Total Posts:6|Showing Posts:1-6
Jump to topic:

Compulsory voting

PetersSmith
Posts: 5,848
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/22/2016 8:26:41 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Compulsory voting is a system in which voters are obliged to vote in elections or attend a polling place on voting day. If an eligible voter does not attend a polling place, or lodge a postal vote, he or she may be subject to a penalty such as fines or community service. The United States does not have compulsory voting, but should it? In the 2012 election, only 54.9% of the voting population voted for president (http://bipartisanpolicy.org...). According to PEW, the US voter turnout is quite low compared to other developed nations, with Belgium having the highest voter turnout (http://www.pewresearch.org...). Voter apathy is sometimes blamed a lot, due to the rise of cynicism and people just believing all the politicians will ruin the country (http://www.ibtimes.com...). Other arguments attribute low voter turnout to having elections on a Tuesday, the prison population can't vote, requiring registration, and of course people aren't required to vote (https://www.minnpost.com...).

The latter is what this thread is voting on. Compulsory voting is most noted in Australia, where punishment is a small fine. People say voting is a civic duty and would give the government more stability as well as an increase in political legitimacy (http://nationalinterest.org...). This means that the candidate will represent the majority of the population, not just the politically motivated ones. Broader interest politics would also help increase the amount of politically informed people and supposedly this would decrease the need for candidates to flood money into swaying votes from known voting populations, as well as prevent charismatic demogagues from getting elected ((http://www.escholarship.org...).

If compulsory voting in the US is instituted, it's suggested Democrats would most likely fare better under universal voting, it'd reduce the gender gap, and it'd help with close elections (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com... and http://cps.sagepub.com...).

Of course there are arguments against compulsory voting. In the US, people would say that compulsory voting is a compelled speech act, which violates freedom of speech because the freedom to speak necessarily includes the freedom not to speak. Arguing voting is a civic right, not a civic duty. It'd also cause voters being compelled to vote for candidates they have no interest in or knowledge of. Similarly, citizens may vote with a complete absence of knowledge of any of the candidates or deliberately skew their ballot to slow the polling process and disrupt the election, or vote for frivolous or jokey candidates (http://www.wsj.com...). Of course, punishing people for not voting is not really beneficial.

So, what do you users think? Would compulsory voting in the US help? Should it be enforced or not enforced? What should the punishment be for not voting (disenfranchisement, fines, suspension of public goods and services, etc.)? What are the benefits, or what are the negatives? Do you have any other suggestions to deal with low voter turnout or is it not really a problem? Is compulsory voting democratic (North Korea has it) or a violation of our freedoms? Discuss.
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
~Mark Twain

"Wow"
-Doge

"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it."
~Abraham Lincoln

Guide to the Polls Section: http://www.debate.org...
BrendanD19
Posts: 2,050
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/22/2016 11:38:56 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/22/2016 8:26:41 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
Compulsory voting is a system in which voters are obliged to vote in elections or attend a polling place on voting day. If an eligible voter does not attend a polling place, or lodge a postal vote, he or she may be subject to a penalty such as fines or community service. The United States does not have compulsory voting, but should it? In the 2012 election, only 54.9% of the voting population voted for president (http://bipartisanpolicy.org...). According to PEW, the US voter turnout is quite low compared to other developed nations, with Belgium having the highest voter turnout (http://www.pewresearch.org...). Voter apathy is sometimes blamed a lot, due to the rise of cynicism and people just believing all the politicians will ruin the country (http://www.ibtimes.com...). Other arguments attribute low voter turnout to having elections on a Tuesday, the prison population can't vote, requiring registration, and of course people aren't required to vote (https://www.minnpost.com...).

The latter is what this thread is voting on. Compulsory voting is most noted in Australia, where punishment is a small fine. People say voting is a civic duty and would give the government more stability as well as an increase in political legitimacy (http://nationalinterest.org...). This means that the candidate will represent the majority of the population, not just the politically motivated ones. Broader interest politics would also help increase the amount of politically informed people and supposedly this would decrease the need for candidates to flood money into swaying votes from known voting populations, as well as prevent charismatic demogagues from getting elected ((http://www.escholarship.org...).

If compulsory voting in the US is instituted, it's suggested Democrats would most likely fare better under universal voting, it'd reduce the gender gap, and it'd help with close elections (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com... and http://cps.sagepub.com...).

Of course there are arguments against compulsory voting. In the US, people would say that compulsory voting is a compelled speech act, which violates freedom of speech because the freedom to speak necessarily includes the freedom not to speak. Arguing voting is a civic right, not a civic duty. It'd also cause voters being compelled to vote for candidates they have no interest in or knowledge of. Similarly, citizens may vote with a complete absence of knowledge of any of the candidates or deliberately skew their ballot to slow the polling process and disrupt the election, or vote for frivolous or jokey candidates (http://www.wsj.com...). Of course, punishing people for not voting is not really beneficial.

So, what do you users think? Would compulsory voting in the US help? Should it be enforced or not enforced? What should the punishment be for not voting (disenfranchisement, fines, suspension of public goods and services, etc.)? What are the benefits, or what are the negatives? Do you have any other suggestions to deal with low voter turnout or is it not really a problem? Is compulsory voting democratic (North Korea has it) or a violation of our freedoms? Discuss.

I personally prefer the idea of incentivized voting, where people would get a tax credit if they vote, rather than penalizing them if they don't. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
tejretics
Posts: 6,091
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/23/2016 2:52:03 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Compulsory voting is a gross violation of individual liberty.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
imabench
Posts: 21,229
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/23/2016 4:20:11 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
The only scenario in which i would ever support compulsory voting is if there was a literacy test of some sorts to go along with it to at least screen out the extremely ignorant from possibly swaying the election. As dumb as a lot of regular voters are, they dont even compare to the ignorance of those who dont even have an interest in voting in the first place
Kevin24018 : "He's just so mean it makes me want to ball up my fists and stamp on the ground"
Geogeer: "Nobody is dumb enough to become my protege."

7/14/16 = The Presidency Dies

DDO: THE MOVIE = http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

VP of DDO from Dec 14th 2014 to Jan 1st 2015
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/23/2016 5:27:18 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
Absolutely not. Compulsory voting will allow elections to be swayed by uninformed voters to an ever-greater extent. Voting is not so much as civic duty than it is an instrument for creating social stability and ensuring smooth governance. It always annoys me when political apathy is depicted as irresponsibility, 'social freeriding' or the like. Political participation is only a responsibility for the educated ruling class. Elections are held so that this ruling class can better understand the needs and desires of the general populace, not to satisfy some purported criterion of legitimacy or ideal of civil society.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
foxxhajti
Posts: 479
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
7/23/2016 6:05:30 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
In my country, our last voter turn-out was 93.3%, which is the 5th highest in the world, and voting isn't compulsory here. Making voting compulsory is an absolute violation of an individual's liberty.
Some claim that our use of choice voting helps..
"Though these high turnout rates are caused by multiple factors, political scientists have suggested that Malta's use of choice voting is at the very least a major contributor."
http://www.fairvote.org...
Some research also shows that high rates of voter turnout in countries like Malta reflect a lack of critical thought about politics.

Low voter turnout isn't a major problem. The citizens are given the right to vote, now they either take that opportunity, or they don't. If they don't, it's their fault.
"It's interesting to observe that almost all truly worthy men have simple manners, and that simple manners are almost always taken as a sign of little worth" - Giacomo Leopardi

"It is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other." - Francesco Petrarca

"You too must not count too much on your reality as you feel it today, since like yesterday, it may prove an illusion for you tomorrow." - Luigi Pirandello