The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Voting should be compulsory.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/13/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 747 times Debate No: 61651
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




Voting in local, state and national elections should be compulsory for all who are eligible to vote because it is the best way to judge the will of the people and achieve the fairest or most democratic outcome. Leaving voting up to the most motivated or the most able will only skew the results and give a false perspective on the wishes of the electorate.

Voluntary voting also leads to dirty tactics for candidates and campaigners including, for example, legislating rules that would unfairly affect poorer people as suggested in certain states of the USA in their last federal election.

The second best method would be to randomly select voters, however this can still lead to skewed results especially in smaller electorates.


I accept, thanks for bringing up a new topic!

I don't want my opening round to be very long, so I will bring up one point and let you present your opening arguments.

Forcing people to vote (assuming if you don't, you are punished in some kind of way) is both immoral and can lead to donkey votes. The majority people who don't want to vote will vote to get it over with and not put any thought into it, giving the candidate an unfair advantage or disadvantage based really on luck, with no actual thought going into the vote. More candidates will be elected due to luck rather than what the general public really wants.

Thanks, looking forward to a good argument!
Debate Round No. 1


I live in Australia where voting has always been compulsory. I guess the term "voting" is used loosely since all that is required is to get your name marked off a polling station or to send in a potentially empty postal vote. Because of this (and other "get-outs"), people who do not feel inclined to vote may still avoid doing so without falsely skewing results or receiving a (rather mild) fine.

However, I do concede that some donkey voting occurs. I argue that the amount that it occurs is negligible compared to the great majority of thoughtful voters. Furthermore, donkey voting occurs anyway in voluntary voting since the strong incentives for people to vote include the social incentive of merely being seen to vote.


The amount of donkey votes in non-mandatory (or compulsory) situations are very low compared to a system that requires you to vote by law.

I just did twenty minutes of research trying to find anything that says the amount of donkey votes or informal votes in America and Canada, and nothing showed up. In fact, more negativity showed up regarding donkey/informal votes in Australia when I typed in "informal (and then donkey) votes in America." About 6% of votes were informal in Australia [1] last year, and with nothing coming up regarding informal or donkey votes in America, it's safe to assume that the amount of informal or donkey votes is relatively low there.

Debate Round No. 2


The goal of an election is to choose the democratically most preferred candidate. Different election types measure preference differently and with varying accuracy but having only a smaller sample of the population vote, and especially by having the sample selected with many biases, leads to unnecessary inaccuracies. This is a fundamental of statistics. If donkey voting can throw off 6% of the result, how much of an effect can having a voter turnout of less than 60% cause?

Compulsory voting has other democratic benefits, too, including motivating public interest in political and societal affairs, requiring the government to make sure every person has a chance to vote and motivating politicians to be concerned for every demographic equally.


The sample isn't selected though, the people who want to vote do, and the people who don't want to vote don't. Currently, nobody is saying "you cannot vote if _."

Your real argument is it might not be very detrimental to the general public's idea as to who a good president/whatever would be. That's like saying "legalize all guns, not THAT many more people will die."

The main thing that motivates people to vote is if they're given the option. I can tell you if someone says it's mandatory to do something that I don't want to do, I won't want to do it. But if they can present good arguments as to why I should, I would be more inclined to.

A "forced demographic" is not a variable anymore.

Well, thanks for a good debate! Enjoy the rest of your stay!
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Making a point, and backing it up with a long, thought out argument are different things.

The sky is blue.

There, I made a point. However, I should prove it is blue, give examples, what I can relate it to, maybe even documented cases of people saying it ISN'T blue so I can dispute those.

You can't say very much in 750 characters, this isn't a " alright, let's get coffee" kind of debate.

...Thanks for the pointer though.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
If you cannot make your point in 750 , then you are not as smart as you think you are.
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Thanks for the short debate! Got me thinking. Hopefully we can debate soon and be able to say more than six words ;)
Posted by cpbm 2 years ago
Hey, Mister_Man. Thanks for accepting the debate. This is my first attempt at using the site so I am still figuring out the details. I thought a quick little bit of a debate would be good to start with so sorry if it's frustrating. Also, I thought it was a 750 *word* limit. :s My bad.

Anyway, I enjoyed having a go. Maybe we can revisit the topic another time.
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
The 750 character cap is hard to deal with, typed out a bunch and had to save it to notepad lol
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FaustianJustice 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: BoP not satisfied. negatives and positives held no net gain to satisfy BoP.