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I don't know, Hume, I think compulsory voting, while not ideal, is an important way of ensuring that everyone at least has the opportunity to vote. I'm really not appreciative of donkey-voting, esp given that the current state of our politics is a fucking joke. I'd really like to see people NOT waste their votes and do something about getting real change and decent government happening here. There is a lot of good in Australia and a lot to risk and lose at the hands of incompetent government. 

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it's the old "lead a horse to water" bernard. ideally everyone would research their parties too

 

I live in a very safe seat, my vote is worthless regardless of what I do, only swing seats mean anything

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Do Australian elections not allow for write in votes?

 

I had to google what that is. Is that a real thing? How bizarre :blink:

 

 

You think that's bizarre, check out the Electoral College. 

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electoral college is less alien. here we just elect local members for parliament, and  the members of a political party who gain power get to chose who is the leader, we've currently had one party in power 6 years, and two changes of prime minister in that time because the party had infighting and kept challenging each other to be PM

 

dunno how much sense that made, you had to be there...

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we have three votes within the next 18 months coming up here. UK Parliament; Independence Referendum and Scottish Parliament.

you might complain about compulsory voting but I can guess that out of the three two of them will almost certainly have a turnout of less than 50%

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People in the US, especially people of color, are having obstacles deliberately thrown in their way to make it impossible to vote. Prior to 1965, we called this a Poll Tax, but it isn't PC to say that now.

 

People stand in line for hours and hours, because the party which-must-not-be-named decided in the 70s that the only way they could win was to suppress the vote. North Carolina just passed the worst voting rights act since before the 1965 Federal Voting Rights Act. The Supreme court just eviscerated the VRA, and this is the result. They actually asked incredulously from the bench that surely the Attorney General wasn't implying that there are racists in the South? There are racists everywhere, but the South has a bit of a well earned reputation, you know?

 

I am envious that everyone in Australia is able to vote. I've voted in every single election since I turned 18, except once when I moved and it was too late to register. I vote for school board members, and water district managers, and lower court judges (although voting for judges is ludicrous and corrupt). I spend the days before the election trying to figure out who is who, and what each propositions *really* means.

 

Unless you're George Carlin, if you don't vote with some insight, who cares about your complaints?

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People in the US, especially people of color, are having obstacles deliberately thrown in their way to make it impossible to vote. Prior to 1965, we called this a Poll Tax, but it isn't PC to say that now.

People stand in line for hours and hours, because the party which-must-not-be-named decided in the 70s that the only way they could win was to suppress the vote. North Carolina just passed the worst voting rights act since before the 1965 Federal Voting Rights Act. The Supreme court just eviscerated the VRA, and this is the result. They actually asked incredulously from the bench that surely the Attorney General wasn't implying that there are racists in the South? There are racists everywhere, but the South has a bit of a well earned reputation, you know?

I am envious that everyone in Australia is able to vote. I've voted in every single election since I turned 18, except once when I moved and it was too late to register. I vote for school board members, and water district managers, and lower court judges (although voting for judges is ludicrous and corrupt). I spend the days before the election trying to figure out who is who, and what each propositions *really* means.

Unless you're George Carlin, if you don't vote with some insight, who cares about your complaints?

This. So much this. Compulsory voting sounds awesome to me, because it at least ensures that the disadvantaged have access.

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, if you don't vote with some insight,

 

that line is all i took from that. forcing people t vote just leads to "they'll do, i like the name" without any thought of policies, at least voluntary voting the people who go believe in what they vote for and vaguely know who the candidates are

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that line is all i took from that. forcing people t vote just leads to "they'll do, i like the name" without any thought of policies, at least voluntary voting the people who go believe in what they vote for and vaguely know who the candidates are

 

I know my mom has done that, or along party lines or with her reverend.  Just because it was voluntary didn't mean it was informed.  I hope she was in the minority.  I have fears that she wasn't.

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Well it's over and I guess we got the new  Parliment that we deserved !     No vision, no compassion and no imagination.

 

Not that I expected that from either of the main parties or their leaders.   It is ironic however that the country is so well ordered, serviced and relatively wealthy that it will continue to bumble on with barely even a bumpy ride. 

No one even notices the seriously disadvantaged, the homeless, the refugees, the disabled or the MI.    It is true that most will still have at least a roof over their heads on the majority of nights but that does not mitigate  against the underlying misery of most of those lives.

 

Voting was made compulsory here because of our relatively tiny population ... 23 million (USA pop 314 million) and the need to have a meaningful poll.             It is sad that we can not be more generous to the sector of our population that needs and deserves the  most care.

Edited by glasssss999

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If voting is a right, it is simply wrong to make it mandatory because then it ceases to be a right and becomes an obligation. Such a system baffles me.

 

Then again, there are plenty of other systems that are also weird. The US to begin with, having the so-called electoral college, or, from a political science point of view, the only working democracy in the world that uses a centuries old system which implies that the 50 states are the ones holding sovereignty, separately and independently, instead of the country as a whole. In very simple terms, in the US, the vote of 1 person can and does weight more than the vote of another 1 person. Any other 2 party system can also be easily criticized (even if without the anachronism that the electoral college is) and with very strong arguments.

 

... but at the end of the day, Aussies, people in the US or from other developed countries with 2 party systems (UK slowly moving away from it, Spain will probably also move away from it) have it way better than the ones living in the so-called developing world. So for me you are all just whining : D

 

----(but whining/complaining/getting involved is a central part of democracy so it's OK)----

Edited by Lemmiwinks

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good post lemmiwinks

 

our voting system is hard to break down in simple terms, the country is divided into "seats" each seat has a candidate stand, that candidate has to get 50% of the vote for that seat, if no one does [like a 20/39/41% split between three] then it goes to preferences, the 20% guy might preference the 39% guy and so get him up to 59%, over the guy that polled more primary vote. Can't remember how many seats there are, 140 odd i think, and the party with the most wins [unless a minor party can opt to vote with the losers on key issues and outweigh the party that has more]

 

it's interesting, and like you say, 1 vote in the seat of edan monaro is worth more than 1 vote in isaacs

 

but yeah, being told it is a democratic duty, instead of a right doesn't sit right

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