Voting Should Be Compulsory Essay

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Following the introduction of compulsory federal voting in 1924, this figure jumped to between 91% and 96%.

Supporters of compulsory voting also argue that voting addresses the paradox of voting, which is that for a rational, self-interested voter, the costs of voting will normally exceed the expected benefits.

Non-voters also might face difficulties getting a job in the public sector. Queensland introduced compulsory voting for state elections in 1915.

(The requirement is merely to have one’s name marked on the electoral roll.) Victoria introduced compulsory voting in 1926, New South Wales and Tasmania in 1928, Western Australia in 1936 and South Australia in 1942.

The paradox disproportionately affects the socially disadvantaged, for whom the costs of voting tend to be greater.

Voting Should Be Compulsory Essay

Australian academic and supporter of compulsory voting, Lisa Hill, has argued that a prisoner's dilemma situation arises under voluntary systems for marginalised citizens: it seems rational for them to abstain from voting, under the assumption that others in their situation are also doing so, in order to conserve their limited resources.Athenian democracy held that it was every citizen's duty to participate in decision making, but attendance at the assembly was voluntary.Sometimes there was some form of social opprobrium to those not participating.The idea that compulsory voting results in a higher degree of political legitimacy is based on higher voter turnout.Referring back to the Australian experience, voluntary voting prior to 1924 accounted between 47% and 78% turnout of eligible voters.It is also argued that since campaign funds are not needed to goad voters to the polls, the role of money in politics decreases.Moreover, campaign funds can be directed towards explaining policies to voters.The impact of technology and recent social trends are indicating a growing voter preference towards pre-polling: where the voter fulfils their obligation more at their own convenience prior to polling day rather than trying to arrange release from their responsibilities on the nominated date of polling.Other perceived advantages to compulsory voting are the stimulation of broader interest politics, as a sort of civil education and political stimulation, which creates a better informed population, although no studies have been undertaken to demonstrate that the populations of Belgium or Australia for instance, where compulsory voting has long existed, are better informed and more politically aware than the populations of New Zealand, France, Canada or the Scandinavian countries, where voting has never been compulsory.While citizens may exercise their civil rights (free speech, right to an attorney, etc.) they are not compelled to.Furthermore, compulsory voting may infringe other rights.


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