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Britain 'needs compulsory voting'

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posted on May, 1 2006 @ 04:14 AM

Britons should be forced to vote in elections, a think-tank has said.

The Institute for Public Policy Research's report suggests those who do not vote should be fined to combat low turnout at the polls.

The research comes just days before local elections in England, where turnout is expected to be low.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Hmmm, this theory has been thrown around afew times. I do support it to be honest, the Aussie's have compulsory voting and i feel it would be a good thing.

posted on May, 1 2006 @ 07:04 AM
Hm...i dont know, sometimes i think it is best to abstain from the voting, imagine it in a facist state:

1) Established Fashist State

2) Established Fashist State

3) Established Fashist State

4) Established Fashist State

5) Established Fashist State

Everyone should have a choice


posted on May, 1 2006 @ 09:29 AM
Compulsory voting does seem like a good idea at times. BUt if a person can't be bothered to vote for someone, why should they be compelled? The government isn't necessarily going to get better merely because more people are voting.


posted on May, 1 2006 @ 09:35 AM
Is voting a right or a duty?

If it's a right you should be able to pass on voting.

If it's a duty then it should be compulsary by law.

What happens if they put an abstain option? If a significent percentage of the electorate choose that then it would truely be embarassing for all political parties.

posted on May, 1 2006 @ 09:46 AM
I think that in russia, post USSR of course, you had a "NO" option.
I like that more than "abstain", heheh.

Of course, the vast majority of the electorate, in the US and most western nations (except israel), DOES abstain from voting.

posted on May, 1 2006 @ 10:13 AM
I would hate that. People who dont vote either dont care who wins or wouldnt want any of the candidates to win. I would hate voting turn into having to have to pick the lesser of two evils. If i dont want to give anyone my vote i dont think i should be forced to.

posted on May, 1 2006 @ 12:45 PM
having the right to vote does not mean you have to vote, if you had to, it would become a responsibility.

Forcing people to vote is a completely ludacris thing to suggest, its peoples choice, not the governments.

posted on May, 1 2006 @ 07:51 PM
Well it is a responsibility isnt it, it's our country, we have one vote. You dont use that vote even if just to spoil your ballot paper then you are cleary disinterested in the outcome.

I feel compulsory voting does sound rather attractive but essentially is a solution that will not solve the inherent problem we have with our government. And that problem is that politics is a beast of its own, the public is completely detatched from politics. Sure we can watch what happens, but we are only important when it comes to voting. Once someone is in power, we become less important in a way.

And so we get annoyed when they're in power, and even more annoyed when they start campaigning and blatently lie to get our votes. Parties will use figures and stats to show how they doing good, or how the others are doing bad. Then whoever gets power forgets about the public, realises they promised all these things and it's impossible to do them, and the public get annoyed.

Personally, this may seem a rather strange concept seeing as we're on a politics forum, but I would like to see an end to politics. Why cant we just have a civil service to adminster things, and a court to oversee laws. Really, what good are politicians? They lie to us, we watch them on tv and we know they are talking complete bile saying something yet nothing at all.

We have scandals concerning the health service, just let the nhs do their thing, get it run efficiently, politicans are not experts but yet we blame and expect them to sort it out, we have thousands of economists but depend on one to decide (in essence) the country's economy etc etc etc.

So compulsory voting, make everyone continue to vote for parties that will dissapoint and anger us. Why bother.

Of course, this brings up on international relations and all that, im not going to address that as.. well.. who knows.

And if we had no politicians we wouldnt have a vote... ok ok but im still sick of politicans and politics, they and it are flawed and there must be a better way to run a country.

I seemed to have missed the point somewhat so i'll just say no to compulsory voting.

posted on May, 1 2006 @ 08:26 PM
No one has the right or should have the right to force anyone to vote, most of the political parties are liars anyways
I only voted once since being old enough to vote ... politics put me off voting.. guess most of the young ones nowadays my age feel the same way as I so....

posted on May, 1 2006 @ 11:37 PM
Ok i thought i would give my 2 cents to this since i am in a country with compulsory voting, Australia. Let me tell you the concept is good but when it comes into practice, its worthless. The biggest problem with it is that you are not getting a accurate represntation of the votes of the populas.
In our system, 90% of people vote for a specifc political party on the basis of very small things like, how nice the person handing out political pamplets outside the voting booths, or which name they like better, or which person looks better.
There is very little care by the general populas about political parties main concepts and agenda's.
This leads the whole voting system to be purely based apon right marketing stratergies, rather than a idealogical vote. I would must rather a system than the people who acturly care who runs the country have a say, and not just working out how much money they put into marketing is going to represent the amount of votes they are going to have. Not to say marketing doesnt effect countries without compulsary voting, but the effect of it is much smaller because not everyone has to vote.
Another small stuiped incident i remember my mother telling me. For a local council election we had, she was never informed about it, it was only in the local paper (which we dont read) that the local elections were held. Now she didnt go because she had no knowledge that the elections were being held, yet she got a hefty fine for not voting. I disagree with this.

posted on May, 2 2006 @ 02:07 PM
Much as I like the idea of everybody feeling motivated to engage with the political process I also like the idea that I live somewhere where you don't have to.

I quite like the fact that we are free to take as much or as little notice of the political in this country as we choose.

Far better that than the imposing moralising strictures of the politically obsessed or, worse, the repressive who would use compulsion to justify themselves.

Turnout or lack of it is an important indicator and finding ways to remove this indicator is not the best area for efforts to be focused IMO.

I'll take 'enablement' or encouragement over compulsion any day.

posted on May, 2 2006 @ 02:54 PM
The U.K. is a democratic nation and thus those individuals of voting age have a right to vote should they wish to do so. Should they wish not to vote for whatever myriad of reasons then this is their democratic right.
Compulsory voting breaches our right to abstain from placing our cross on the ballot paper and will add yet another autocratic law to the ever lengthening list that are heaped upon our society from our ministers and the despots in Europe.

posted on May, 7 2006 @ 07:35 PM
I know quite a few people who little or even no interest in politics. They would quite happily vote British Nationalist Party and mistake it for UKIP. In fact ever wanted a communist government and I’m sure that's one way of upping their side share of the vote.
What government is it that is stupid enough to even consider such a idea?

Well Australia for one. What's different about Australia? Well there are a lot of people willing to vote for extreme parties (the woman leader of the One Nation Party had to be thrown into prison on a technicality in order to keep her out of power). But she was expected to get about a million votes in a country of just over 20 million.
But does Australia have the same problem of little or no major differences between the major political parties? You bet it does. In fact rather than 3 major political parties Australia is a country of just two (I call it democracy twice which is exactly what they have in America).

In fact given many peoples apparent "lack" of political knowledge I would say the idea of forced voting is very much a waste of paper. And let's face it no extremist party is ever going to get into power; I feel those in power would rather chuck them into prison than see that happen.

So accomplishment: People angry at being forced to vote, people voting who don't really know who to vote for, far more support for parties on the far edges of the political spectrum, status quo still intact in far too many ways.

We have to ask...
What sort of government-think tank would come up with such ideas?

Answer: An authoritarian one, which if you look at recent legislation like I.D cards is exactly what we have.
Don't like it? Then get used to it!!! I doubt the Tories will be that different and because so much of the electorate has an animal like obsession with voting for winners (rather than trying to turn smaller parties into winners) I think its a reality that's reinforced with all the police, military and authorities of this country put together.

However despite the authoritarian nature of our governors I suspect that even they will see through the stupidity of this idea. Question remains: Should we support it in the name of provoking civil unrest?

Because if we the people start saying "I support this... because it provokes civil unrest" Not only will the politicians run from these ideas as fast as the wind could carry them, but the tide itself may start to turn. Till then sweet dreams.

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]

posted on May, 8 2006 @ 07:18 AM

Originally posted by Liberal1984
What sort of government-think tank would come up with such ideas?

- You might care to go and look at this organisation.

The Institute for Public Policy is not actually a "government think tank".

They are an independant organisation although they do have 'connections' (like many businesses) and they are sometimes asked and commissioned to do research by government.

As an independent charity, we are completely funded by donations from individuals, companies and public, voluntary and trade union organisations.

- You might not like this particular idea but ideas are their business, they churn ideas out endlessly, some are non-starters and some not.

But they absolutely are not actually a 'government think tank' at all.

posted on May, 8 2006 @ 09:32 AM
You force more people to vote, you'll end up with more pointless votes. If people do not like a candidate, do not like the options they have they have the right to not vote. Take the council elections, I have the choice of:
Liberal Democrats.

All three of those, live more than 40minutes away. Due to this, I wouldn't vote for any of them along with the fact I disagree [and agree] with many of their policies. I was good enough to go along, talk to them before the election and on the day. However I do not desire to vote for them. Why should any Government have the right to force my opinion on any matter? Which is what this would do. The whole idea of democracy is choice, if you remove choice that's undemocratic and it is another step in the wrong direction.

People need to be given more freedom, not less.

posted on May, 8 2006 @ 10:11 AM
In Canada we have the right to vote or not. Unfortunately, our system is also abused, at the voting polls you don't even need proper ID to vote, sometimes you can just use your phone bill or some other peice of mail.

Also if you show ID you can vouch for your friend who DOESN'T have any ID, and then he can vouch for someone else and so on.

I think before you vote anywhere, you should have to pass a short test on the up an coming election. Just maybe 3-5 questions regarding the Country you are voting in.

If they can't answer the questions correctly and pass, they shouldn't be allowed to vote until they educate themselves accordingly, an not just vote blindly into the night.

Just my 2 cents

posted on May, 8 2006 @ 10:40 AM
Hi guys,

Compulsory voting IMHO is just another road to ID cards for all and for raking in unpaid Council Taxes etc etc. There are people in the UK who want to remain anonymous and remain free from the government's grasp for their own personal reasons, not all are criminals.

My belief is that we will soon be required to have National ID cards to allow us the 'freedom' to do just as we do as free members of UK society today; and although I'm not totally against the ID cards I feel that compulsory voting is a big no-no and takes away the right to vote with your feet.

Best Wishes


posted on May, 8 2006 @ 10:57 AM
isnt "democracy" about freedom to choose...isnt it my democratic right to decide whether I choose to vote or not.

To be forced is not democracy its forced will

posted on May, 8 2006 @ 11:50 AM
Yes sminkeypinkey but given that the idea of forced voting isn't at all original (I heard a list of countries which use it on the radio) don't you think the fact The Institute for Public Policy is pushing this idea now has a lot more to do with the current authoritarian political climate than any new development(s) in the idea of compulsary voting?

One things for certain if anyone ever forces me to vote no way will I wreck my ballot. Instead I'll vote BNP (or for anyone else the government views as more than just a compeditor). And if we do that (and if I wasen't being so frank) at least many ethnic minorities (and those who care about them) will also be against forced voting too.

In fact the only time I and anyone like me won't vote for an extremist party is when that same party has a real chance of winning. Till then its an effective protest which becomes louder the more its hated.
This is my warning to anyone who forces me to vote, I never normally vote but the few times I have it was for the LibDems (who I genuinly cared about) and the BNP (who I thought made a good protest). Does the government really want more disallusioned people such as me voting?

P.S The reason why I tend not to vote is because my area has been Tory since 1923. It's not changing this decade because the area is full of way more people than me who always vote Tory. If it was a knife edge constituency then I would take who I vote for A LOT more seriously (and nobody would need to force me to vote ether) I'm quite capable of doing it through MY OWN FREE WILL.

posted on May, 8 2006 @ 05:14 PM

Originally posted by Liberal1984
don't you think the fact The Institute for Public Policy is pushing this idea now has a lot more to do with the current authoritarian political climate than any new development(s) in the idea of compulsary voting?

- No.

There are a couple of obvious reasons why this has resurfaced just now.

Low turnouts being a major concern for many, regardless of political opinion, is the most substantive one IMO.

......and do I take it that you are accepting that the IPP is not a government body now?

One things for certain if anyone ever forces me to vote no way will I wreck my ballot.

- I seriously doubt it would ever be something that would gather enough Parliamentary support to become law here.

The issue raises debate on other possibilities and thoughts as well as their main proposal, that is in keeping with the purpose and intention of a think-tank. Nothing sinister in that.

In fact the only time I and anyone like me won't vote for an extremist party is when that same party has a real chance of winning.

- You'd help build them up right up until the point where you thought they might actually do some tangible damage?

Wow, that's a dangerous game.
Here's hoping if you really do do this you always manage to get and time things just right.

Till then its an effective protest which becomes louder the more its hated.

- Well it is always worth pointing out that threats to suicide oneself only really carry any weight once you know, after that it just become a 'diminishing return'.

Personally I'd say it does much more than offer 'effective protest' and that if protest really was your only objective that there are fare better and more effective ways to go about it than appearing to offer support to an 'entity' like the BNP.
Still, it's your conscience.

Does the government really want more disallusioned people such as me voting?

- No, quite obviously 'the government', like all political parties wish to be reelected and have the support and endorsement of 'the people'.

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