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Should everyone in Canada be required to vote?

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wei-ching | (Level 1) Honors

Posted August 1, 2013 at 4:37 AM via web

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Should everyone in Canada be required to vote?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 1, 2013 at 4:44 AM (Answer #1)

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This is, of course, a matter of personal opinion.  There is no right answer.  Let us look at arguments for both sides.

On the one hand, there is the idea that everyone should be required to vote as a matter of civic duty.  People should be required to take at least some interest in their government if they are to live in a democracy.  Requiring everyone to vote would make this happen.  It would also help to make Canada more democratic.  It would do this by ensuring that everyone’s voice would be heard in the political process.

On the other hand, there is the idea that voting should be voluntary and that the country is better off if some people do not vote.  From this point of view, voting should be voluntary because democracy is about letting people make their own choices.  We can also argue that it is better for the country if those who do not care enough to vote are allowed to abstain.  If they did vote, they would likely vote without really having any clear ideas about how to use their vote.  They would not take their vote seriously and would not improve Canadian democracy by voting.

My own inclination is to go with the second argument.  I tend to believe that it is better to allow people to abstain from voting if they do not care to vote.

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