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Post Reply Barack Obama acknowledges support for Forced Voting
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20 / M
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Posted 3/18/15
No country should force its citizens to vote. If the only candidates are so bad that nobody wants to vote for them, it's a sign that the country is in serious need of reform. Forcing people to vote shows just how desperate politicians are.
katt14 
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Posted 3/18/15
Coming from Australia, a country with compulsory voting, I can tell you this is something you DO NOT WANT! In Oz voting is compulsory at the Federal, State & Local levels, and failure incurrs a hefty fine ($150-$300) The fine can be avoided with a reasonable excuse - I usually get around the State/Local ones by saying I went interstate & my car broke down on the way back, but it is harder to come up with a good excuse for not getting to a polling booth in a Federal election when there is one around every corner in the country!!
We are constantly told that voting is a privilege that we should be honoured to participate in, but it often feels like a pointless exercise & a waste of time!! Voting is always held on a Saturday, so we spend 2+ hours of our weekends waiting in line to vote for someone we usually know nothing about or don't particularly like because it's better than paying 100's of our hard earned!!
Australians are, by & large, a pretty apathetic bunch & are increasingly ignorant of the workings of government, prefering to let the media do their thinking for them. This results in thousands of people voting for someone that they'd rather not, given the choice. I don't agree with donkey voting, but I believe an informal vote is a valid alternative to voting for someone you dont fully support, and the best vote in those circumstances. Unfortunately, most Australians disagree - I guess they think if they have to go to all that trouble they should cast a 'proper' vote; I can guarantee that if voting wasn't compulsory, the current dickhead, Abbot, would never have been elected (& we wouldn't be the laughing stock of the world right now!!) The way voting is advertised here has made people think that an informal vote is either illegal (even though no-one is supposed to know how you vote!), or makes you look like an incompetent moron who can't fill in a ballot paper!! I use it as a quasi protest vote when I am unable to fully support any candidate and can't avoid voting altogether!!
I'm not sure about Obama's logic in terms of fundraising - candidates still need to run a campaign regardless of how many people will be voting; unless they are planning on charging every voter to raise those funds!!
Anyhow, the upshot is, I don't belive compulsory voting is either necessary or preferable - people should not be forced to vote if they see no value in the candidates; it is costly to enforce; & can be a burdensome imposition and invasion of rights. If I had the opportunity to vote on this proposal, I definitely would, and against it all the way!!

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31 / M / Bellingham WA, USA
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Posted 3/18/15 , edited 3/18/15
The "vote or die" campaign bothered me enough in 2004 to quit voting for about 5 years afterwards. So suffice to say, a law like this would deeply disgust me to my core.

I'm a natural born, tax paying citizen. If I don't want to vote for any reason, I'm not going to ****ing vote!
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28 / M / USA! USA! USA!
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Posted 3/18/15
You all talk a good game, but couldn't be bothered to Vote Jibril.

If you can't even be bothered to pick the obvious Best Girl, then you can't complain about who gets elected or why.

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27 / M / TX
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Posted 3/18/15 , edited 3/18/15
Some more reading if any one interested
http://news.yahoo.com/obama-floats-idea-mandatory-voting-us-202518123--politics.html
If Obama wants to get more people voting he should explain why you should vote. There plenty of people who don't vote by choice and he should respect that. Anyone that tries to force somebody to vote by threatening them with a fine is just one step away from becoming a tyrant.
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26 / M / Socal
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Posted 3/18/15 , edited 3/18/15
Get rid of the goddamn electoral college first!!

Then you might increase the amount of voters showing up. Because then our vote counts for something, rather than it just being suggestion...
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31 / M / Bellingham WA, USA
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Posted 3/18/15
I also find it absurd that a man who has won all his elections via record breaking fundraising efforts is citing being anti-fundraising as a reason for this. Seriously, wtf?
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Posted 3/19/15 , edited 3/19/15
My knee jerk reaction on reading that was HELL F*CK#NG NO!! Then I started thinking and came to a few realizations.

1) The parties getting the same small sample of voters tend to keep status quo going. Thus, real change does not happen. Remember when Obama first ran? He gave a lot of hope to Americans, and people who never would have imagined voting, came out to vote. It was among the highest voter turn out in U.S. history, and a real change in the political scene took place (until he started to sell us out to corporates, and the like).

2) Corporations control Congress with donations. They count on low voter turnouts for their paid for and bought politicians to do their bidding. If mandatory voting comes into play, and donations go away, Corporate control of Congress goes away, too. Votes will actually matter to Congress members, and they'll actually listen to the people.

3) The first two outcomes is what we've all been clamoring for - for a long time. This may get us those outcomes.

I'm still not completely sold on the idea, however. I want to see facts and figures to show how compulsory voting have benefited other countries that have it (or made a mess of things).
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24 / Decemberunderground
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Posted 3/19/15
Seriously I don't want to have to vote I don't care about voting and I rather not get called for jury duty.
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20 / M
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Posted 3/19/15 , edited 3/19/15
Awful idea. With the decisions we are given, this would force people who simply want to not be involved or do not care for politics have to choose between evils. It just is not right. I cannot speak for how it works in other countries, because they may actually have good leaders, but the trend in The United States seems to be that those who choose to go into the career of a politician are generally all the same. Selfish and charismatic.

I know that I wouldn't have wanted to be forced to choose between Rick Scott and Chris Christie during our governor election.
Omni42 
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Posted 3/19/15
The problem with current democracy seems to be that there is no reasonable way of saying "None of the above" and having it mean something. Write-ins don't achieve much without some level of public support achieved through sustained campaigning which has to be funded from somewhere. Invalid votes are just that, invalid and not counted in any way other than turnout (which just makes the winner look better as a higher number voted and they got X% so more people voted for them, right? And not voting just makes it obvious you accomplished nothing.
The only ones who impact politics seriously are those who take politics seriously, while most people find it boring or feel insignificant/helpless in the grand scheme. Thus, those who are in politics no longer look out for the majority, the people they're supposed to represent, and instead start trying to represent only those who take politics seriously. Unfortunately politics attracts some of the worst people. The types for whom power is a primary objective. And so voting slowly becomes a choice between different brands of terrible, each trying to represent a different group of shouting iditots, perpetuating the cycle.

In short, Democracy needs to implement a way to say "Boo, you all suck".
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20 / M / England
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Posted 3/19/15 , edited 3/19/15
I do feel like this is a good idea unless you have religious reasons against it.

Being naive to politics is not a right and everyone should take some responsibility for the country they live in, that's kinda how the world works...If everyone actually voted the common people's majority would actually get the majority vote, rather than a minority view pushed forward with overly funded campaigns, This could actually do a lot of good if people looked at it positively.
dsjb 
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30 / M / UK
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Posted 3/19/15 , edited 3/19/15
I actually think mandatory voting is a wonderful idea, provided we are allowed a none of the above box. When you don't vote in elections you are essentially abdicating the power of your vote to everyone else who voted. If you don't vote you gave away your right to an opinion. I have some small sympathy to those who don't vote because they are actually opposed to the concept of democracy but if your simply not voting because your too lazy don't expect to be listened to later, you gave away your right. If you don't want to vote for any of the candidates then run your self or find someone who does represent you and get them to run. Most of us don't get to be happy with everything our representatives stand for but were involved and trying to make it better than it is now.

People fought, bled and died for the vote, don't let them have died so you could shrug you shoulders, say its raining and the polling office is too far away.
Posted 3/19/15
i'll wait till BlueOni weighs in on this to make a decision
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Posted 3/19/15

-mockingbird wrote:

i'll wait till BlueOni weighs in on this to make a decision


You should think for yourself instead of relying on others to think for you.
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