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Obama floats mandatory voting

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aquatus1

I don't know. There's so many countries out there than have mandatory voting. We don't want to do the same thing everyone else is doing. That'd be lame.

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questionmark

If I had a little more faith in my fellow citizens I would say: make voting day a holiday with everything closed so nobody has an excuse.... but I guess you'll find 60% of the citizenry sitting in a park roasting hot-dogs instead of voting....

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joc

If I had a little more faith in my fellow citizens I would say: make voting day a holiday with everything closed so nobody has an excuse.... but I guess you'll find 60% of the citizenry sitting in a park roasting hot-dogs instead of voting....

....and it should be mentioned that a lot of people actually 'vote' by 'not voting'...staying away from the polling booth is its own vote in many cases.

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Degen

....and it should be mentioned that a lot of people actually 'vote' by 'not voting'...staying away from the polling booth is its own vote in many cases.

Then they have no reason to complain when the person they would of prefered out of the two evils doesnt get in.

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aquatus1

That's a silly form of protest. It is right up there with pouting and telling your partner that if they can't figure out what's wrong, you aren't going to bother telling them. Politics doesn't care about passive-aggressiveness.

The right answer is to either vote None of the Above, or vote in a dog or something in the write-in vote.

Edited by aquatus1
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Degen

I don't know. There's so many countries out there than have mandatory voting. We don't want to do the same thing everyone else is doing. That'd be lame.

Exactly, keep the mess that is the electoral college. Whats the go with that anyway? You can still lose with the majority of the vote? And having to register as a democrat or republican or other? Whats the purpose? Ive never understood these things

Edited by Degen

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Yaafm

I'm looking at this from a stand point of: If I don't want to vote, I shouldn't have to vote. The US was founded on "freedoms." That also means, I should have the freedom to not vote, if I chose not too. No one should be able to force me to vote, stop drinking sugary drinks, red meat, stop smoking, or drinking alcohol. If I chose to do so, then so be it. Those choices are mine and mine alone.

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aquatus1

If I had a little more faith in my fellow citizens I would say: make voting day a holiday with everything closed so nobody has an excuse.... but I guess you'll find 60% of the citizenry sitting in a park roasting hot-dogs instead of voting....

Actually, I could see that working. Give out voting stickers and encourage business owners to give out discounts for people who voted. Maybe some kind of tax discount for food/entertainment profits for those who participate.

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Degen

Actually, I could see that working. Give out voting stickers and encourage business owners to give out discounts for people who voted. Maybe some kind of tax discount for food/entertainment profits for those who participate.

You shouldnt need to bribe them as such to get them to vote though. Its a privledge, use it or one day you may lose it.

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aquatus1

Voting isn't a privilege. It's an annoyance. It is a necessary evil for a stable society. If we could figure out some other way to do it that didn't require any input from us and didn't annoy us more, we would take it in a second. The whole reason we have governments to begin with is because we don't want to deal with all that nonsense.

Voting is something that needs to be done. If you can get people to do it happily, great. If you can get them to do it grumpy, well, that's better than nothing. Don't expect them to do it for no reward, however. One of the unfortunate side-effects of a culture of individual independence as a prioritization of personal convenience over national duty.

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spartan max2

It takes me literally like a minute to push to voting buttons on voting day. If people are too lazy to vote then they probably shouldn't be voting in the first place.

I volunteered for campaigns before,so I worked with the public and you'd be suprised how many people have no clue who the governor is let alone the president.

How would it help us forcing these people to vote?

Edited by spartan max2

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aquatus1

Exactly, keep the mess that is the electoral college. Whats the go with that anyway? You can still lose with the majority of the vote? And having to register as a democrat or republican or other? Whats the purpose? Ive never understood these things

That's because individual parties have been messing with it. I still remember feeling a mild sense of shock in my first PoliSci class, learning about "minority whips", who basically run around whipping up support during a given vote, raising my hand and asking the teacher "Is...is that a real position? I mean...there's an actual congressional cheerleader?"

I tend to feel that a large part of the problem comes from division in congress. They seem to have forgotten that there are three major branches of the government, and they are all in one single only. Unfortunately, they are empowered by society thinking of them in terms of political parties, instead of as workers who have a specific job to do and a specific manner to do it in. That's why they can get away with gerrymandering, and demanding party votes, and all that nonsense.

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spartan max2

Voting isn't a privilege. It's an annoyance. It is a necessary evil for a stable society. If we could figure out some other way to do it that didn't require any input from us and didn't annoy us more, we would take it in a second. The whole reason we have governments to begin with is because we don't want to deal with all that nonsense.

Voting is something that needs to be done. If you can get people to do it happily, great. If you can get them to do it grumpy, well, that's better than nothing. Don't expect them to do it for no reward, however. One of the unfortunate side-effects of a culture of individual independence as a prioritization of personal convenience over national duty.

How does it benifit society if people who have no clue what's going on are forced to vote?

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aquatus1

How would it help us forcing these people to vote?

It would change the culture. One of the interesting things about humans is that when they are forced to do something they dislike, but dislike less that the punishment for not doing it, they eventually decide that they actually do like doing it. They justify it to themselves, and pass on their justifications to their children (It's the same psychological mechanism that is responsible for Stockholm Syndrome". After a few generations, the social culture becomes one where of course you're going to vote, that's what good American's do, and it's so easy, it would be foolish not to. And, since people have to do it anyway, they will also start to pay a bit more attention to the choices they are making, since they already convinced themselves of the necessity of their input.

People are a bit more predictable than they like to think they are.

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spartan max2

Exactly, keep the mess that is the electoral college. Whats the go with that anyway? You can still lose with the majority of the vote? And having to register as a democrat or republican or other? Whats the purpose? Ive never understood these things

You register so that you can vote in that parties primaries. Whatever candidate wins the primaries becomes the candidate for the party who will run.

And you can have the popular vote and still loose because we are not set up so that say if the majority of the population lived in new york, well if they have 51% of the vote all the time then all the people in the other states basically have no say.

That's why we are not a democracy but a representative Republic

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Degen

You register so that you can vote in that parties primaries. Whatever candidate wins the primaries becomes the candidate for the party who will run.

And you can have the popular vote and still loose because we are not set up so that say if the majority of the population lived in new york, well if they have 51% of the vote all the time then all the people in the other states basically have no say.

That's why we are not a democracy but a representative Republic

But that would then require everyone to vote the exact same ticket and that would never happen

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spartan max2

But that would then require everyone to vote the exact same ticket and that would never happen

It's just a figurative example man.

Another way to look at it I guess would be how even though a state can majority vote for a party, all the house members of that state will not be one larty. Because it's split up into districts. So that say Columbus dosnt control all the votes in ohio just because it has the most population. It's all about letting everyone have a say.

It works the same on the national scale. Which is why you can slightly win popular and still loose

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Merc14

No neither me nor the article is suggesting some dictatorial move here so save it. Just want to hear some thoughts on it. It's quite obvious why Obama is intrigued by the idea. He sees a huge untapped dependent class of voters. Does anyone think mandatory voting would be a democrat lockdown or would we just end up seeing, by a full vote count, the division line proportionally scaled up? Or, would it backfire and bring out a huge but currently quiet crop of conservative leaning voters thereby producing the opposite of the prez's intent as so many of his ideas do?

I think he sees an absolutely massive amount of fraud available for the taking. Imagine millions of legal ballots laying about only needing someone to check a box and drop in a mailbox. How easily bought would millions of these ballots be? A pack of smokes? Hell a single cigarette would be good enough for most. Lastly, who thinks it is a good idea to seek the input of people who don't care enough to get off their butts and vote? Talk to some people and prepare to be amazed at how little they know about what is going on?

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Degen

It's just a figurative example man.

Another way to look at it I guess would be how even though a state can majority vote for a party, all the house members of that state will not be one larty. Because it's split up into districts. So that say Columbus dosnt control all the votes in ohio just because it has the most population. It's all about letting everyone have a say.

It works the same on the national scale. Which is why you can slightly win popular and still loose

Yeah thats how we do it here kind of except if you have the most votes you are the winner. Im to tired to go into it much but if you get bored have a look at how queensland does its elections. It just seems kinda pointless if the loser can be declared the winner. One person - one vote.

Edited by Degen

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Hammerclaw

Funny how none of these ideas get floated when the Dems have complete control of the legislative and executive branches.

Edited by Hammerclaw
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Big Jim

It seems to be just a small step from telling people they have to vote to telling them how to vote. I would imagine that many of those that don't vote do so out of complete apathy. They don't vote because they don't care who wins. If it became mandatory they may vote to escape punishment but still not care who wins. That is a void just waiting to be filled. Any politician who can promise even a meager reward will get the majority of the compulsory vote. Obamaphone, anyone?

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Sundew

....and it should be mentioned that a lot of people actually 'vote' by 'not voting'...staying away from the polling booth is its own vote in many cases.

You have a good point, unfortunately the last US election was a protest vote against Romney as much as a for vote for Obama. You can thank the GOP establishment for putting losers forward year after year. Maybe this year will be different, Jeb is starting to lose his luster early.

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Rafterman

Greece is the best example that it does not work, all those government wasting money were elected by mandatory voting. But citizens should be aware that democracy is a "use it or loose it" game. If you don't vote don't be surprised to find yourself in a dictatorship.

Agreed.

Australia does this as well and I posted a question to our Australian members a few months back over on that forum to get their input on how it all works. From what they say, it doesn't.

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Merc14

Voting is a funny thing. I had a conversation with a woman who was talking about the elections and didn't have a clue what the issues were. Literally, not a clue but she was voting one way because she didn't like how the other candidate's wife dresses. I said, "Why are you bothering to vote if you don't know what is going on?" she was taken aback and declared that she had a right to vote and I said "You also have a right not to vote and probably shouldn't be picking a president based on how the man's wife dresses." She didn't get it. I told her that her vote was zeroing out the vote of a person who did know what the issues were and asked her if that is the best way to help her country find its next leader. She didn't answer and changed the subject. She voted democrat that November.

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Harte

People, besides bankers and federal employees, get Columbus Day and President's Day off? I did not know that. I believe that many states now have early voting where you can start voting about 2 weeks before election day. Then there is the absentee ballot. Don't really see the need for another day off, although I would appreciate it I don't think it would make any more people vote. They would just take the day off and go fishing, or BBQ, or what not. Maybe a day off if you actually voted, but that might open another can of worms.

I would vote for fishing in that balloting.

Harte

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