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Compulsory voting - yes or no?

(22 Posts)
snafu Tue 01-Mar-05 14:39:42

How many of you would be in favour of a compulsory voting system?

FairyMum Tue 01-Mar-05 14:40:27

Not for Tories!

Tinker Tue 01-Mar-05 14:42:35

Depends who the non voters would vote for . How would it work, really? Policing it, fining people, all very costly. People just need to be educated as to why it is important though. Australia has compulsory voting I think.

anchovies Tue 01-Mar-05 14:44:30


Freedom of choice means not having to choose IMO!

snafu Tue 01-Mar-05 14:44:32

I would support it - in theory - although don't ask me to justify that on the basis of cost or workability! Yes, Australia does have a compulsory system AFAIK with fines for those who don't vote. Would need to have an 'abstention' box to put your cross in too, though.

lou33 Tue 01-Mar-05 14:47:27

am so sorry to lower the tone, but i ahve to get this out of my system

am i the only one who keeps reading this thread title as compulsory vomiting?

Bibiboo Tue 01-Mar-05 14:47:31

Depends how you look at it. If you're for compulsory voting, you've got to consider the potential "damage" uneducated voters could do (by uneducated, I mean about parties and their policies, not being insulting!) by casting their votes based on little or no information.
On the other hand, it could serve to encourage people to get more politically involved and therefore make more informed decisions on who to vote for. IYSWIM

MummytoSteven Tue 01-Mar-05 14:48:13

No. don't like the idea of penalising/criminalising something of this nature. same reason I am against ID cards - don't like idea of anyone being criminalised for not carrying one.

Beansmum Tue 01-Mar-05 14:48:14

If you don't want to vote for anyone you shouldn't have to go along and put a cross in the abstention box, you should be able to stay in bed like I'm going to.

Caligula Tue 01-Mar-05 14:49:09

Only if there was a

None of the above


Compulsory voting implies that there's someone you'll actually want to vote for.

Gwenick Tue 01-Mar-05 14:49:28

but if it was compulsory there'd be more incentive all round (both from the political parties and the public) to learn more about what each party stands for.

Tinker Tue 01-Mar-05 14:54:59

more incentive for tabloids to get even more anti-immigration/pro-hanging/whatever (if it's possible for them to get more pro/anti)

snafu Tue 01-Mar-05 15:00:44


donnie Tue 01-Mar-05 15:01:02

this is something I feel quite strongly about. I agree that there is not much choice and voters are disillusioned. However, it's not so long ago that women were being trampled to death by horses outside Whitehall to secure the British vote, and all over the world people are dying - literally - to vote and be enfranchised.Women are still not allowed to vote in Saudi and other places, and it's only a few years ago that free elections were held in South Africa where people queued for 12 hours at a time to cast their vote. My point is that if the vote is such a precious and long fought for part of democratic freedom then why are there so many people who can't be bothered to take part ? at least spoil your ballot paper if you don't like the candidates. If we study history in the long term we can see that if people squander their rights and privileges then eventually they will be taken away from them altogether.Therefore I feel we should be compelled to vote.I really feel it's a kick in the teeth to the poor buggers around the world who would give their eye teeth to enjoy the same freedoms and expectations that we do.

northerner Tue 01-Mar-05 15:02:21

It's a tough one, and it does really rile me to discover that people don't vote. But it would be difficult to force people to vote.

I think education is the key, and politics should be covered in secondary schools. There are still many people in this world who are not allowed to vote, and in this country there are lots of folk who simply can't be arsed, or are unintersted in politics and don't want to do the research.

spacedonkey Tue 01-Mar-05 15:02:54


serenity Tue 01-Mar-05 15:05:22

yes, but with option to 'opt out' on voting form.

Can't understand why people don't tbh. If you really can't be bothered to go out to the polling booths than get a postal vote (like me teehee )

mrsflowerpot Tue 01-Mar-05 15:08:04

Get very cross with people who don't vote, but do feel uneasy about making it compulsory. Agree that it would be vital to have a 'none of the above' option - I actually think that could stir things up quite a lot.

Agree with Northerner about education and wonder if the money that would have to be spent policing this could be better used in political awareness education in schools.

snafu Tue 01-Mar-05 15:09:20

It does annoy me when people - especially women, I'm afraid - can't be bothered to vote. Spoil your paper if you want, but don't just say 'I can't be arsed' and make out that's some kind of deliberate, considered choice.

motherinferior Tue 01-Mar-05 15:17:38

Hmmm, what about anarchists? Seriously? If you believe that the voting and parliamentary system are ^by definition^ something you don't want to partake in - and that instead you do want an actively political culture which operates differently - that's different, I think, from either saying 'I can't be arsed' or the popular idea that anarchy is chaos (which it isn't).

Me, I think women should go and vote. But I'd like a 'none of the above' box too.

Tinker Tue 01-Mar-05 15:21:04

I do get quite cross at women, in particular, who don't vote but then, don't women traditionally vote Tory more than men?

DillyDally Tue 01-Mar-05 15:21:05

Would this mean a compulsory reading of manifestos too to make sure people knew what they were voting for? instead of voting how they had always done, for the party that they thought represented what kind of people they were etc?

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