Should compulsory voting be abolished in Australia?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Let the discussion begin.  I think that you might want to seek out how the Australian public feels about the issue of compulsory voting.  Certainly the over 90% voter turnout is impressive.  Can one contemplate what that must be like?  I mean, America struggles to get even half of that.  Yet, the issue of mandating voting participation and levying fines for not voting is abhorrent to someone like me who was raised in believing the paradigm of non- compulsory voting.  I think that it would be interesting to examine the literature of Australia on the issue and see where they are leaning.  It seems to me that the non- compulsory voting voices are growing in the landscape of change that the globalized world and Australia, itself, is undergoing.  I think that there has to be a way to encourage voting without making it a mandatory premise that the government, one that someone might believe in but just not vote for, does not have punish.  I mean, if someone truly does not want to vote for their own reasons, I think that this should be as accepted as a premise of wishing to be left alone, another benchmark of most constitutional democratic systems.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In my opinion, yes it should.  I am not Australian, but I do not believe that compulsory voting makes sense in any country.

My reason for saying this is that people should really only vote if they care about the parties that are competing to be elected and if they now something about the stands that the two parties take.

For example, if I'm an Australian and I do not know what stances the parties are taking on global warming and things like a tax on carbon, my vote is really not valuable.  I should have to know something about some of the major issues if I am to vote.

So I do not think it makes sense to have people vote if they are going not going to take it seriously.  For this reason, I think it should not be mandatory.

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