulsory voting. Yes or No?

Should there be compulsory voting in your country?

Yes 13 20.97%
No 43 69.35%
Who cares/See results 5 8.06%


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pokoko said:
No way. People who aren't paying attention or don't really understand the issues shouldn't vote. You'll end up with a ton of people voting at random, or voting for the name which looks a bit more familiar. This already happens a lot when smaller local elections are held at the same time as major elections. I've heard many people say they picked at random, and even a few say they voted for (or against) their own gender.

This is exactly what I was going to say.

If this happens, there will be many "blind" voters who don't even care about what they are doing.

Carl is a Piplup hater and deserves to be punished eternally.

No, and hell no. The vast majority of people who would only vote because they are compelled to aren't going to be well informed, and the last thing any country needs is more stupid voters. Declining to vote is also a legitimate form of protest against the shitty choices everyone is almost invariably offered.

hell no. Suffrage should only be afforded to those who can prove they have read and understand all constitutional powers. we dont need more dummies picking head dummy.

I don't vote because;

A) I don't believe in democracy

B) It wouldn't make a difference

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no on so many different levels

In Australia everyone has to vote and no we do not get blind votes all other the place.

What we do get is however morons thinking that they are voting for the prime minister of this country and not the local person in their electoral area. So it kind of becomes a popularity contest rather than about policies.

There is also a divide in general where blue collar workers vote for Labor and White collar workers vote for Liberals. Then you got the voters who are so pissed of with both parties they vote for the Greens without even reading their OUTRAGEOUS policies. In a nutshell the greens are a hindrance to development as they love trees. Tasmania (at a state level government) is a good place of this when Greens get too many seats they stop development projects and cripple the state.

Finally this country seems to think that fuck this guy has been too long in the job lets vote for the other party kind of thing. By all means vote for the other party if the current one has not delivered on their promises but don't just change your vote for the sake of wanting fresh faces. If they doing a great job you should be voting them back in.


We also have peference votes. So the person who actualy gets the most votes may not win their seat as the second person gets the votes from the third person because of preferences.  SO ANNOYING. 



Forcing people to do what they don't want to do can end up badly

Nothing to see here, move along

Marks said:

Hey what's up guys, I have to do a paper for Political Science class about the pros and cons of compulsory voting, and then whether or not my country (Canada) should implement it. I'm against it personally, but I just wondered what you guys think!

And compulsory voting, for those who don't know what that means, would be you are forced by law to vote in federal elections. If you don't you could be subject to something like a small fine. Since turnout in places like Canada/USA is only around 50-60%, the idea of this is to get it close to 100%. 

Here's a point form version of what I have so far:



- Reduced spending on elections for things like advertising (especially good if it reduces federal money being spent)

- Less power of interest/lobby groups. More voters dilutes the power of lobby groups

- Less extreme governments, more likely centrist governments. i.e. Reduced polarization (could also be a bad thing, since myself I'm Libertarian)

- More representation from all groups, i.e. poor people, minorities, and other groups that have the lowest turnouts currently



- Infringement on your right to not vote

- Not voting can be used as a sign of protest

- People who currently refuse to vote as a protest will just switch to signing void ballots or "donkey votes" i.e. meaningless votes for a random unknown party

- More poorly informed voters...elections could go from being about the issues, to a popularity contest

- Infringement on religion...not a huge issue, but for example the Jehova's witnesses refuse to participate in "Earthly politics" or whatever the proper term is

- This doesn't actual improve legitimacy of government...higher turnout is meaningless if there are more void ballots, donkey votes, etc.

- Cost of investigating each case of somebody not voting, espcially if they appeal it and take it to court (small court, like fighting a traffic ticket)



What do you guys think? Anything I missed, or does nobody really care? There are something like 30 countries with mandatory voting, and around 12 that actively punish non-voters


You forgot decreased voter fraud. If voting was compulsory, then it would be expected that everyone vote once and only once. 

Well pros will be hard to find. I think you could argue against the system as a whole saying that forcing people to vote has the potential to fix these things.