Hi guys, now be gentle with me this is my first thread.
So what im curoius about, is what peoples opinions are on the voting system in Australia. Now im not sure if our non-Australian ATS members are aware
of how the voting sytem works in Australia, but for those who are unaware, voting is mandatory in Australia, everyone is supposed to register on the
Australian electoral roll once they turn 18, and you must update your current address everytime you move house, which is an excellent way for the
Authorities to keep track of where you are, which works fine if your a law abiding citizen and register to vote and update your address everytime you
move, but doesnt work so great if your probably the type of person the the government does want to keep track of, cause criminals or persons of
interest are usually not too keen on alerting the authorities to there whereabouts.
Anyway, so it is not a compulsory law that you must register to vote, however you usually do it when you turn 18 and dont give it much thought, untill
your older and every god damn time there is a local election you have to drag yourself off to some local polling centre where you stand in line with a
bunch of other unenthusiastic people to vote for people you have probably never heard of, or dont care about or both. It just seems like a massive
inconveniance and i dont care for it at all. Its very hard to get yourself removed from the electoral roll, unles you are leaving the country or
something then you can have your name struck off the register.
Now the thing is, if you dont vote and you are enrolled on the electoral roll, you recieve a fine for not voting. Thats right, if you dont turn up to
vote for your local ''who gives a crap'' local election, you get a monetary penalty. Now a local election fine is not much really, maybe $50 or
something, but failing to vote in a federal election is something like a $1900 fine. Now its really not too difficult to get out of paying that fine,
they take a wide range of excuses and its up to the discretion of the government employee you speak to to decide if they should wave your fine or not.
People in general really dont care much about politics and such in Australia, we are for the most part to busy getting sunburnt, watching sports and
drinking beer, but it just seems futile to me that the government forces people to vote, i didnt enrol to vote untill i was 23, and i chose to enroll
because i couldnt stand the Liberal party (known as the coalition, sort of like your republican party in the US) who were leading the country at the
time and i figured what right did i have to complain about who won the next election if i didnt take part in it. The Labor party i voted for won,
which gave me some sense of satisfaction, but ive never stopped kicking myself since everytime another election comes around.
So i would like peoples thoughts and opinions about the mandatory voting system. Is it a good thing as it enforces participation? or does it impinge
of peoples rights forcing them vote if they dont want to?
edit on 11-10-2012 by BeReasonable because: (no reason given)