HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Who knew? Australia requ...

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 09:44 PM

Who knew? Australia requires people to vote!

Not only is voting compulsory, it seems to have a lot of benefits. Here's a BBC video on it:

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-australia-61186402

Of course there is no chance of us doing this nation-wide, but ... maybe a good idea in the blue states?
As pushback to the GOP trying to restrict voting?

The video is short, but fyi the bullet points for advantages are:

* Moderate contest more likely
* Marginalized people better represented
* More migrant participation

I like the idea because it helps put across the idea that good government is up to you. You can't just ignore it and then complain.

30 replies, 1481 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Who knew? Australia requires people to vote! (Original post)
CloudWatcher Apr 2022 OP
brooklynite Apr 2022 #1
CloudWatcher Apr 2022 #4
2naSalit Apr 2022 #2
ripcord Apr 2022 #3
CloudWatcher Apr 2022 #5
EX500rider Apr 2022 #8
Raine Apr 2022 #13
drmeow Apr 2022 #20
Midwestern Democrat Apr 2022 #23
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2022 #6
CloudWatcher Apr 2022 #7
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2022 #15
Ohio Joe Apr 2022 #9
momta Apr 2022 #10
betsuni Apr 2022 #11
canetoad Apr 2022 #16
betsuni Apr 2022 #17
Bucky Apr 2022 #12
myccrider Apr 2022 #27
Eureka Apr 2022 #14
myccrider Apr 2022 #28
AnyFunctioningAdult Apr 2022 #18
A HERETIC I AM Apr 2022 #19
AnyFunctioningAdult Apr 2022 #29
A HERETIC I AM Apr 2022 #30
myccrider Apr 2022 #21
CloudWatcher Apr 2022 #22
myccrider Apr 2022 #26
former9thward Apr 2022 #24
CloudWatcher Apr 2022 #25

Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 09:50 PM

1. I've known that for decades. Many nations do.

Simple question. Do you want completely disengaged American citizens to be forced to vote?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to brooklynite (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 09:55 PM

4. What better way to get people to become engaged?

None of the bigger countries that the US is most similar to have compulsory voting.

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-mandatory-voting.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 09:52 PM

2. I did.

Known it for a long time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 09:54 PM

3. I don't like this idea

Just as you have the right to vote you have the right not to vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ripcord (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 09:56 PM

5. We can disagree

But I think just like taxes, you have an obligation to pay attention and vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 11:49 PM

8. Except many are going to not pay attention but still vote if made to. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ripcord (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 01:41 AM

13. That's the way I feel too. If s person isn't interested or care enough to vote

they might just vote for anything or anyone because voting is required.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ripcord (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 03:46 PM

20. You can leave your ballot blank

But you have to submit a ballot.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ripcord (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 28, 2022, 12:25 AM

23. Agreed - in fact, this idea is such an appalling infringement on personal liberty that I would vote

out of office every single person who played a part in implementing it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 10:58 PM

6. I have known about this for a long time.

I sort of hope that My Son The Astronomer finds an astronomy job in Australia, and I can follow him there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 11:21 PM

7. National boundaries

I wish we could all have an easier time moving (and working) in other countries. It would be good for everyone for people to really understand that there are other ways of doing things ... some better, some worse.

Hope you and your son are able to move down under! I have hopes of retiring there someday

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 01:57 AM

15. Yes. At this point I have no idea what it might be possible.

It is far too soon to know what might happen. But yes, I hope things will work out well for us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Tue Apr 26, 2022, 11:54 PM

9. I would have no problem requiring people to vote...

I'm in Colorado and the state makes it soooo easy to vote. According to this article:

More than 3.3 million ballots had been processed by state election officials through Thursday and the tally is expected to grow as remaining ballots are processed and counted. That represents 78% of registered voters. In 2016, 2.9 million voters cast ballots, or 74% of those registered, according to state figures.

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2020/11/06/colorado-among-states-highest-voter-turnout/6191489002/

We have a decent turnout here compared to a lot of places but really... I think everyone should vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 12:30 AM

10. I'm in Colorado, too

And I completely concur with Ohio Joe. CO makes it very easy, and still manages to catch crooked county clerks who want to muck up the system

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 01:18 AM

11. I used to be a member of an online group with an Australian member who complained

about being required to vote and constantly whined about the Australian health care system.

Was ironic because she hated America and Americans but if she were American she'd definitely be a right-wing nut and fit right in (believed Sandy Hook and London terrorist attacks were fake, marijuana is a dangerously addicting hard drug, Obama wasn't born in America, black helicopters hovered over her house in the middle of the night -- all the nutty things).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to betsuni (Reply #11)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 02:57 AM

16. I think I know her

Lives down the street.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to canetoad (Reply #16)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 03:03 AM

17. Did you ever see the black helicopters?

There were aliens dropping in to visit, too. One would think the neighbors would notice something once in a while.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 01:23 AM

12. I knew this. But I'm a government teacher. I think it's a bad idea

Citizens should have the right to not vote.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bucky (Reply #12)

Thu Apr 28, 2022, 02:27 AM

27. Then don't fill out the ballot, put in the mail or the box blank.

Youíve exercised your right to not vote and also expressed your opinion about it!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 01:47 AM

14. It's more like mandatory attendance, if you don't fill in the paper vote properly it doesn't count

so if you don't care you could write "don't care" on the ticket, drop it in the slot and move on. (or just write nothing, but courtesy suggests putting a vote in the box)

BUT our voting seems smooth in comparison from what I read about in the US, I've never waited more than 10 mins in my 30+ years of voting, and there is always a sausage sizzle (democracy sausage) and cake stall to ease the inconvenience. And it's always on a Saturday and you can pre-vote or postal vote.

Also, we have proportional/preferential/instant runoff voting. This might sound like a bit of a pain, but it really moderates the candidates because there are two major parties (Liberal - the right wing and Labour - the left) and they take on positions of minor parties (and the Greens, the next biggest after the two) in order to get their preference votes. I think this pushes us overall towards the middle.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Eureka (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 28, 2022, 02:43 AM

28. I'd like to see preferential voting, too!

Iíd hope it would push USian politicians to be more moderate, but that kind of voting would make elections more accurately reflect the opinions and wants of the electorate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 03:11 AM

18. And if someone refuses?

Do they pay a fine? Do they go to jail until they do? Not in favor of this at all. Wait until this exists and the party in power says anyone who did not cast a vote therefore voted not to change things by not voting.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AnyFunctioningAdult (Reply #18)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 03:18 AM

19. It's the equivalent of a traffic or parking ticket.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #19)

Thu Apr 28, 2022, 02:44 AM

29. Ah, so meaningless it is then

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AnyFunctioningAdult (Reply #29)

Thu Apr 28, 2022, 05:33 AM

30. It's apparently enough of an incentive to get people to vote.

I lived in Alice Springs in the 70ís and this program was in place back then.

No one seemed to mind and most people voted.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 07:53 PM

21. I've known for years...

and wish there was snowballís chance it could be implemented in the US.

1) It would remove the whole "suppress the vote" motive/expense. More time, effort and money could be spent educating and selling policy to voters instead of just striving to convince them to show up.

2) It would greatly reduce efforts to make voting more difficult because, since every one votes, any politician closing polling places, registration shenanigans, reducing access to mail voting and all the other ways to make voting painful would irritate everyone and probably reduce their electability. In fact, making voting mandatory would likely create huge pressure to make it as easy as possible!

3) Iíd suggest an opt-out option on each ballot, maybe for each race/proposition that letís those who donít want to vote to choose "no" on voting. OTOH, if you have to vote anyway, Iíd bet more people would pay attention to at least some races and issues.

4) The whole "do you really want to force people who donít want to vote?" is profoundly anti-democratic. The point is to have "all the people" participate in the franchise, not a contest to see who can mobilize the most for their tribe. I reject the whole argument. Many people donít vote because itís difficult or theyíre cynical about democracy or a huge variety of reasons. As someone else said, we donít like taxes but we all are required to participate. Especially by adding an opt-out of some sort and universal mail-in voting, those who really, really donít want to "bother" can just check that box, sign the form and be done.

5) If everyone votes there is less room for claims of voter fraud (not that that wouldnít still be a thing for the RW). If the number of votes matches closely enough to the number of adults, a lot of extra votes would stand out, making it harder to float those claims.

Thereís a few other positives I see with it, but these are my main reasons for liking the idea.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to myccrider (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 27, 2022, 08:51 PM

22. Yes!

I think a lot more people would pay attention if they realized that they would at least be going through the motions of voting.

It's not like you are required to vote on any particular race/measure .. if you don't have an opinion you can just show up and turn in an unmarked ballot.

And politicians ... of both parties .. would be motivated to make voting as easy as possible.

I think a lot of people would complain, but that it would be really good in the end.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Reply #22)

Thu Apr 28, 2022, 02:19 AM

26. We're on the same page. 😉

Look at Washington state. Having all mail-in voting has boosted participation to better than 80%, iirc. That just shows that more people want to vote than many thought. Making it mandatory would rope in the other 20ish%.

I donít think this would be a total panacea or anything but it sure would change the focus and fight from suppressing registration and vote access to talking about the issues. Propaganda and disinformation wouldnít go away, weíd just have more time and money to fight it.

There are cons (more money spent on printing ballots, info and processing votes; more gov info on individuals, as all would have to give an address; questions of multiple addresses leading to multiple voting; irritating some percentage of citizens, initially, by making it a mandate,Ö). I donít think they come anywhere near outweighing the pros.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2022, 01:32 AM

24. It would be unconstitutional in this country.

We have a first amendment. Australia and other countries do not have it or an equivalent. We have a freedom of expression through the first amendment and not voting is part of that freedom.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to former9thward (Reply #24)

Thu Apr 28, 2022, 02:00 AM

25. I can't connect those dots!

Thank god I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how requiring someone to participate in an election violates their first amendment right to free speech.

As Eureka pointed out, it's more like "mandatory attendance".

You wouldn't even actually have to vote, just show up and be counted and vote (or not) on whatever races you want. Or in states like Colorado, mail in your ballot.

It's still a secret election, and who/what you vote for (or don't vote for) is up to you.

But I'm quite aware that our legal system often makes no sense, so perhaps there's a way to twist the first amendment right of free expression into a ban of requiring voters to participate in elections.

I'm still convinced this would be a win (if we could ever get it passed).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread