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Compulsory voting, US would be better off?

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posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:13 AM
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From an outside point of view, I think that the US political system would be better off if voting was compulsory.

At the moment I think its a fairly clear observation that both parties are trying to win more by slandering the other than by making themselves appealing. Its horrific to watch.

Now, the parties know that in order to win they need to encourage people to vote, as well as vote for them. Perhaps they all realise that dislike for a candidate is a much stronger incentive for someone to vote than if they like a candidate.

Now, speaking from my own experience in Aus, where voting is compulsory for all over 18, the parties do lay into each other as would be expected. But they also seem to spend a lot of time and place more focus on the specific issues. Rather than spending a startling amount of time on personal attacks.

In a voluntary voting system, there is obviously a much larger advantage to be had in trying to get the voters emotionally involved just to get them to vote. Whereas in a compulsory system the voters are going to be there either way, so the parties can just say their bit and the voters just go with whoever they prefer.

Just floating this out there, thoughts?




posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:19 AM
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I had no idea your voting in Australia was compulsory. How is that enforced?

I'd love it here.
But the ones that always try to suppress the vote sure wouldn't.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:22 AM
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I think theres a hundred dollar fine or somesuch for not voting. I think it is sporadically enforced though.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:22 AM
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Originally posted by Kano
From an outside point of view, I think that the US political system would be better off if voting was compulsory.


I think the UK could do with compulsory voting, Labour and the Conservatives are drifting into the 'lets pick on our opponents rather than make some good policys' Compulsory voting would mean Parties would need to focus more on their polices to draw the masses of voters in.

A problem with compulsory voting is that people might not have a clue what the parties stand for, they could get confused and vote for a party who doesn't represent their personal issues.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:38 AM
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Excellent topic!


The problem is that Americans have the right to choose whether or not to vote. If we strictly base it on what's best for our country, then your proposal would probably be it.

Far too many Americans don't bother with politics or voting, and many of the ones that do are psycho partisans. It's an endless cycle of left vs. right which is ineffective and ultimately divides the nation.

To avoid the problem that UK Wizard pointed out I would take it a step further and require that all candidates make a collective effort to show America what they represent. This means that all candidates must appear on national television and speak about their positions on different issues. :shk: How in the hell is that supposed to happen when the media is controlled?

The bottom line is that Americans interested in the election have already looked into the different candidates to determine which one best represents themselves. It's really difficult to get all Americans to do this research on their own instead of relying on what comes across the TV screen.

I didn't realize Australia had compulsory voting. In fact, I didn't know such a thing existed.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:52 AM
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I would like it if more americans would vote, but I don't think making it mandatory would work. Far too many are too lazy to look into issues or candidates enough to make an informed decision. Choosing issues or candidates would be done by who hired the best marketing firm. At least now, most of the people who vote do some research into who or what they are voting on. With the current system, you have to care enough about something to get out and vote.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by RANT
I had no idea your voting in Australia was compulsory. How is that enforced?

I'd love it here.
But the ones that always try to suppress the vote sure wouldn't.


Rant, Both parties try to suppress the vote. Both side do things that are on the shady side. Having the polls stay open longer than the law allows. getting people to do an absentee ballot in one state and then vote in another, the list goes on and on.

A compulsory vote would be alright if we had an educated people. Most people vote because someone tells them to. We have people in our country who have a list of people on who to vote for given to them and they do it. With no thought of what they stand for.

We need a educated voter program, as well as, debates that show what each candidate really stands for.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by Kano
From an outside point of view, I think that the US political system would be better off if voting was compulsory.

I think in Russia its mandatory too. They also have the option of voting 'NO', so they can still 'abstain' in a way. I do have to wonder at trucking every person in the country in to vote tho. (ok, maybe not trucking tho). Some people I am rather glad don't vote, they're neither informed nor intelligent.

I am surprised that the Democrats in the US don't try to do this. The majority of the registered public (I beleive) is supposed to be registered as democrats. Registered Republicans are a minority. So merely increasing voter turnout in general is supposed to be a boost for the democrats.

Anyway, anyone silly enough to not vote, we're all probably better off leaving them that way.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by UK Wizard
A problem with compulsory voting is that people might not have a clue what the parties stand for, they could get confused and vote for a party who doesn't represent their personal issues.

It'd be pretty hard to get it completely backwards. In a worst case scenario there are usually people handing out pamphlets on the various candidates on the day.


Originally posted by UK Trazom
With the current system, you have to care enough about something to get out and vote.

Yes I see the ideal behind that, but the problem appears to be that at the moment the best way of making people care enough to vote is to make them dislike (even hate) the opponent. Rather than trying to make them appreciate one of the candidates enough to vote. It really is the marketing firm either way though.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by jrsdls

Originally posted by RANT
I had no idea your voting in Australia was compulsory. How is that enforced?

I'd love it here.
But the ones that always try to suppress the vote sure wouldn't.


Rant, Both parties try to suppress the vote. Both side do things that are on the shady side. Having the polls stay open longer than the law allows. getting people to do an absentee ballot in one state and then vote in another, the list goes on and on.


Those would be examples of trying to INCREASE the vote. Still illegal, but not the same thing. I've seen no efforts from Democrats to suppress rich white males from voting. Perhaps you can share.


A compulsory vote would be alright if we had an educated people. Most people vote because someone tells them to. We have people in our country who have a list of people on who to vote for given to them and they do it. With no thought of what they stand for.


And there's the "code" of the suppression efforts. You have to be "educated." How about a "contributing member of society." How about we just cut the crap and say "white."

When blacks start going in white neighborhoods with flyers about the election being moved to Wednesday, or warnings that the "Sheriff" is checking ID's against warrants and unpaid fines, I'll agree both sides do it.

I've seen alot of dirty shenanigans in NC politcs, but not from Democrats trying to supress anyone's vote. Just getting people to vote is like pulling teeth.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 11:15 AM
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Kano- I agree that too often hate or maybe just dislike is what gets that vote out. I am dissappointed that there is so much negativity in politics. I would love to see a candidate stick to issues and disregard attack ads and mud-slinging. Unfortunately that candidate would not likely be elected. I must admit though that I enjoy ( or am amused by) some of the barbs as long as they are directed in line with my personal bias. I really got a kick out of Zell Miller speech at the RNC. With a good writer, he could do stand up. I liked Bush's speech last night, even though he is a terrible public speaker, he showed real emotion, and delivered his message. Bush's speeches are usually very well written. Try printing the text and reading them, they are much clearer!



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 11:18 AM
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I'd be happy if they would just have elections on a weekend. I don't know how many people don't vote because they don't want to bother taking time off on a work day.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 11:20 AM
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If you want people to vote you have to motivate them. Give them a good reason. For example:

Put voting on the net. Cast a vote and block popups. If I could get rid of popups I'd vote for everything
Of course you'd have to figure a way of 100% blocking hackers.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 11:24 AM
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Now, speaking from my own experience in Aus, where voting is compulsory for all over 18, the parties do lay into each other as would be expected. But they also seem to spend a lot of time and place more focus on the specific issues. Rather than spending a startling amount of time on personal attacks.


I myself have sometimes wondered if compulsory voteing would work better for us. If we could get rid of the mudslinging maybe we could concentrate on the real issues?



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by RANT
I had no idea your voting in Australia was compulsory. How is that enforced?

I'd love it here.
But the ones that always try to suppress the vote sure wouldn't.


That is just what we need...more government control over peoples life. I'm not surprised that you would love that. I guess you would call me a vote-supressor, but I just love the stories of people stupid enough to believe the election date has been changed. I personnally prevented two dem co-workers from voting 4 years ago by telling them the polls where so overcrowded that they decided to spread the election over 2 days. The next day they were steamed, but I just laughed at their stupidity!



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:20 PM
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Some English guy once said something like: "Half of the Americans don't read the newspaper. It is also said that half of them don't vote. One can only hope it's the same half."

I think that people who don't vote obviously don't care or know anything about politics. I think we should leave voting to the people who actually know, say, the Vice Pres.'s name.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:33 PM
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Apoc, its law for companies to give people time off to vote. That's a weak argument!. The more lazy people who don't vote, the better!. A voter who only knows sound bytes on the TV and uses that to make a voting decision is dangerous. Stirring up the sleeping public by creating an emotional argument to get them to vote can ruin the voting process. Too many people complain about how crappy the country is then don't vote saying, my vote doesn't matter. Good, people who are only voting on one issue ie. abortion/economy/terror and not the big picture don't do the voting process justice. Stay home and complain, stay out of the voting booth, its safer for all of us!



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:40 PM
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Originally posted by RANT
I had no idea your voting in Australia was compulsory. How is that enforced?

I'd love it here.
But the ones that always try to suppress the vote sure wouldn't.


Over here in belgium its enforced by serious fines and in some cases, when people try to fake being sick, short jailtimes.



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 09:42 PM
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compulsory voting is one of the great things about the Australian political system IMO.

By doing this it makes sure that true democracy is exercised and the people of Australia decide together.

I really want to see it in the EU and US.


thanks,
drfunk



posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 10:31 PM
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Carseller I bet your cars are all lemons.




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