Compulsory voting

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Quantum Quack, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Should part of the duty of every citizen be to participate in the governance of their nation?
    Maybe there should be a law.
    If you don't vote you lose your citizenship until you do. ( with inability exceptions of course)
    Making citizenship contigent upon voting.

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  3. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    The first two obvious problems to deal with are the violations of freedom of religion and freedom of speech acts. Then, there is the issue of some folks being far less informed than others for a variety of reasons. Lastly, some folks may not want to support any of the candidates in their districts for whatever reason. How would we deal with these issues?
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    It is.

    If you force people to vote who don't want to vote, then you will get corrupted results.
    They might simply vote for the first one alphabetically, or vote for the craziest, just out of spite.
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  7. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Yea, nothing says ''freedom'' quite like forcing people to vote.
  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Voting is compulsory in Australia.
  9. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    What are the penalties if folks choose not to vote?
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    If you are unable to show good cause or reason for not voting, a fine is applied.
  11. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Don't really know wegs, but it has been the case for a long time now.
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Not serious answer:
    Because people are prepared to vote to maintain or improve their freedom..
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    How can a collective protect the freedom of it's citizens if those citizens do not participate in the governance of the collective?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Did find this for what it is worth....

    Compulsory voting is a generalised view that democratic election of governing representatives is the responsibility of citizens, rather than a right afforded citizens constitutionally to nominate representatives.[12] Equating in kind to similar civil responsibilities such as taxation, jury duty, compulsory education or military service, voting in these democracies is regarded as one of the "duties to community" mentioned in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[13] This view asserts that, by introducing an obligation to vote, all citizens governed by a democracy partake in the responsibility for the government appointed by democratic election. In practice, this appears to produce governments with more stability, legitimacy and a genuine mandate to govern, which in turn benefits all individuals even if an individual voter's preferred candidate or party is not elected to power.

    One of the drawbacks though is what is called the "donkey vote" that is when candidates are numbered on a ballot paper, and the donkey voter will simply number them as is, rather then on merit.
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    • Argentina – Introduced in 1912 with the Sáenz Peña Law.[43] Compulsory for citizens between 18 and 70 years old. Registered voters who abstain from voting without a justification, which are few and closely checked, are fined AR$50. In case of non payment, the person concerned is barred from dealing with public bodies for one year. [44] Despite this, absenteeism has tended to increase in recent decades at presidential elections, from a low of 15% in 1983 to a high of 25% in 2015 and to 23.6% in 2019[45]
    • Australia – Introduced for state elections in Queensland in 1915, excluding Aboriginal (indigenous) Australians. Victoria introduced compulsory voting in 1926, New South Wales and Tasmania in 1928, Western Australia in 1936 (excluding indigenous Australians), and South Australia in 1942. It was introduced for federal elections in 1924 for “British subjects” aged 21 and over, but was not compulsory for indigenous Australians[46] until 1984. The compulsory voting age was reduced to 18 in 1974.[43]
    • Belgium – Introduced in 1894.[47] Every citizen and registered non-Belgian voter, from the age of 18 has to present themselves in their designated polling station on election day (always a Sunday), however casting a legal vote is not compulsory, legal sanctions still exist for those failing to present themselves, or appoint a proxy, without proper (legal) justification, but only the sanctions for absent appointed polling station staff have been enforced by prosecutors since 2003.[48][49]
    • Bolivia - The voter is given a card when he/she has voted so that he/she can show proof of participation. The voter would not be able to receive his/her salary from the bank if he/she cannot show the proof of voting during three months after the election.[50]
    • Brazil[51] – Compulsory for literate citizens between 18 and 70 years old, including those who live abroad. [52]There is increasing opposition to compulsory voting and despite dire sanctions against abstainers – proof of voting participation is required for public employment and public housing, the issuance or renewal of a passport – nearly 30 million Brazilians or 20.4 % of registered voters, did not vote at the 2018 general elections.[53]
    • Ecuador – Introduced in 1936.[43] Compulsory for citizens between 18 and 65 years old; non-compulsory for citizens aged 16–18, illiterate people, and those older than 65.
    • Liechtenstein[17] - The Act on the Exercise of Political Rights in National Affairs (1973) states that "Participation in elections and votes is a compulsory civic duty."[54]
    • Luxembourg – Compulsory for Luxembourg citizens aged between 18 and 75 who live in Luxembourg; not compulsory for Luxembourg citizens who are over 75 or live abroad. Foreign citizens (in local and European elections only) may register to vote once they have lived in Luxembourg for 5 years. This is a free choice, not a requirement; however, once an eligible foreign citizen has registered to vote, then voting is compulsory for them.[55]
    • Nauru – Introduced in 1965 when it was still an Australian possession. [43]
    • North Korea – Everyone over age 17 is required to vote. However, only one candidate appears on the ballot. Voting is designed to track who is and isn't in the country. Dissenting votes are possible but lead to repercussions for voters.[56]
    • Peru[57] – Introduced in 1933.[43] Compulsory for citizens between 18 and 70 years old.
    • Samoa - Samoa adopted compulsory voting in 2018.[58] It will implemented for the first time in the 2021 general election.
    • Singapore – Compulsory for citizens above 21 years old as of the date of the last electoral roll revision. For example, the 2015 election has the cut-off date on 1 July 2015.
    • Swiss canton of Schauffhausen – Compulsory voting has never existed at the national level in Switzerlannd. It was introduced by several cantons starting in the late 19th century, but by 1974 it had been abolished everywhere except in Schauffhausen.[43]
    • Uruguay – Introduced in 1934, but not put into practice until 1970.[43]
    Not enforced
    Countries that have compulsory voting by law but do not enforce it:

    • Costa Rica - Voting is mandatory by law for all those inscribed in the Electoral Rolls. However, those who do not vote face no direct consequences. Absenteeism was consistently around 20 percent until the 1990s, when it jumped to nearly 30 percent.[59]
    • Egypt - Egyptian law provides for a fine and even a jail sentence for those who don't cast a vote, but in practice, the law is not applied and turnouts are low, such as 47.5% at the 2014 presidential election, then down to 28.3% at the parliamentary election the following year.
    • Gabon
    • Greece - Voting is compulsory until the age of 70. Failure to vote is punishable by a prison sentence of one month to one year, and a loss of the offender's post. However, no one has ever been prosecuted.[60], Turnout is low and at the 2015 legislative election, 43.4% of registered voters did not vote.
    • Honduras - While the Constitution says voting is compulsory, the Electoral Code does not mention penalties for not voting.[61]
    • Mexico - The Constitution mentions that voting is a citizens’ obligation (Art. 36), but the Electoral Code does not establish penalties for not voting. [62]
    • Thailand
    • Turkey – The 22 fine in law is generally not enforced.[63]
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Countries that once had compulsory voting but have abolished it:

    • Albania - Compulsory voting, which existed throughout the Communist period and produced official turnouts of 100%, was abolished with the new election law of November 1990 and January 1991.[64]
    • Austria - At the national level, introduced in 1924.[17]Abolished in 1992. At the provincial level in Styria, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, abolished in 1992.[65]
    • Bulgaria - Due to the dismally low turnouts at elections, the Bulgarian parliament introduced compulsory voting in 2016 — the only European country to do so in more than 50 years — but the Constitutional Court abolished it the following year, declaring that the right to vote was a subjective right and not a public function that entailed an obligation to vote. [66]
    • Chile - Until 2012 the Constitution stated that voting was obligatory (Art. 15). A modification of the Constitution eliminated the obligation to vote and established automatic registration for all citizens (Law 20,568).[67]
    • Cyprus - Introduced in 1960.[43] Abolished in 2017, after having been inactive for many years.[68]
    • Dominican Republic - Compulsory voting, which was not enforced in practice, was repealed with the 2010 Constitution which states: "Nobody can be obligated or coerced, under any pretext, in the exercise of their right of suffrage or to reveal their vote." In 2017, a proposal by an opposition party to establish compulsory voting was defeated.[69]
    • Fiji - Abolished in 2014.[70]
    • Guatemala - Abolished in 1990.[17]
    • Italy - Between 1945 and 1993. (possible arbitrary or social sanctions, called the "innocuous sanction" , where it might for example be difficult to get a daycare place for your child or similar)[17] [71]
    • Lebanon - Abolished at least since the electoral law of 1996.[72]
    • Netherlands - Introduced in 1917 along with universal suffrage, abolished in 1967.
    • Panama - The current laws of Panama do not mention any sanctions and do not specify the obligation to vote. [73]
    • Paraguay – No longer compulsory as of 2018.[74] It was compulsory for citizens between 18 and 75 years old, non-compulsory for those older than 75.
    • Philippines - Compulsory and enforced during the regime of Ferdinand Marcos.[75]
    • Portugal - 1933 Portuguese constitutional referendum, not enforced.
    • Spain - 1907–1923, but not enforced.[17]
    • Switzerland - Widespread among the country's 26 cantons in the 19th century but progressively abandoned since then with only Schaffhausen still retaining it.[76]
    • US State of Georgia - By Article XII of the 1777 Constitution.[77] This provision was omitted from the revised Georgia constitution of 1789.[78]
    • Venezuela - Removed in 1993.[79]
    src wiki
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    When the homeless, the poor, the other wise marginalized because of race or creed are to vote it is amazing how this changes the quality of political representation and degree of corruption. IMO
    The politicians can not ignore any one...
    Campaign funding changes for example...
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    one way to improve this is to have a slot of "protest vote" which represents no candidate.

    Then even a donkey vote becomes a genuine vote. At least the voice is heard.
    Republican, Democrat, Independent, Neither is worthy.
  20. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Is there evidence that suggests compulsory voting would bring about fairer political outcomes? (all things being equal)
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    A good question!
    Not easily answered.
    When people are dis-empowered of the freedom to vote we see unfairness I guess...
    Empowering people the freedom to vote only produces fairer results if people actually take their responsibility seriously and actually vote. But evidence? hmmmm...
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    In Australia, we don't really have compulsory voting. We have compulsory turning up to an election booth on election day.

    That is, voters need to get themselves marked off on the electoral roll as having voted, one way or another. For most people that means going to an election booth on election day and having your name ticked off. You are then handed voting papers. What you do with them is then entirely up to you. You are free to scrawl "All politicians are liars!" in large indignant letters and then to drop that in the ballot box if you like. Or you can tear them up and throw the little pieces away. There won't be any penalty. Your vote will simply be deemed informal and you will have wasted your vote, but you might be able to walk away satisfied that you have Stuck it to The Man.

    If you are on the electoral roll and you don't turn up or otherwise submit a vote, then it is possible that you will be fined, sooner or later.

    There are no real freedom of speech or religion problems with this.

    The benefits are that huge amounts of money and lots of time and effort do not need to be spent every election merely trying to get people to turn out to vote. It also means that it is not only special interest groups who turn out to vote.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    In Australia, we have a preferential voting system, where you number your preferred candidates 1, 2, 3, etc. in order of your preference. The candidates draw randomly to find their position on the ballot paper.

    Some voters will inevitably number the boxes from top to bottom in order, without thinking about which candidate they would prefer. This is generally known, for some reason, as a "donkey vote". There's no way to distinguish a mindless donkey vote from a real vote, but it's not a big problem unless the election is very close, since donkey votes are expected to be only a small percentage of the total number of votes.

    In the last federal Australian election (to elect the national government), between 5 and 6% of votes were informal (i.e. not counted because the voter didn't follow the instructions required to make the vote formal). A vote can be deemed informal for lots of reasons. It is formal to number all the boxes and also write "Fuck off politicians!" on the ballot paper, by the way, as long as the numbers are legible and follow the other rules. The guideline is that the voter's intention should be discernable from the ballot paper.

    Occasionally it actually makes sense to cast a legitimate donkey vote, just because that's the way the candidates appear on the ballot paper. It's annoying to think that the people counting the votes might just think "Oh, another mindless donkey vote", but that's definitely a first-world problem.

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