Compulsory voting?

The Herald has a readers poll asking if voting should be compulsory.

So far 467 people have voted, 56% of whom say yes.

I’m a definite no because while you can lead people to democracy but you can’t force them to participate.

Democracy gives you the right to vote and freedom enables you to choose to not use it.

5 Responses to Compulsory voting?

  1. Truthseeker says:

    I agree with you. My agreement is on the grounds that people should be allowed to disqualify themselves if they do not feel competent to make a valid judgment. I’d rather not see the shrinking pool of informed voters further diluted by people who don’t – and don’t want to – pay attention.

  2. dutchie down south says:

    A no for me as well homepaddock. for starters, who is going to monitor and police if people are voting? if you want to police the voting process than that will be a very costly and above all time concuming operation. If it was compulsory the only option for a voter who don’t want to participate is to cast a blank vote

  3. pdm says:

    Agreed but enrolment should remain compulsory and be enforced. I know a `white, middle class, aged 60, who is not enrolled and does not want to be – I keep telling him he should be. I suspect he is one of many.

  4. Cathi says:

    I believe that abstention is as much a voting choice as an active tick in a box for a candidate or party

    The alternative is to make everyone turn up but know that some people will spoil their votes.

    I also believe that it’s handy to know how many people actively abstain as opposed to passively not joining in, but I appear to be the only one interested in that.

    On the enrolment issue, the only reason I know of why people deliberately stay off the electoral roll is so they avoid jury duty. Which is despicable. There are the can’t-be-bothereds and I believe the Electoral Commission should have access to a combination of rates payers registers (for property owners) and tenancy bond registers (for renters) which would pick up a large chunk of these. People will say this is invasive of privacy, I say you should not live here if you don’t want the protection of the courts system, and if you want the protection of the courts system without being available to the jury system, you’re a hypocrite (see despicable, above)

    that turned into a rant, oh well

  5. Cathi says:

    should have said explicitly, I am against compulsory votiing too, but as you’ll have gathered, am all for compulsory registration

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