Jump to content




Welcome to Unexplained Mysteries! Please sign in or create an account to start posting and to access a host of extra features.


* * * * * 1 votes

For the Australians - mandatory voting


  • Please log in to reply
78 replies to this topic

#1    Rafterman

Rafterman

    Telekinetic

  • Member
  • 7,409 posts
  • Joined:27 Sep 2010
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Upstate

Posted 31 March 2014 - 07:37 PM

I was listening to one of the Thinking Atheist podcast episodes from back int he fall this morning and the topic was Secular America.  His guest was an Australian author who had written a book about the influence of religion in US politics.

One of his points was that the US should adopt "mandatory voting" like was done in Australia as a way to lessen the control of both right and left fringes in US politics.  If everyone votes as opposed to the 50% or so who do now, the control of the hard left and the hard right would fall away dramatically - if the US is truly a centrist nation as most polls indicate.

So I'm curious, how does the mandatory voting policy work in Australia?

"For me, it is better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
                                                                                                                                           - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World:  Science as a Candle in the Dark

#2    libstaK

libstaK

    Nosce Te Ipsum

  • 7,178 posts
  • Joined:06 Feb 2011
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

  • Hello Reality and all that is True
    When Oxymoron was defined it was just for you

Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:26 PM

It's simple really.  You still have to register to vote when you turn 18, or move to a new suburb, but they actually chase you until you do.  After you are registered, you vote or you get fined - every Australian citizen has a duty to vote.

The polling booths are at most schools in each suburb and your name is marked off a council register as you enter to prove you voted.  The register is designed so that it can be run thru a computer program after voting is completed so that anyone whose name is not marked off then gets sent a fine.

I hated the idea in my younger years, but here's the thing - it encourages an interest in what is happening to the country politically and I don't think I would have bothered taking that interest otherwise.  Of course, we have folk who show up and then put thru invalid votes or blank sheets but most will decide that if they have to vote then they will do so based on what they believe is best.

Basically, it ensures everyone is encouraged to have a say - that's the principle.  Without mandatory voting, there would be alot of complaining about the political system but very little action except from the determined few who would actually bother to vote.  That group of determined few would by default include those with the more extreme views and agendas.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#3    ChrLzs

ChrLzs

    Just a contributor..

  • Member
  • 5,352 posts
  • Joined:21 Nov 2009
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gold Coast (Qld, Australia)

  • I only floccinaucinihilipilificate
    when it IS worthless...

Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:45 PM

What Libstak said, but to be fair, people who didn't vote don't just get sent a fine - they get a 'please explain'.  I got one last election, but I had voted, so maybe they didn't cross my name off clearly.. - I gave them the details and heard nothing more.

I think it's a good system, and actually creates something close to the ideal "everyone has a say" .  Interestingly, informal voting is not a crime, and is even explained as your right if wish to abstain.. so you can just walk into the voting venue, take the paper, scribble on it and put it in the box...  It's also worth noting that 'absentee' and postal voting are quite easy, so if you have a good reason for not being easily able to vote on the day, there are other ways to get it done.

Now, if only we had genuine choices in terms of the political parties...  What really irks me is that we had a good environment some years back for a new party to enter into the fray, and what did we get?

Pauline Hanson.   For those who have never heard of her, think 'much worse than Palin'...

There are answers out there, and they won't be found by people sitting around looking serious and saying 'Isn't life mysterious?' - Tim Minchin ('Storm')
My garden is already magical and beyond beautiful - I do not need to invent fairies... - me
The truth ONLY hurts when it slaps you in the face after you haven't done proper homework and made silly claims... - me

#4    Ashotep

Ashotep

    Omnipotent Entity

  • Member
  • 9,995 posts
  • Joined:10 May 2011
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA

  • Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway-John Wayne

Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:08 PM

If they do that here then we will have people voting that don't even know who is running for president.  If you went out on the street and asked who the vice president was there would be many that couldn't tell you.  Too many people don't get involved but I don't think I would like a law forcing them to or they would just go to the polls and vote for anyone not caring what they stood for.

People that don't vote will complain about who wins and complain if they are forced to participate and will expect someone from government to come pick them up to take them to vote.

I do wish more people would get out and vote.  If they did though they are going to have to have more places people can vote or they will be waiting in lines for days in some places.


#5    libstaK

libstaK

    Nosce Te Ipsum

  • 7,178 posts
  • Joined:06 Feb 2011
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

  • Hello Reality and all that is True
    When Oxymoron was defined it was just for you

Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:21 PM

View PostAshotep, on 31 March 2014 - 09:08 PM, said:

If they do that here then we will have people voting that don't even know who is running for president.  If you went out on the street and asked who the vice president was there would be many that couldn't tell you.  Too many people don't get involved but I don't think I would like a law forcing them to or they would just go to the polls and vote for anyone not caring what they stood for.

People that don't vote will complain about who wins and complain if they are forced to participate and will expect someone from government to come pick them up to take them to vote.

I do wish more people would get out and vote.  If they did though they are going to have to have more places people can vote or they will be waiting in lines for days in some places.
A couple of things - yes, there are active voters here who could not tell you the name of the Prime Minister :P .  More likely though, the subject of having to vote becomes a common discussion in social circles and people do ask questions and gain information - whether it is the correct information is a different subject.  Overall mandatory voting makes people who would otherwise go about blissfully ignorant of the politics of their country take an interest, over time this can develop into actual knowledge of a thing or two.  That is a better position than putting one's head in the sand come election time.

Yes, you will need more places to vote - as stated almost all Secondary colleges and most primary schools (junior for the US people) have polling booths come election day.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#6    OverSword

OverSword

    Forum Divinity

  • Member
  • 17,184 posts
  • Joined:16 Oct 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle WA USA

  • I love chocolate

Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:24 PM

He's wrong of course, as the same people will be elected regardless, since they are the ones who are running.


#7    Orcseeker

Orcseeker

    Poltergeist

  • Member
  • 2,821 posts
  • Joined:15 Dec 2007
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia

Posted 01 April 2014 - 12:59 AM

Of all the videos I've seen of people asked who they'd vote for then to recount a policy they stand for and not able to give a correct answer I think that is probably a bigger issue. People are still voting for people who don't even have the slightest similar views as them and they don't even know it. So how does this proposition erode the far left and right voters if those voting think they're voting someplace else on the spectrum entirely?


#8    Likely Guy

Likely Guy

    Undecided, mostly.

  • Member
  • 8,355 posts
  • Joined:09 May 2012
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Likely, Canada

  • I'd rather laugh than argue.

    Choose your weapon.

Posted 01 April 2014 - 02:28 AM

View PostOverSword, on 31 March 2014 - 11:24 PM, said:

He's wrong of course, as the same people will be elected regardless, since they are the ones who are running.

What, everyone who runs gets elected?

Edit: Nevermind what I asked. I think that you mean anyone from your two mainstream parties. Correct me if I'm wrong.

2nd edit: *arranges soapbox*

Edited by Likely Guy, 01 April 2014 - 02:34 AM.


#9    DecoNoir

DecoNoir

    The Entertainer

  • Member
  • 2,784 posts
  • Joined:19 Jun 2013
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Imaginaerum

  • ... The Aristocrats.

Posted 01 April 2014 - 03:24 AM

View PostOverSword, on 31 March 2014 - 11:24 PM, said:

He's wrong of course, as the same people will be elected regardless, since they are the ones who are running.

Yeah I think that'd have to be something addressed separately. The only real reason anyone votes for most of these morons is because they have the money to buy up airtime and plaster their crotchety mugs on every damn billboard and webpage, and sweeping Third Parties under the rug simply because they don't have the muscle to compete.

I see it more as a lack of awareness by the general public that they have options.

I reject your reality, and substitute my own! Mostly because yours is boring as hell.

#10    sea-dove

sea-dove

    Ectoplasmic Residue

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 174 posts
  • Joined:21 Mar 2014

Posted 01 April 2014 - 05:01 AM

View PostRafterman, on 31 March 2014 - 07:37 PM, said:

So I'm curious, how does the mandatory voting policy work in Australia?

It has its issues. Quite a while ago got threatened with loosing my  licence to drive one time as I'd forgot to vote ((actually I'd been sick)) and wasnt going to pay a fine due to my severe finanical issues ... I borrowed money to pay the fine in the end due to the letter about they would take away my licence if it wasnt paid.  What a low down way to force people to pay!!
...........

More recently my sister.. she ended up being arrested for not voting when she did in fact vote.  For some reason they missed she'd voted and she was locked up the night in a police cell for failure to vote and my grandfather in the end bailed her out the next day.  

They then found records that she did vote.. so dropped the court case over failure to vote against her (she thou didnt even get an appology for that). I wanted her to take them to court for false imprisionment or something but she let this drop.  Its appalling that someone who voted got arrested and locked up due to system failure over voting!!

The system is corrupt even with voting as the 2 big parties who hold more power (labour/liberal), have a lot of money to advertise themselves etc before elections. The big parties are so corrupt they tell all kinds of lies to get in but they dont even follow throu with what they've promised and there is no reprecussions for decieving the general public with promises they probably knew all along they wouldnt be able to do and keep.   I truely wish I didnt have to vote as the whole thing is a con.

Edited by sea-dove, 01 April 2014 - 05:06 AM.


#11    ChrLzs

ChrLzs

    Just a contributor..

  • Member
  • 5,352 posts
  • Joined:21 Nov 2009
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Gold Coast (Qld, Australia)

  • I only floccinaucinihilipilificate
    when it IS worthless...

Posted 01 April 2014 - 05:33 AM

View Postsea-dove, on 01 April 2014 - 05:01 AM, said:

It has its issues. Quite a while ago got threatened with loosing my  licence to drive one time as I'd forgot to vote ((actually I'd been sick)) and wasnt going to pay a fine due to my severe finanical issues ... I borrowed money to pay the fine in the end due to the letter about they would take away my licence if it wasnt paid.  What a low down way to force people to pay!!
This I totally agree with - this is one aspect of Oz law that absolutely sucks.

Quote

More recently my sister.. she ended up being arrested for not voting when she did in fact vote.  For some reason they missed she'd voted and she was locked up the night in a police cell for failure to vote and my grandfather in the end bailed her out the next day.
Locked up for failure to vote????  This I find very hard to believe, and it should have made the press....  Frankly, if this is all true and she wasn't willing to press for false imprisonment (there are several legal companies who offer a no-win-no-fee service), then in a very significant way that is encouraging them.  Why on earth wouldn't she at least take this to a decent journo to make a story out of it? - there would be outrage.

There are answers out there, and they won't be found by people sitting around looking serious and saying 'Isn't life mysterious?' - Tim Minchin ('Storm')
My garden is already magical and beyond beautiful - I do not need to invent fairies... - me
The truth ONLY hurts when it slaps you in the face after you haven't done proper homework and made silly claims... - me

#12    Rafterman

Rafterman

    Telekinetic

  • Member
  • 7,409 posts
  • Joined:27 Sep 2010
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Upstate

Posted 01 April 2014 - 03:18 PM

View PostOverSword, on 31 March 2014 - 11:24 PM, said:

He's wrong of course, as the same people will be elected regardless, since they are the ones who are running.

But would they be the same ones we're getting now?  For example, every Republican candidate knows they have to kowtow to the far right to be a viable candidate and get the nomination then they move to the center for the general election.  The same goes for a Democrat. What if they didn't have to do that because they knew that the number of moderate voters far outnumbered the number of fringe voters in both parties?

For example - what if there was a fiscally conservative, socially libertarian candidate got a party's nomination because they knew they didn't have to be beholden to the radical fringes of their party?  

It's interesting to consider.

"For me, it is better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
                                                                                                                                           - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World:  Science as a Candle in the Dark

#13    libstaK

libstaK

    Nosce Te Ipsum

  • 7,178 posts
  • Joined:06 Feb 2011
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

  • Hello Reality and all that is True
    When Oxymoron was defined it was just for you

Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:23 PM

View PostRafterman, on 01 April 2014 - 03:18 PM, said:

But would they be the same ones we're getting now?  For example, every Republican candidate knows they have to kowtow to the far right to be a viable candidate and get the nomination then they move to the center for the general election.  The same goes for a Democrat. What if they didn't have to do that because they knew that the number of moderate voters far outnumbered the number of fringe voters in both parties?

For example - what if there was a fiscally conservative, socially libertarian candidate got a party's nomination because they knew they didn't have to be beholden to the radical fringes of their party?  

It's interesting to consider.
Good point, candidates would have to consider the entire demographic of the voting pool not just the far right or far left agendas of those lining their pockets to actually succeed.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#14    libstaK

libstaK

    Nosce Te Ipsum

  • 7,178 posts
  • Joined:06 Feb 2011
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia

  • Hello Reality and all that is True
    When Oxymoron was defined it was just for you

Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:29 PM

View PostChrLzs, on 01 April 2014 - 05:33 AM, said:

This I totally agree with - this is one aspect of Oz law that absolutely sucks.


Locked up for failure to vote????  This I find very hard to believe, and it should have made the press....  Frankly, if this is all true and she wasn't willing to press for false imprisonment (there are several legal companies who offer a no-win-no-fee service), then in a very significant way that is encouraging them.  Why on earth wouldn't she at least take this to a decent journo to make a story out of it? - there would be outrage.
Yeah I find that a little hard to swallow too unless the fine was ignored for a significant period of time aka: to the point where it's "costs" had increased and it reached litigation before the fined person bothered to make a statement about why they didn't pay the fine in the first place.  She could have been locked up, made the statement that she did indeed vote, which was duly investigated and then the case dropped.  All of which could have been done when the fine was issued in the first place.  Basically, you ignore the fine and it keeps coming back at you until you step up and represent yourself or you pay it in our system.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#15    Peter B

Peter B

    Psychic Spy

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,842 posts
  • Joined:29 Mar 2009
  • Gender:Not Selected
  • Location:Yes We Can-berra!

Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:08 PM

View PostOverSword, on 31 March 2014 - 11:24 PM, said:

He's wrong of course, as the same people will be elected regardless, since they are the ones who are running.

Well, the voting system we have in Australia means that minor party candidates have a good chance of holding the balance of power in the Senate. That helps break the duopoly of Labor and Liberal in our Parliament and means that whoever is in government usually has to negotiate to get their legislative agenda through.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users