How can compulsory voting be a good thing?

How can compulsory voting be a good thing?

I thought democracy was about having the right to vote, not being compelled to vote. How can a vote be meaningful if it’s a random choice made by someone with no interest in politics and no awareness or understanding of the choices on offer ? Surely people who choose to vote when they have that as an option are more likely to have an actual opinion? I wonder how many of the people who voted in yesterday’s Australian election were simply avoiding a fine.

2 comments

  1. David Krynauw

    I totally agree! Especially when you add in the fact that most of us don’t know the difference between Liberal National and Liberal Democratic. And how come people like Clive Palmer get in when he doesn’t get the most votes? In fact the preference votes of the parties he hates most helped him to get in! And I guarantee you that if you had to ask anyone how minor parties in the Senate can pose a challenge to the government, we’d have no clue. Democracy is a noble idea, but I’m not sure about how it is executed in our elections. Maybe that’s why we had such a debacle over the past 6 years?

  2. I’ve always been sceptic over Politics and its muppets (Politicians). Any man with a given power is potentially dangerous to me (at least this kind of power). From that vision, I’ve always been a firm believer of the ‘vote blanc’ (French) or ‘white/blank vote’ – assuming I disagree with all parties and/or all representatives. Knowing that a “blank (or white) voter” has voted (although his vote may be considered a spoilt vote, depending on each legislation) as opposed to an abstaining voter who hasn’t actively voted. I’ve always felt a blank vote was a way of getting my voice heard – showing that I care – without having any preferred party nor necessarily agreeing with ‘what’s on offer’. After reading a bit more about it in the past few weeks, abstention seems to be a better way of making yourself heard… in France anyway… I never knew about a fine for abstention in Australia! Can you vote blank equally too?