Chris Berg on compulsory voting

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237 Responses to Chris Berg on compulsory voting

  1. C.L.

    And of course the meticulously stubbled host had to get off a one-liner about Campbell Newman being a “dictator.” Because, you know, dictators in history are renowned for having let people decide things for themselves.

  2. Julie Novak

    Yes, well, isn’t it passing strange how the lefties didn’t scream out “dictator” when Beattie and Bligh had their majorities in the unicameral Queensland parliament?

    Hypocrites, as always …

  3. Andrew

    Voluntary voting is responsible for poor public political debate yet then you say voluntary voting would not change the people in Parliament? I don’t think Chris argued his case very well. There are many far better points to raise than the one’s Chris did and I am a supporter of compulsory voting (not going to be popular here I know).

    Secondly, why would someone intelligent like Chris go on The Project. The show tries to present itself as a ‘serious current affairs’ show yet every second question is veiled through a joke.

  4. Gab

    Who’s the airhead on the panel that believes politicians elected under voluntary voting are illegitimate?

  5. Andrew

    My first line should read
    “Compulsory voting is responsible for poor public political debate yet then you say voluntary voting would not change the people in Parliament?”

  6. Andrew

    Who’s the airhead on the panel that believes politicians elected under voluntary voting are illegitimate?

    You better call me an airhead as well. The legitimacy of the result is something that I see as a positive for the compulsory voting system. It means that the elected members are supported by the majority of people in their electorate. Chris stating that the politicians would have to engage the community more with voluntary voting is simply crap. If anything, the parties will just target the groups of people who are likely to vote for them anyway and whoever does that best, will get over the line.

  7. Gab

    It means that the elected members are supported by the majority of people in their electorate.

    The results under voluntary voting means those elected are still legitimate representatives of the people, despite some eligible voters choosing not to vote.That’s democracy – being able to choose. Do you also believe all US presidents have been illegitimate because not everyone voted?

  8. Token

    You better call me an airhead as well.

    OK airhead, why is the person elected through a process endorsed by the majority of democracies around the world “illegitimate”.

    (PS: Your spiel above does not address the “illegitimate” part)

    Countries with Compulsory Voting

    These are the 10 countries that enforce compulsory voting:

    * Argentina
    * Australia
    * Brazil
    * Luxembourg
    * Democratic Republic of the Congo
    * Ecuador
    * Nauru
    * Peru
    * Uruguay

    Australia and maybe Uruguay are the only 2 which anyone could call long term mature democracies. So many of the others have had coups & Junta’s.

  9. Andrew

    Do you also believe all US presidents have been illegitimate because not everyone voted?

    Well, the US system is very different to our system. I doubt the results of those elections would have changed massively with compulsory voting.

  10. Gab

    It means that the elected members are supported by the majority of people in their electorate.

    You may as well say those who voted but did not vote in the elected member are also not being represented by that member.

  11. candy

    Best leave things as they are.

    The far left and far right groups will get a toe in as lots of people would be too lazy to vote but the extremists can easily stir up followers.

  12. Gab

    Well, the US system is very different to our system.

    That doesn’t answer the question.

    I doubt the results of those elections would have changed massively with compulsory voting.

    You’ve just undercut your own argument.

  13. dd

    It’s very simple.
    Something is not a ‘right’ if you are forced to do it. Being compelled to vote is not the same as having the right to vote. Subsitute ‘vote’ for pretty much anything else and see how it sounds.

    Every election we herd people to the ballot box who don’t want to go, aren’t interested, haven’t been paying attention, and don’t care about the outcome.

    Voluntary voting is great because it is equal opportunity. Anyone who wants to participate, can participate. Isn’t that an awesome concept?

  14. JC

    Best leave things as they are.

    The far left and far right groups will get a toe in as lots of people would be too lazy to vote but the extremists can easily stir up followers.

    Really Candy. You see say Switzerland which has voluntary voting as a hotbed of extremism?

  15. Token

    Best leave things as they are.

    NSW & QLD do not make preferencing compulsory and the far left & right extremists have not had their wicked way (though a supposedly Centre-Left party has left both states heavily in debt and with a long series of corruption cases).

  16. Andrew

    OK airhead, why is the person elected through a process endorsed by the majority of democracies around the world “illegitimate”.

    So you are using a consensus argument to argue your point about non-compulsory voting?

    The results in Australian elections are more legitimate because they reflect the views of the entire community, or at least a much larger percentage of the community because more of the community are voting.

  17. Gab

    Best leave things as they are.

    The far left and far right groups will get a toe in as lots of people would be too lazy to vote but the extremists can easily stir up followers.

    The facts state otherwise:

    Voting was voluntary for the first nine federal elections.

    Turnout %:

    1901 56.68
    1903 50.27
    1906 51.48
    1910 62.80
    1913 73.49
    1914 73.53
    1917 78.30
    1919 71.59
    1922 59.38

    Of which Labor won two elections, conservatives the balance.

  18. stackja

    There is no so such thing as compulsory voting. Only compulsory attendance at the polling station to have your name ticked off on a list. Who knows what happens in the polling booth. I vote so I have the satisfaction of having my say. I know I am not responsible for the mess the ALP has created. Could we not have a compulsory poll test to find out if there are incompetent voters electing unqualified to parliament. Also why not a test of who is qualified for parliament. First no union officials. Do we really need lawyers in parliament? Why not businessmen who know how to run an enterprise?

  19. Token

    So you are using a consensus argument to argue your point about non-compulsory voting?

    No, I’m contesting your view that having / not having compulsory voting makes the electorate accept the result of an election as being legitimate.

  20. Token

    Further this is based upon aa false premise. This is exactly what the Trade Union (Labor) Party does now.

    If anything, the parties will just target the groups of people who are likely to vote for them anyway and whoever does that best, will get over the line.

  21. Andrew

    That doesn’t answer the question.

    It does answer your question, I just haven’t given the answer you wanted. The systems are different so you can’t compare them directly.

    You’ve just undercut your own argument.

    No, I have not. My argument is about legitimacy as everyone’s views are reflected. I have said that because of the nature of the US voting system, voluntary or compulsory voting would not change who becomes President. Australia has a very different system of voting, where voluntary voting could very easily change the result of an electorate in comparison to a compulsory voting system.

  22. Token

    My argument is about legitimacy as everyone’s views are reflected.

    Is it?

    Are you supposing that most people read the platforms of the parties and make a fully informed judgement on which is in their best interest in the short & long term?

    Why is it so many people make up their mind at the last minute?

  23. Andrew

    No, I’m contesting your view that having / not having compulsory voting makes the electorate accept the result of an election as being legitimate.

    Then why state that the “majority of democracies” use the system if you are not making an argument on “consensus”?

  24. John Mc

    It means that the elected members are supported by the majority of people in their electorate.

    It means they can get that majority by targeting a small group of voters in the centre with lots of cash and favours, rather than engaging the whole electorate. It takes a lot more work to motivate someone to go to the polling booth than it is to get them to put a number in box on the basis of a 20 second soundbite.

    Compulsory voting lets politicians have the perception they’ve achieved a level of public engagement on par with the best in the world (usually around 80% of eligible voters e.g. Sweden) without having to do the work.

  25. Gab

    I just haven’t given the answer you wanted.

    That’s disingenuous. You don’t appear to be serious about discussion, preferring instead to play games and “win”. DD was right.

    Do you also believe all US presidents have been illegitimate because not everyone voted?

    Yes or no?

    voluntary or compulsory voting would not change who becomes President

    Then why force people to vote if, as you say, the results would not differ. Forcing people, under threat of penalty, is undemocratic.

  26. Infidel Tiger

    Obviously Andrew has just muddled his way through an Australian high school, where some sheila in a floral dress and sandals with big hairy toes commanded him to think that compulsory voting was bonza.

    Look Sport, you’re not doing your HSC now. You don’t need to feed us a length of crap to get a pass mark.

  27. JC

    So you are using a consensus argument to argue your point about non-compulsory voting?

    The results in Australian elections are more legitimate because they reflect the views of the entire community, or at least a much larger percentage of the community because more of the community are voting.

    Andrew

    Are you slightly retarded? They don’t reflect any such thing. Only volunatary voting would actually. If you thought hard enough about it you understand, but you’d end up with a busting headache.

  28. Andrew

    Is it?

    Are you supposing that most people read the platforms of the parties and make a fully informed judgement on which is in their best interest in the short & long term?

    Why is it so many people make up their mind at the last minute?

    Most people understand the main platforms and ideological differences between the parties so they are informed. Obviously there is going to be differences of opinion on what is the best party for Australia’s future, that is an element of our democracy. People make their minds up at the last minute because they look at the parties platforms in the paper. Generally people a month before an election occurs have an idea who they are going to vote for.

  29. Token

    Then why state that the “majority of democracies” use the system if you are not making an argument on “consensus”?

    Your point you were arguing was about legitimacy, you then made the statement that consensus equals legitimacy.

    Once Egypt has an election under the Muslim Brotherhood’s new constitution constructed under Sharia law it will have both legitimacy & reflect the consensus in that country.

    It will be hell on earth for women, gays and religious minorities, but it will still be legitimate & reflect the consensus of the majority.

  30. Infidel Tiger

    I just had a horrid thought. Andrew’s a Young Liberal.

  31. tgs

    There is no so such thing as compulsory voting. Only compulsory attendance at the polling station to have your name ticked off on a list.

    Incorrect.

    See here for more information: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2012/11/21/it-shall-be-the-duty-of-every-elector-to-vote-at-each-election/

  32. Token

    That’s disingenuous. You don’t appear to be serious about discussion, preferring instead to play games and “win”. DD was right.

    Unfortunately, there is a distince lack of depth of knowledge and nuance in discussions with Andrew.

  33. Andrew

    Obviously Andrew has just muddled his way through an Australian high school, where some sheila in a floral dress and sandals with big hairy toes commanded him to think that compulsory voting was bonza.

    No, I can think for myself. Issues like voluntary voting are not discussed at school. I also don’t succumb to consensus views in a debating arena like this.

    Then why force people to vote if, as you say, the results would not differ. Forcing people, under threat of penalty, is undemocratic.

    Because for the third time now, the system are different and voluntary voting would likely not have a difference in the US which is different to Australia.

  34. John Mc

    I agree with some of the previous comments on other threads that you are doing a slack job if you’re not pulling his arguments apart, rather than just telling him he’s a young kid.

    You don’t need to direct him in any direction. Let reality speak for itself. When he puts up his position simply put up the facts that contradict that position and prove it’s untenable.

  35. JC

    Look Sport, you’re not doing your HSC now. You don’t need to feed us a length of crap to get a pass mark.

    The kid’s an idiot, which in today’s ed system means he’d be a straight A student.

    Andrew, stop wasting time.. get out of the house and try and find gal or too. You shouldn’t be hanging around here in January which is the high season to be picking up gals. If you take my advice, don’t fucking talk to them about voluntary voting, as you’ll frighten the horses… meaning.. they’ll find you boring.

  36. Tel

    There is no so such thing as compulsory voting. Only compulsory attendance at the polling station to have your name ticked off on a list. Who knows what happens in the polling booth.

    That’s right, anyone can choose to vote informal, which is indeed a type of vote since informal votes get counted and reported. So you are expected to vote, but you don’t have to vote for a candidate.

    Also, compulsory attendance rules allow exception for conscience, so Jehovah Witness’s don’t vote (nor even turn up) and our government accepts that. Anyone can start their own religion, and register themselves as not voting (provided they can be convincing, and they stick with their beliefs).

  37. Andrew

    consensus equals legitimacy.

    For the result, it does because we live in a democracy. For the voting system, not it does not because I believe the other systems are flawed.

  38. John Mc

    Most people understand the main platforms and ideological differences between the parties so they are informed.

    The parties are exactly the same because they don’t have to attract people to a workable ideology, and the people have accepted that and just vote on the issues of the moment. Labor wants to do some welfare reform and the Libs want to increase the unemployment allowance. Both of them equally believed politicians deserved a 40% increase in the pay cheques a couple of months ago. Our democracy has been cheapened by things such as compulsory voting to the point that there are no values or principles in the process.

  39. tgs

    Because for the third time now, the system are different and voluntary voting would likely not have a difference in the US which is different to Australia.

    This is the third time you have made this claim without substantiating it in any way whatsoever.

    You need to back your claim (i.e. that the US election result would not have been materially different under compulsory vs. voluntary voting) up with reasoned arguments and/or data.

    Simply restating the same thing over and over does not make it so.

  40. candy

    It’s a civic duty anyway. Duty is not a bad thing. If no-one turned up for jury duty, eg, where would things be. And schooling is not optional.

  41. jumpnmcar

    Julie

    Yes, well, isn’t it passing strange how the lefties didn’t scream out “dictator” when Beattie and Bligh had their majorities in the unicameral Queensland parliament?

    Yes, probably cause labor got rid of the QLD senate.

    Don’t remember Anna Bligh dressed as hitler in newspaper cartoons.

  42. Tel

    Once Egypt has an election under the Muslim Brotherhood’s new constitution constructed under Sharia law it will have both legitimacy & reflect the consensus in that country.

    I would suggest that the remaining Christians in the Middle East should get their shit together, pull the wagons in a circle and start their own country. If they don’t they, will be screwed. I just can’t see multiculturalism working in that environment.

    If the UN had any guts at all they would separate them like India and Pakistan. Not the ideal solution, probably better than anyone else’s idea.

  43. JC

    Because for the third time now, the system are different and voluntary voting would likely not have a difference in the US which is different to Australia.

    The systems are different but the objective is essentially the same which is choosing a candidate to rep you in the congress or the white House.

    You seem confused with process and objectives.

    Dude, you need to get outta the house and go to the beach.

  44. Infidel Tiger

    Compulsory voting is the most Australian of things.

    We really are a pack of pissants. We will make the most fantastic slaves.

  45. John Mc

    Andrew, have a look around the world and tell me how our democracy is better, our politicians are of higher quality, the will of the people is tangibly better reflected in our democracy than some of the other nations. Provide some evidence of where compulsory voting is delivering better outcomes.

    You might want to start with the quality of our politicians. Could you imagine Kevin Rudd being POTUS?

  46. Des Deskperson

    It’s interesting that not only is the penalty for failing to attend a polling booth on election day a mere $ 20 – the fine for overstaying in a pay parking spot by, say, two minutes in the ACT is by comparison $72 – but that the fine notice includes a prepaid return envelope so that you don’t have to pay for a stamp.

    If you don’t pay the fine the first time, you will be sent another notice with another prepaid envelope and so, it seems, ad infinitum.

    Whatever the pros and cons of compulsory voting, this lax and accomodating approach to enforcing the system clearly means that the AEC – and presumably therefore the government – doesn’t want anyone, as they say, rocking the boat over the issue.

  47. JC

    You might want to start with the quality of our politicians. Could you imagine Kevin Rudd being POTUS?

    Clearing my throat… John they elected the Kenyan.. twice

  48. Token

    For the result, it does because we live in a democracy. For the voting system, not it does not because I believe the other systems are flawed.

    I understand why you assume that. Of all the many factors that contribute to stability compulsory / non-compulsory voting has to be lower down on the list than culture & property rights.

    Please read this article as it articulates more sensible reasons why Taiwan & South Korea have grown into mature democracies where as places like Brazil, Argentina, Peru & Ecquador continue to fail to gain stability.

  49. John Mc

    It’s a civic duty anyway. Duty is not a bad thing. If no-one turned up for jury duty, eg, where would things be. And schooling is not optional.

    It’s a civic duty to ensure your government is remaining within limits and not violating anyone’s rights.

    We have jury duty because to achieve justice you are entitled to a trial by a jury of their peers rather than a judge who may have a political or personal agenda. So it stands to reason that if you are called to be on a jury you have a moral obligation to afford justice to others.

    Schooling is compulsory for children as the state does have a role in protecting those who cannot protect themselves. We don’t make adults go to school no matter how dumb they are.

    We have voting to ensure consensual government. Does forcing, or at least attempting to force, people to give their endorsement to a candidate – even when they wouldn’t do it if you gave them the option – assist with the universal aim of achieving consensual government? No it does not. It does exactly the opposite.

  50. Token

    Was it compulsory/non-compulsory voting that was the # 1 factor in South Korea’s success?

    Consider, also, the case of South Korea. In 1960, South Korea’s per capita GDP was only half that of Mexico’s, slightly under Brazil’s and Syria’s, about the same as Egypt’s, and slightly better than Nicaragua’s. Today, its per capita GDP is twice Brazil’s, more than twice Mexico’s, seven times Egypt’s and Syria’s, and eighteen times Nicaragua’s. In 2011, the U.N. Human Development Index ranked South Korea as number 15, Mexico as 57, Brazil as 84, Egypt as 113, Syria as 119, and Nicaragua as 129.

  51. John Mc

    Whatever the pros and cons of compulsory voting, this lax and accomodating approach to enforcing the system clearly means that the AEC – and presumably therefore the government – doesn’t want anyone, as they say, rocking the boat over the issue.

    I suspect the AEC has been lying about the level of attendance for some time. In 2004 attendance was apparently at 97% of eligible voters. But in 2012 suddenly they’re looking for 1.5 million, or over 10% of eligible voters. It’s not impossible that over those 8 years that drop off occurred, but I don’t think it’s likely.

  52. candy

    “Does forcing, or at least attempting to force, people to give their endorsement to a candidate – even when they wouldn’t do it if you gave them the option – assist with the universal aim of achieving consensual government?

    Yes, in all due respect, I think it does. You’ve got to get the lazy ones to vote. They know who they would vote for, they be just lazy on the day – like around 40 percent.

    Romney could have won if everyone voted.

  53. JC

    You’ve got to get the lazy ones to vote.

    Why? Why do you define people with no interest in politics as lazy?

  54. John Mc

    If they’re too lazy to vote, they’re obviously too lazy to make an informed choice. How does getting those people to vote improve our democracy?

  55. Cold-Hands
    There is no so such thing as compulsory voting. Only compulsory attendance at the polling station to have your name ticked off on a list.

    Incorrect.

    While it is true that we are legally obliged to attend a voting booth and fill out a vote in the approved fashion, only the first part can be enforced. The legal obligation to complete a formal vote can not be enforced so in practice you are only compelled to have your name ticked off and collect your ballot papers and place them in the ballot boxes, not to complete a formal vote.

    Presumably you could be still fined if you had your name ticked off but left before receiving your ballot papers and pretending to fill them out. Someone should do this, document it on video and ask the AEC to fine them to spotlight the absurdities of the current situation.

  56. candy

    “Why? Why do you define people with no interest in politics as lazy?”

    Lazy on the day, at the beach or shopping or taking the kids to cricket or something, and just not bother.

  57. John Mc

    Romney could have won if everyone voted.

    I suspect Romney didn’t win, and indeed the Republicans haven’t commanded the field despite the disaster of the Obama administration (although they did win the lower house in 2010 I suppose over opposition to Obamacare) because peope see rich white guys as part of promoting the problem. Romney is the epitome of that, as was McCain. For example, I think there are a lot of smart people out there saying “if you don’t have a viable plan to cut spending, particularly military spending, you don’t have a plan to save us.” That is why a whole of lot of white middle class people who normally would be expected to vote decided to stay home.

    Having those people stay home is a more powerful message to the US administration than having them turn up and possibly elect Romney.

  58. Gab

    If they’re too lazy to vote, they’re obviously too lazy to make an informed choice. How does getting those people to vote improve our democracy?

    It doesn’t, unless one thinks the “eeny, meeny, miney, mo” method of ballot marking by those too “lazy” to take an interest in politics is qualitative and thus provides legitimate representation.

  59. John Mc

    Someone should do this, document it on video and ask the AEC to fine them to spotlight the absurdities of the current situation.

    The equivalent of this has been done in the 1970s and taken to the High Court with someone who just wouldn’t vote because he didn’t like any of the candidates. The ruling stated that it wasn’t about what he wanted, but what he had to have.

    How a High Court judge could not see the irony with that statement and the Enlightenment concept of consensual government further shows how stupid we have become.

  60. candy

    Say if 40 percent did not vote, I don’t think at all that’s 40 percent who don’t care. Perhaps 10 percent don’t care. But the other 30 percent who have other things to do on voting day will surely still have an opinion, on say who do you like best, Gillard or Abbott, if you asked them.

  61. Dangph

    If you don’t pay the fine the first time, you will be sent another notice with another prepaid envelope and so, it seems, ad infinitum.

    If you refuse to pay, they can take you to court. The penalty then will be up to $50 plus court costs. I don’t know what happens if you refuse to pay that. I’m guessing they would seize property of yours to cover the amount owed.

    Ultimately, in principle at least, they are forcing you to vote or they will rip off your stuff. That is, one group of people is forcing another group of people—peaceable people—to do something or they will steal from them. Where is the moral basis for that?

  62. harrys on the boat

    Tel, was your earlier post for or against, it seemed to be toned as for compulsary voting, but to me they were good arguments to scrap it.

    The fact is its a Liberal idea, so Labor hate it. If Abbott came out and said compulsary voting was the best thing since sliced bread, Gillard would end it in a heart beat.

    The politics of hate brought to you by the lying slapper.

  63. John Mc

    Sure, but that opinion is probably based on whether they like the look of the candidate. If they really cared about an issue they’d probably find the time to go by the polling booth.

    At the end of the day, Candy, you have a point. However, we need to ask are we trying to take society to a higher level, or just happy to coast along, maybe slip back a bit from where we are.

    Because to get to a higher level we need people better engaged and compulsory voting allows our democracy to have the veneer of sophisticated engaged government without the substance.

  64. Helen Armstrong

    big hairy toes

    and armpits who

    main platforms and ideological differences

    ALP Vote for me I’ll give you money

    Lib/Nat Vote for me and I’ll pay back the debt.

    Hmmm big choice

  65. .

    It’s ridiculous to say that people who don’t want to vote being forced to vote amounts to legitimacy.

    Even worse an idea is that a two party system in a nation of millions can ever deliver consensus.

  66. .

    Jury duty, for example is NOT representative.

    Please stop this civic duty crap. There is a current case which may see juries in South Australia at least being a form of civil conscription.

  67. Token

    Because for the third time now, the system are different and voluntary voting would likely not have a difference in the US which is different to Australia.

    A change of system in the US could make all the difference in terms of US elections. Here is an article noting that if the majority of states had followed the example of Nebraska & Maine, Romney would be president.

    But if votes had been awarded by congressional districts, Romney would have won in two of three scenarios. In the first situation, in which most of the electoral votes were awarded based on congressional-district outcomes but two of them were given to the candidate who had won the most votes overall in the state, Obama narrowly edged out Romney, with 270 votes to Romney’s 268. But in the other two scenarios — in which two electoral votes were awarded proportionally, or to whichever candidate had won the most congressional districts (not votes) — Romney would have won. In the first case, the final national electoral count would have been 274 for Romney and 264 for Obama; in the second, 280 for Romney and 258 for Obama.

    In other words, if 44 states and D.C. kept their policies exactly the same, Republican state legislators in these particular six states could still succeed in paving a much easier path for a GOP presidential candidate by changing the way electoral votes are awarded.

    Our compulsory voting system is based upon the votes per electorate, not per state (i.e. Romney is likely to have won).

  68. Jarrah

    “the system are different and voluntary voting would likely not have a difference in the US which is different to Australia.”

    Andrew, how do you know this?

    Regarding Australia, IMO the cultural weight of a hundred years’ compulsory voting would mean that participation rates would decline very slowly if we made it voluntary. It helps that, unlike in the US, we vote on Saturdays and have rational systems for conducting the votes.

  69. Andrew

    Andrew, stop wasting time.. get out of the house and try and find gal or too. You shouldn’t be hanging around here in January which is the high season to be picking up gals. If you take my advice, don’t fucking talk to them about voluntary voting, as you’ll frighten the horses… meaning.. they’ll find you boring.

    If we want to knit pick, then I could start on your spelling and sentence structure but that is another matter. Btw, I am surprised that they let people at the nursing homes more than an hour on the computer.

    See, I can join in the race to the bottom of the debating quality barrel as well now!!

  70. .

    then I could start on your spelling and sentence structure but that is another matter

    JC writes like he talks.

    You have what we call “George Lucas Syndrome”

  71. Dan

    Look, you don’t have to vote, really.

    You get fined, but, you can’t be fined retrospectively if you re enroll.

    Will I be fined if I haven’t been enrolled in the past?
    No. Even if you have not enrolled before, you can do so now and you will not be fined. The AEC encourages all eligible Australians to enrol to vote and keep their details up-to-date on the electoral roll.

    This is from the AEC, however, as noted on a previous Sinclair thread, there is a lot of confusion even within the AEC in regards to the operation of the Act.

    So don’t vote if you don’t want to. Your only wasting the AEC’s time sending you notices etc

  72. jumpnmcar

    I am amazed at how many people I know that aren’t enrolled.
    Is there a fine for not enrolling ?

  73. brc

    Was it compulsory/non-compulsory voting that was the # 1 factor in South Korea’s success?

    No. It was free and orderly markets coupled with people who work hard for a living and want to improve their lot in life. A complete lack of manana and inshallah.

  74. jumpnmcar

    sorry Dan, I missed your link.

  75. John Mc

    Andrew, you seem to enjoy the argy bargy as much as our curmudgeonly (if that’s a word!) regular posters. You’re not striking me as a young man who is honestly in the pursuit of truth.

    What about this previous post of mine?

    “Andrew, have a look around the world and tell me how our democracy is better, our politicians are of higher quality, the will of the people is tangibly better reflected in our democracy than some of the other nations. Provide some evidence of where compulsory voting is delivering better outcomes.”

  76. rebel with cause

    Stacja & Tel – Not sure that it is true that it is OK to vote informal. My understanding is that it is an offence to deliberately lodge an informal vote or blank ballot, but there is no way to police this law without breaking the secrecy of the ballot. In any case, if the law is as you claim then it is pretty stupid – what possible purpose does it serve to force me to turn up to the polling booth if I intend to vote invalid? We have a census already so its not like it is useful for statistical purposes.

  77. brc

    I find it incredible that people attack Newman when Peter Beattie passed a law making it legal to lie in parliament, and hardly anyone said boo at the time.

    Newman raises a discussion paper, and people think he’s a dictator?

    The media in this country is a good enough reason for voluntary voting. The kind of uninformed crap they pump out to try and alter public discourse would be severely watered down if only the politically engaged were voting.

  78. John Mc

    It’s an offence under the Electoral Act to deliberately spoil your ballot. Yes the law is completely unenforceable with the secret ballot.

  79. Dan

    Jumpn

    What happens if I do not vote?
    Initially the Australian Electoral Commission will write to all apparent non-voters requesting that they either provide a reason for their failure to vote or pay a $20 penalty.

    If, within 21 days, the apparent non-voter fails to reply, cannot provide a valid and sufficient reason or declines to pay the penalty, then prosecution proceedings may be instigated. If the matter is dealt with in court and the person is found guilty, he or she may be fined up to $50 plus court costs.

    The trick, essentially, is to not end up in front of a judge.

  80. John Mc

    If you move house don’t update your details on the Electoral Roll. After a couple of years you’ll fall off it and probably not be bothered. Obviously you don’t re-enroll yourself by any means such as a pamphlet left on your door. This is only for discussion purposes as everyone is required under law to be on the Electoral Roll.

    There is a simple principle to apply if someone forces you on the Electoral Roll. Just make it clear you will vote against the incumbent government whoever they are unless they have voluntary voting as part of their platform.

  81. tgs

    While it is true that we are legally obliged to attend a voting booth and fill out a vote in the approved fashion, only the first part can be enforced.

    Agreed.

    While the act proscribes exactly what each citizen is required to do in order to vote – you’re correct in that due to the nature of secret ballots this is impossible to enforce.

    I was just trying to point out that:

    There is no so such thing as compulsory voting. Only compulsory attendance at the polling station to have your name ticked off on a list.

    is not correct under the current legislation.

  82. Dan

    Yes, discussion purposes. All citizens should consult their local AEC website for details and register to vote.

  83. Token

    This undermines the whole voter suppression the ALP douches have been peddling about optional preferential voting:

    FEDERAL Labor MPs say optional preferential voting introduced by ALP governments in NSW and Queensland should be scrapped in favour of a return to full preferential voting.

    The call came as Labor also slammed a new push by influential Liberals for optional preferential voting at a federal level, saying it was an attempt by the conservative side of politics to suppress democracy.

    Who is being nakedly partisan in this discussion?

    He said recent election results in NSW and Queensland highlighted the reality that many votes were being wasted under those states’ optional preferential system.

    “In the last NSW election, 80 per cent of the Greens preferences were never distributed. They were wasted in a first-past-the-post system,” the NSW Labor veteran said. “They were washed out of the system.”

  84. Fisky

    FEDERAL Labor MPs say optional preferential voting introduced by ALP governments in NSW and Queensland should be scrapped in favour of a return to full preferential voting.

    But then the L-NP merged so Labor are now against optional preferences.

  85. .

    What’s crap is that it is an offence to encourage others to spoil their ballot in any way.

    It’s against my implied right to free political communication.

  86. .

    Fisk

    Fuck em.

    Optional voting

    Optional preferencing

    Then whatever else is thrown against us is fair. Hare Clark once again becomes the best system (I don’t know why the Canberra whingers hate it – in the ACT there is a possibility that FPTP could produce an ALL ALP-Greens “Parliament” [local council]).

  87. Dan

    Wayne Swan is in this parliament because of preference votes from the greens. According the Gillard, the Greens don’t share the same values as the ALP.. How is that democratic?

  88. Woolfe

    Those for compulsory voting are arguing that it is ok for the government to force us to vote. Those against are saying we will vote if we want to.

    There is not really a valid argument for compulsory voting is there, unless you like the government forcing you to vote.

  89. Token

    If we work with the assumption that those who care enough about this issue to speak up would vote anyway you can re-phrase your quote in the following way.

    There is not really a valid argument for compulsory voting is there, unless you like the government forcing you to other people you believe won’t vote, but it is in your interest to have vote.

  90. Fisky

    We shouldn’t be discussing these ideas with Leftists as if they are up for debate. It’s not the 2000′s anymore and in hindsight, a lot of time and effort has been wasted on false cordiality and reaching out to these lunatics, to no avail. The only thing that matters now is what we support as non-Leftists, and how that will be justified, and rammed through.

  91. Fisky

    The only way to engage Leftists is indirectly, never using personal pronouns in their company, unless to warn them of punitive sanctions that will be implemented under a future regime. If we must make mention of Leftist arguments, it should only be done in a frank conversation with undecided voters, pointing out the lunacy of such ideas, and the unspeakable damage that will be caused to vulnerable people such as women, young children and the elderly by adopting Leftism in any form. Otherwise, all debate is strictly an intra-non-Leftist affair, without any consideration for alternatives outside the acceptable range of centre-right policies.

  92. Fisky

    Those for compulsory voting are arguing that it is ok for the government to force us to vote.

    What they are actually saying is worse – that people should be summoned, prosecuted, and fined for not voting. That is a morally repulsive view that I am not even sure should be legal to express.

  93. C.L.

    I hate the dancing around the truth that has characterised this ‘debate.’

    Foundational, key truth: Labor and lefties support compulsory voting because it forces the deadbeats and welfare recipients to vote – and they vote for the ALP.

  94. Des Deskperson

    “If, within 21 days, the apparent non-voter fails to reply, cannot provide a valid and sufficient reason or declines to pay the penalty, then prosecution proceedings may be instigated.”

    In my experience, the AEC seems very reluctant to prosecute. If you don’t pay within 21 days, they will send a ‘reminder’, but they still seem very loathe to push the matter to the point of going to court. It’s true that in the Nineties, one Bill Smithies was actually threatened with gaol for refusing to pay fines and costs, but while I can’t recall how the matter was resolved – I’ll google later – I’m fairly certain he didn’t go there.

    BTW, when you fail to pay a traffic or parking fine after the first notice, there is usually an administrtaive fee added to the fine. This doesn’t happen with the failure to vote penalty, more evidence, in my opinion, that the AEC doesn’t want to make waves .

  95. Infidel Tiger

    The only way to engage Leftists is indirectly, with direct fire. No warning shots. No prisoners.

    They are filth and must be treated accordingly.

  96. Abu Chowdah

    Wow. I haven’t seen any Aussie TV for yonks. How obvious is it to people down there that Campbell, Joyce and that fat blatherer had clown and Appalachian hillbilly music as the background, while Gillard and Swan had funky action man music?

    Good on Chris Berg for having a go with these children.

  97. Abu Chowdah

    The only way to engage Leftists David Koresh is indirectly, with direct fire. No warning shots. No prisoners.

    They are filth and must be treated accordingly.

    Wrong Fred and sorry for hiijacking your post IT but; QED.

  98. Fisky

    Foundational, key truth: Labor and lefties support compulsory voting because it forces the deadbeats and welfare recipients to vote – and they vote for the ALP.

    CL, I am a little concerned with your familiar, even affectionate use of “lefties”, uncapitalised and with a softer ending, rather than the more proper and staccato’d term “Leftists”. This isn’t 2002 anymore.

  99. rebel with cause

    Chris could also have made the point that in any given electorate, many people will have cast votes for candidates other than the election winner. If the elected member is considered to be ‘representative’ of people in their electorate who voted directly against their election, then surely they are just as capable of ‘representing’ for individuals in their electorate who did not vote at all.

  100. Fisky

    Wow. I haven’t seen any Aussie TV for yonks. How obvious is it to people down there that Campbell, Joyce and that fat blatherer had clown and Appalachian hillbilly music as the background, while Gillard and Swan had funky action man music?

    I haven’t watched Australian TV for years, and I was shocked by the childish presentation, and utterly ridiculous and juvenile hosts. They will be banned under the Doctrine.

  101. Abu Chowdah

    Fisky, that is excellent news. I found the whole thing depressingly shallow and twee, with lashings of leftie smugness. Put them to the sword!

  102. Infidel Tiger

    The 7:30 School Report Project is the most turgid thing on TV.

  103. Token

    Lefties swear by the rancid little show.

  104. Abu Chowdah

    It’s just so third rate. Fuck me dead, I’m not looking forward to the day I have to return to the parochial dead lands of Australia.

  105. Andrew

    Andrew, you seem to enjoy the argy bargy as much as our curmudgeonly (if that’s a word!) regular posters. You’re not striking me as a young man who is honestly in the pursuit of truth.

    Whether someone is pursuing the truth or not is irrelevant to whether voting should be compulsory. Compulsory voting is an ethical and philosophical debate, not a scientific one. Therefore, nobody can pursue or achieve the truth.

    I only use argy bargy when I am getting boxed into the corner. Generally not my way of doing things.

  106. Andrew

    Even though many of you seem to hate Australian television, Antony Green will be discussing this exact topic of voting systems on The Drum (ABC24) in 15 minutes, if any of you are interested.

  107. Happymonkey

    Shut the fuck up Swan, you smarmy little prick.

  108. Andrew

    I hate the dancing around the truth that has characterised this ‘debate.’

    Foundational, key truth: Labor and lefties support compulsory voting because it forces the deadbeats and welfare recipients to vote – and they vote for the ALP.

    Also, the reason why there is much reluctance to use optional preferential voting as an alternative is because the left wing vote is split across two parties, where as the right wing vote is generally sent directly to the Coalition. Same would happen if we kept the same voting system but abolished compulsory voting. Left wing parties need a much higher turnout to win because they would need as many people preferencing them against the Lib/Nats in order to win, even if they aren’t voting for them.

  109. John Mc

    Compulsory voting is an ethical and philosophical debate, not a scientific one. Therefore, nobody can pursue or achieve the truth.

    Fair enough. How do you derive your ethical system? Does God reveal it to you or something? Is it premised on the individual good or service to the state or what?

    Still waiting for your response to this one (for your benefit as much as anyones:

    “Andrew, have a look around the world and tell me how our democracy is better, our politicians are of higher quality, the will of the people is tangibly better reflected in our democracy than some of the other nations. Provide some evidence of where compulsory voting is delivering better outcomes.”

  110. JC

    Whether someone is pursuing the truth or not is irrelevant to whether voting should be compulsory. Compulsory voting is an ethical and philosophical debate, not a scientific one. Therefore, nobody can pursue or achieve the truth.

    Interesting. So there’s nothing really to debate seeing you see it as a moral and ethical issue. You have your views and others have different views.

    So WTF are you even discussing it, you meathead?

  111. Andrew

    Fair enough. How do you derive your ethical system? Does God reveal it to you or something? Is it premised on the individual good or service to the state or what?

    Andrew, have a look around the world and tell me how our democracy is better, our politicians are of higher quality, the will of the people is tangibly better reflected in our democracy than some of the other nations.

    I don’t think our politicians are better because of it, but I do believe that having people elected by the entirety of the electorate fulfills the idea of representative government and adds a layer of legitimacy to the mandate they have. I don’t think it is ideal in a democracy to have 40% of people voting and deciding who represents them in Parliament.

  112. John Mc

    So Andrew, looking around the world, we agree there are no tangible benefits – there is no event or identifiable outcome – that we can point to between the ten or so nations that enforce compulsory voting, and the rest of the world.

  113. Dan

    Ah yes, The Dumb. Today’s expert; A man with a beard, a modern haircut and some kind of stainless steel piercing through the ear.

  114. Andrew

    So WTF are you even discussing it, you meathead?

    You can debate moral and ethical issues all the time. What I meant was that you can not achieve the truth (reference to above poster) or some sort of definitive conclusion through debating such a type of issue. It is purely subjective, contrary to a economic or scientific discussion.

  115. candy

    Not sure about the cliche of compulsory voting suiting ALP is up to date now.

    Perhaps the Labor and Greens are far stronger activists and manipulators of the media, and more likely to get their people to vote. They are not adverse to scare tactics.
    Heck, they’d even pay people to vote for them on the day, if they could!

    I agree with Andrew, anyway, it’s ethical and philosopical all that stuff and so far entrenched in the Australian culture.

  116. John Mc

    So right or wrong is just a subjective matter? Does that apply to murder or slavery?

  117. Infidel Tiger

    Andrew what is your view on plain packaging of cigarettes?

  118. dd

    I don’t think it is ideal in a democracy to have 40% of people voting and deciding who represents them in Parliament.

    Yes it is, if the remaining 60 percent don’t want to vote.
    Democracy is about giving everyone a chance to participate; it’s not about some kind of mathematical maximisation process, whereby we get the highest degree of overlap between voters and the public.

    Also, voluntary voting provides two additional democratic mechanisms that compulsory voting does not.
    1. strength of conviction. Sure, it’s only binary but the people who turn out either know a hell of a lot more, or feel a hell of a lot more passionate, about the election.

    2. it provides a face-saving way for rusted on voters to turn against a bad party. Take the current situation for example. Most labor voters know that Federal Labor is rotten. But for many of them, the cultural and personal identification with the party is too strong; it would be an abdication of their values (let’s not get into whether you agree with those values) to vote for the other side. voluntary voting allows these people a way to participate without crossing the floor. Incidentally, the stay-at-home voter plays an important role in US elections, as they should.

  119. Nobody is forced to vote. Effectively you volunteer to vote and once you have volunteered you must continue to vote (turn up or send something by post not actually vote). Being on the electoral role is not compulsory or if it is, it is not enforced.

    Saying that politicians must work harder to get a vote in a non-compulsory system is definately not what we want. This means more vote buying in theory.

    One thing that could be a result of reasonably uniform electoral laws troughout Australia is an efficient voting system not the long queues as seen in the US or could just be the US is a disfunctional place. When talking about voting should also consider if having a major deterent in place is any better such as long queues.

    The argument that we will get better politicians under any system can’t be valid otherwise where is this evidence? Even some dictatorships have good politicians.

  120. JC

    That’s possibly the most important facet DD.

    There’s about the same chance as hell freezing over for some of the rusted labor supporters that understand and appreciate just how rotten to the core labor has become.

    Unfortunately a large number of these idiots are moving their vote to a far more leftist party (the Greens) ending up by putting the country in a worse outcome. Compulsory voting is causing that.

    If voting was voluntary the Liars party support would be 20% tops without serious butcher’s cleaver like reforms to the party’s structure.

  121. Andrew

    So right or wrong is just a subjective matter? Does that apply to murder or slavery?

    Some people believe that murder and slavery is right in the correct circumstances, others don’t. Clearly, it is a subjective matter even if the large majority of people see murder and slavery as wrong in any circumstance.

    Andrew what is your view on plain packaging of cigarettes?

    Against plain packaging. If a cigarette company is a legal entity, it should be able to advertise like any other legal entity.

  122. dd

    Kelly, it’s technically compulsory to vote and to cast a legitimate ballot. You’re right that it’s not enforced but it is officially the law.

    You’re also right that we can’t really tell the quality of politicians under any system or other. Given that, then we should opt for the one that doesn’t restrict freedom.

  123. John Mc

    The argument that we will get better politicians under any system can’t be valid otherwise where is this evidence?

    I can think of many countries that have higher quality politicians and better democracy than we do.

    Would you say a system that’s put Kevin Rudd, Rob Oakshott, Stephen Conroy or Peter Slipper in the highest offices in the land doesn’t have low quality politicians?

  124. dd

    Labor knows it too, JC. They know that if voting was optional, many of their supporters will stay home until Labor gets their shit together.
    But that’s how it should be.

  125. John Mc

    Some people believe that murder and slavery is right in the correct circumstances, others don’t. Clearly, it is a subjective matter even if the large majority of people see murder and slavery as wrong in any circumstance.

    You’re being obtuse.

    Would you consider anyone who advocated murder or slavery as civilised or moral? If yes, provide an example or a circumstance.

    Would you consider anyone who believed someone who advocated for murder or slavery was right, to have a valid ethical system?

  126. Jannie

    So we are not compelled to vote, we are only compelled to turn up and cross off our names?

    In that case I am against compulsory name crossing off.

  127. Andrew

    Nationals and Liberals should agree to not run 3 cornered contests and then go to OPV. It would help them hold onto power that way.

  128. JC

    Andrew

    Philosophically the issue of slavery and murder come under natural law.

    Stop being an idiot please.

    It’s summer, you should be out trying to find gals rather than making an idiot of yourself on a blog…. that is if you’re allowed to be out late at your age.

    And stop it with the spellcheck bullshit because when someone does that they’ve usually lost the argument.

  129. candy

    “This means more vote buying in theory.”

    Yes, the ALP would promise free money/stuff in the days before the election, if they got back in, something substantial to a vast majority.

    There is greed/envy in people and they would work on it and effectively buy an election.

  130. See “Seven Things You Can’t Do as a Moral Relativist”, by Greg Koukl. (For “can’t”, of course, he generally means “ought not”.)

  131. Would you say a system that’s put Kevin Rudd, Rob Oakshott, Stephen Conroy or Peter Slipper in the highest offices in the land doesn’t have low quality politicians?

    John We could run off a list of politicians in the US so as I said there is no difference. Another aspect is that the quality or lack there of can change and change quickly. Australia had a really good run with Hawke, Keating, Howard and Costello. Will the Australian political landscape self correct this year after 5 or 6 bad years. I hope so but there is a risk on the fiscal side of becoming the US, it only took them 10 years to go from where we are now to where they are now.

  132. Andrew

    You’re being obtuse.

    Would you consider anyone who advocated murder or slavery as civilised or moral? If yes, provide an example or a circumstance.

    Would you consider anyone who believed someone who advocated for murder or slavery was right, to have a valid ethical system?

    No sane person would advocate murder of slavery. So, no to your first question but some people do consider it acceptable.
    On your second question, I can’t question someone’s ethical system if it is consistent. I just don’t agree with it.

  133. JC

    The libs could easily put a stop to this compulsory bullshit and assuage the fears of occasional idiots like Barndoor Joyce who support comp voting.

    They should say they are going to keep the law as is, but feel it’s much too harmful to hit people with a fine if they don’t vote thereby eliminating the sanction.

    They should argue that they will hold the law and try to abolish the awful fine while trusting the good nature of the citizenship to come out and vote.

    They basically kill two birds with a stone there as it keeps the law on the books while making the Left appear like the arseholes they are if they support the fine.

    Let the left go around arguing to fine people as we all know how popular that is… it also has the effect of making them look like they support crap like parking fines…. which is really popular.

    Cut their limbs off that way.

  134. Andrew

    Stop being an idiot please.

    It’s summer, you should be out trying to find gals rather than making an idiot of yourself on a blog…. that is if you’re allowed to be out late at your age.

    And stop it with the spellcheck bullshit because when someone does that they’ve usually lost the argument.

    Time for your meds?

    Two can play at the name-calling and off topic discussion theme.

  135. John Mc

    On your second question, I can’t question someone’s ethical system if it is consistent. I just don’t agree with it.

    Ok, so you believe rationally consistent ethical systems can have different points of view on key issues. So it is rationally possible for murder or slavery to be right under different ethical systems?

    How do you reconcile this with: “No sane person would advocate murder of slavery?”

  136. Cato the Elder

    Why all this talk of legitimacy, or of rights? What matters more is outcomes.

    So making voting compulsory turns it from a right into a duty. OK, I can deal with that.

    The “pro” argument for conscripted voting (in terms of outcomes, not “legitimacy”) is that it seems to give us more centrist governments. There is less incentive to “play to the margins” in order to “get out the vote”; and we don’t get the real lunatics in charge (Yes, I know, but Gillard is not Chavez and we have a long way to go before we are indistinguishable from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)

    The “con” argument for conscripted voting (again in terms of outcomes, not in terms of liberties) is that the politically disengaged will vote without due thought, leading to the kind of rusted on and client/patron voting we see returning the ALP to government even when the government was clearly dysfunctional and incompetent. You also do get more demagoguery and lunatics in charge of the asylum (Yes, I know. It could be worse. Gillard. Chavez. Not the same)

    Neither approach is perfect, so you pays your money and takes your choice. On balance I discover that I am a conservative more than a libertarian on this point, so I prefer the stabilising effect that seems to come from our current system over the increased liberty of having the right to not vote.

  137. Cato the Elder

    Whoops. This bit

    You also do get more demagoguery and lunatics in charge of the asylum (Yes, I know. It could be worse. Gillard. Chavez. Not the same)

    belongs in the “pro” para. PIMF

  138. JC

    No meds, doofus…

    You’re being an oppositional idiot by bringing up murder and slavery..

    As I said, there are well founded natural law arguments and there is all the absurdity of attempting to equate those two things with comp voting.

    Shut up.. you lost.

    And no, accusing me of forgetting meds doesn’t in the least deter me from calling you an idiot when you deserve it.

  139. They should argue that they will hold the law and try to abolish the awful fine while trusting the good nature of the citizenship to come out and vote.

    They don’t even have to do that just give a dirrection to not send out fines or change the due date to 2100.

  140. John Mc

    So what is your objective, Andrew? What do you want out of our democratic system?

  141. Grant B

    Firstly this 20 bucks bit is only for federal elections. It’s 50 in Qld so it cost me 100 large to not vote in their state and council elections last year.

    Secondly you have to pay the exact amount. I was fined $20 for not voting in 1972. Sent them a gooses for $100 and said I’d top it up after I hadn’t voted in the next four elections. Nope, couldn’t do it so after a lot more bureaucratic rooting around it went to court and as I didn’t turn up (I was overseas) I was sentenced to gaol. So yes you can get sent to gaol, not for not not voting but for not paying the fine for not voting (-:)

    Thirdly, following this I was taken off the electoral roll. Don’t know if this is the SOP.

    Compulsory voting is a load of frog shit up with which I will not put.

  142. Andrew

    Ok, so you believe rationally consistent ethical systems can have different points of view on key issues. So it is rationally possible for murder or slavery to be right under different ethical systems?

    How do you reconcile this with: “No sane person would advocate murder of slavery?”

    Yes it is rationally possible. It is just rare for this to be the case in society. People see murder as morally and ethically wrong. I just don’t think a sane person would advocate murder and slavery and don’t agree with their ethical system of thought and belief.

  143. Cato the Elder

    No sane person would advocate murder of slavery.

    What about the “slavery is a part of Islam” meme? Are all Islamics who accept this point therefore insane, or just morally wrong?

  144. Andrew

    You’re being an oppositional idiot by bringing up murder and slavery..

    I didn’t bring it up doofus. John Mc did.

  145. JC

    (Yes, I know, but Gillard is not Chavez and we have a long way to go before we are indistinguishable from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)

    Ya think. Huggy Chavez nationalized the media and various industries. He’s just an unsophisticated moron.

    The liars party have nationalized communications and went some way towards nationalizing our resources with the mining tax.

    The big difference is that at least to his credit Huggy Chavez isn’t anti electricity, so pound for pound I’d rate Huggy as more “liberal” than the Lying Slapper and her cabinet.

    Huggy also never introduced the Lurch Rudd insulation fiasco.

  146. candy

    I guess one good thing about non-compulsory voting is that the ones who don’t then can’t go around bellyaching about the government’s policies not suiting them … so there’s that!

  147. John Mc

    What about the “slavery is a part of Islam” meme? Are all Islamics who accept this point therefore insane, or just morally wrong?

    They are just morally wrong. There are aspects of that religion that when enforced are just simply morally wrong.

  148. Andrew

    So what is your objective, Andrew? What do you want out of our democratic system?

    I want people to be able to shape who runs the country in an equal way. Of course this ideal can not be completely fulfilled, but I will support avenues that will lead to this.

  149. Gab

    doofus

    Now, now, Andrew. None of that. I don’t mind you resorting to name-calling but only if you stop with the sermonising to others about doing the same.

  150. JC

    Here, this is what I’m talking about.

    No sane person would advocate murder of slavery. So, no to your first question but some people do consider it acceptable.

    You did introduce that layer of stupidity.

  151. Cato the Elder

    There are aspects of that religion that when enforced are just simply morally wrong.

    Quite. So much for moral equivalence.

  152. dd

    I want people to be able to shape who runs the country in an equal way.

    This is the issue… what if I don’t want to have a say in who governs the country?
    Why are you making me? is it for my own good?

  153. Andrew

    Now, now, Andrew. None of that. I don’t mind you resorting to name-calling but only if you stop with the sermonising to others about doing the same.

    I am only going to use it on infants like JC. JC is just trying to be a smart-arse and uses insults to end a debate. I don’t do that.

  154. Gab

    It’s for the “good of all”, DD, the good of all.

    (Sorry, couldna resist).

  155. Gab

    JC is just trying to be a smart-arse and uses colourful language in a witty fashion insults to end in a debate. I don’t do that.

    There FTFY.

  156. JC

    This isn’t a debate any longer, Andrew. You lost.

    It’s basically you making incoherent, inconsistent statements and people taking a turn at ripping some flesh away.

    Don’t flatter yourself.

  157. Andrew

    This is the issue… what if I don’t want to have a say in who governs the country?
    Why are you making me? is it for my own good?

    I am stating that people should vote because the electorate is then represented by someone who has the support of the majority of voters in that electorate. This can only truly occur if everyone votes.

  158. JC

    This can only truly occur if everyone votes.

    That’s bullshit.

  159. Tel

    It is not an offence to vote informally in a federal election, nor is it an offence to encourage other voters to vote informally. However, anyone who encourages electors to vote informally, or to vote ‘1,2,3,3,3…’ etc on a House of Representatives ballot paper, will be encouraging electors to waste their votes as no vote will be counted from these ballot papers.

    That’s from the AEC website. The AEC are officially given the job of doing the necessary legal research and publication to keep Australians informed, but they are not the last word on the matter. The last word would be a court of law, but since no one has ever been prosecuted, nor even investigated, for an informal ballot, that pretty much stands as precedent.

    http://www.aec.gov.au/About_AEC/Publications/backgrounders/files/2010-eb-informal-voting.pdf

  160. Token

    (Yes, I know, but Gillard is not Chavez and we have a long way to go before we are indistinguishable from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)

    Follow this link to see what Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her husband Nestor have done over their time as presidents since 2003.

    Check out how big their net worth has grown while they lead that wonderful Argentinean democracy which has compulsory voting.

  161. Token

    I am stating that people should vote because the electorate is then represented by someone who has the support of the majority of voters in that electorate.

    What exceptions to you allow in your moral framework?

    Does that include people serving time who have been convicted of serious crimes?

  162. JimD

    Fact: Labour ought support optional preferential.
    Reason: They’d get more electoral funding back from AEC on valid 1st preference votes.
    Why: The differential of informals at states with optional and federal with full demonstrates 3% of Labour voters can’t count past one or two with three in the ballot disenfrachising the voter and doing the pardee out of a couple of bucks.

  163. JC
    The original version of the mining tax was far worse than Chavez nationalizing the oil industry over there. Here it orginally was a 40% nationalization of all profits of any extractive industry. Chavez actually paid money for his nationalization efforts which could end up taking losses also.

  164. Grant B

    Project for Andrew:

    Write an essay on compulsory voting in Australian state council elections. Provide arguments on why you consider some states more democratic than others. Comment on any inconsistencies you may identify.

  165. Token

    This isn’t a debate any longer, Andrew.

    Andrew admitted this is not a discussion. He is outlining his faith based upon moral imperatives, not logic.

    I am sure Andrew would think we should be excited as he has discovered a new right, the right for the government to compel people to act in a way it views is the best for them.

    You know, compelling them to vote regardless of their opinion of what their best interests are.

    I myself get scared when individuals discover new rights…

    They should say they are going to keep the law as is, but feel it’s much too harmful to hit people with a fine if they don’t vote thereby eliminating the sanction.

    They should argue that they will hold the law and try to abolish the awful fine while trusting the good nature of the citizenship to come out and vote.

    They basically kill two birds with a stone there as it keeps the law on the books while making the Left appear like the arseholes they are if they support the fine.

    JC you nailed it.

  166. JimD

    I am only going to use it on infants like JC. JC is just trying to be a smart-arse and uses insults to end a debate. I don’t do that.
    Young Fella, you just did.

  167. I am stating that people should vote because the electorate is then represented by someone who has the support of the majority of voters in that electorate.

    Andrew you are unusual, I think most are like me, I vote for who I consider the least likely to do bad things to me and our society. That is not support.

  168. Jarrah

    “then surely they are just as capable of ‘representing’ for individuals in their electorate who did not vote at all.”

    Originally misreading your comment made me think it would be very interesting if we had voluntary voting, and if a majority didn’t vote, that electorate would be represented by… nobody. A ‘none of the above’ vote, in essence.

  169. JC

    Fair point kelly. for the first time since We met here I stand corrected by you.

    My browny points for Huggy Chavez then proving the lying slapper is worse.

  170. Rabz

    I hate the dancing around the truth that has characterised this ‘debate.’

    Foundational, key truth: Labor and lefties support compulsory voting because it forces the deadbeats and welfare recipients to vote – and they vote for the ALP.

    Agreed – one of two very sound reasons why I support voluntary voting.

    Optional preferential is the least worst option if we must have compulsory voting.

  171. John Mc

    This can only truly occur if everyone votes.

    If the level of support is an issue you could introduce a system where nothing changes and the election is declared null if a certain percentage of the electorate doesn’t turn out, say less than 50%.

  172. harrys on the boat

    Is it me or does Andrew come across as some 40 year old imbecile, but pretends to be 18 to hide his blatant immaturity.

    I can’t take him seriously while he pretends to be a teenager.

  173. jumpnmcar

    There are over 65,000 Jehovah Witnesses in Australia, non of them vote.
    I wonder which way they would go if they did.

  174. Token

    Agreed – one of two very sound reasons why I support voluntary voting.

    I think Cato’s logic is sound and JC’s solution is the most practical.

    A campaign to remove compulsory voting is a loser as it is the tradition in this country.

  175. Token

    Is it me or does Andrew come across as some 40 year old imbecile, but pretends to be 18 to hide his blatant immaturity.

    I can’t take him seriously while he pretends to be a teenager.

    Quite so

  176. jumpnmcar

    Rabz

    Optional preferential is the least worst option if we must have compulsory voting.

    Why the need for preferences at all?

  177. JC

    I am stating that people should vote because the electorate is then represented by someone who has the support of the majority of voters in that electorate. This can only truly occur if everyone votes.

    This is a really stupid way of thinking. It’s straight out of the Q&A toilet.

    Say I lived in the Lying Slapper’s electorate and voted for the libs. She obviously won the vote count, but she doesn’t represent me, my interests or my belief system. She represents, most likely, the people that voted for the tramp, although more than a few of them would be embarrassed to admit it.

    What we’re voting for is for people who will hopefully create a clique and form government.

    This representation stuff Andrew is babbling on about is crapola.

    He needs to go do errands now like take in the bins etc.

  178. Jarrah

    “Why the need for preferences at all?”

    To avoid the travesty of first past the post. Preferential voting is just like having run-offs, but more efficiently.

  179. Jarrah

    That said, preferential voting is inferior to proportional voting.

  180. Rabz

    A campaign to remove compulsory voting is a loser as it is the tradition in this country.

    Err, no, tokes – as Gab has pointed out previously, compulsory voting was introduced (federally) in 1924.

    Compulsory voting was also abolished in NSW council elections in the seventies and reinstated by the ALP (those wran dirtbags) when it became obvious that laybore would never win a council election under voluntary voting.

  181. JimD

    Grant B, Good one but misdirected. Methinks Andrew is but a money taker from the Dept of Prime etc rather than a genuine scholar.

  182. Rabz

    Why the need for preferences at all?

    Jump – that’s precisely my point – under optional preferential there is no need for preferences.

    However, if voters can stomach preferencing other candidates on the paper, they should be able to do so.

    First past the post is intrinsically anti democratic.

  183. JimD

    Jarrah @ 7.38 Absolutely.
    Jarrah @ 7.39 Bullshit.

  184. Jarrah

    “Jarrah @ 7.39 Bullshit.”

    Typically it’s expected that you don’t merely state your opinion, but that you justify it, with some semblance of logical argument. I don’t doubt you have one, but it would be nice if you graced us with your explanation.

  185. wreckage

    Compulsory voting gets a better sample. That said, compulsory voting in an informational vacuum (local council elections) is idiotic, since you’re getting a better sample of null.

  186. John Mc

    Compulsory voting gets a higher turnout. I think that’s all you can say. The whole ‘better sample’ is dubious because people are there who wouldn’t be if they had a choice, so potentially random or other things. And people aren’t there but who would be there at least some of the time if it was optional, like myself.

  187. Token

    That said, preferential voting is inferior to proportional voting.

    Think of dysfunctional and crippled system we could have if Jarrah’s dream came true.

    We would never have a balanced budget again in that “pure” world as the never ending process of forming alliances to govern divvy up the spoils.

  188. jumpnmcar

    First past the post is intrinsically anti democratic.

    Really, I’ll go check that out one day. Thanks.

  189. Token

    …as the never ending process of forming alliances to govern divvies up the spoils.

  190. JimD

    Well Hardwood,If that’s not the most immediate case of pot calling kettle black?
    I agree on optional but you throw in
    “preferential voting is inferior to proportional voting.”. Hells bells what’s proportional? Are you a f’n canberran or taswegian Nope gotta be a Kiwi.

  191. Gab

    The King Solomon suggestion is the way to go:

    They should say they are going to keep the law as is, but feel it’s much too harmful to hit people with a fine if they don’t vote thereby eliminating the sanction.

    They should argue that they will hold the law and try to abolish the awful fine while trusting the good nature of the citizenship to come out and vote.

    They basically kill two birds with a stone there as it keeps the law on the books while making the Left appear like the arseholes they are if they support the fine.

  192. Jarrah

    “We would never have a balanced budget again in that “pure” world as the never ending process of forming alliances to govern divvy up the spoils.”

    Your theory is interesting, but without foundation. Ever heard of a little place called Germany? Or South Korea?

    Scores of countries have proportional representation with wildly differing budget balances, and the correlation with deficits is non-existent.

  193. Infidel Tiger

    Proportional representation gives you New Zealand, Tasmania and the Federal Senate.

    Case closed. It’s a fucking disaster.

  194. Jarrah

    “Hells bells what’s proportional?”

    So you called bullshit on something you don’t even understand? That’s not a good start.

    “If that’s not the most immediate case of pot calling kettle black?”

    Apparently it escaped your notice that I was merely agreeing with previous commenters, who had already provided the justification for the opinion.

  195. John Mc

    I’m not overly knowledgable in the actual mechanics of proportional representation, but the idea of lots of parties doing deals in order to advance the interests of their sphere of supporters, and parliament being a little bit inefficient in the process, kind of appeals to me. If, and only if, the essential areas are left to the people and not to the government via individual rights in a constitution, so that government inefficiency or stupidity doesn’t screw over the citizen’s lives from time to time.

    Australians tend to like the idea of a government being able to govern. I’m actually not that concerned with government not doing that much, considering what I see governments in the past.

  196. JimD

    “Really, I’ll go check that out one day. Thanks”.
    Jump it is.eg:5 candidates,3 on 20%,1 on 19% and the 1 on 21% is elected. Stretched out 10 candidates(9 is not uncommon)the one on 10.5% is elected. IE: Green Paradise. No Thanks.

  197. Cato the Elder

    Check out how big their net worth has grown while they lead that wonderful Argentinean democracy which has compulsory voting.

    Good point. Maybe it’s something else; but I like our centrist tendencies and I’m wary of mucking around with the system that seems to give it to us. JC’s solution sounds OK.

  198. John Mc

    Good point. Maybe it’s something else; but I like our centrist tendencies and I’m wary of mucking around with the system that seems to give it to us.

    Are you happy with it? Happy to make do?

    I think it’s now getting old and we haven’t advanced democracy in a long time. We’re now slipping into the area of corporate politicians who exist solely to pursue a career which is slightly different to representing the people. And centrist politics means people are becoming disconnected.

  199. Tel

    May I throw up the suggestion of direct election for the Attorney General?

    Since that position is mostly about checks and balances, rather than executive action, there’s some logic in having an individual elected in their own right rather than someone appointed by party. The individual may still be a party member, but can’t get sacked during a term in office.

  200. Tel

    Also, one way the Australian system is better than the US system, is that we don’t get “earmarks” all over the place with random bits of crap tied to bills as bargains get made.

  201. Cato the Elder

    Are you happy with it? Happy to make do?

    Not so much. It gave us Gillard. Wary of enthusiasts of all stripes. If you want to plan to cripple the government then you also need a plan to get their hands out of our pockets. While they have power, I want them to at least be competent and fairly centrist. No millennialist utopian crap, that’s what wrecks economies and kills people.

  202. JimD

    “with wildly differing budget balances, “.
    Blockhead, Get this, Is the thread about electoral systems or financial systems. Putting aside the ALP perceives the electoral system as a source of finance(think they doubled it recently). htf can you confuse electoral with financial.
    Don’t bother with a reply, just realised you belong in the same place as your mad mate monty.

  203. blogstrop

    I’ll just jump in without reading all the above and say that the last two US election just went fairly wrong despite non-compulsory voting. There’s more to it than that issue alone. You know my views on media propagandists. Some might say that candidate quality came into it, but hey, who said Obama was high quality?
    Sorry, can’t spare the time to read 200 comments, books to read.

  204. jumpnmcar

    Tel

    May I throw up the suggestion of direct election for the Attorney General?

    That just a gratuitous smear of Nicola Roxon and I’ll say this, people on this site will not tolerate such action.
    :)

  205. Louis Hissink

    Voting should not be compulsory, period. It’s like freedom and pregnancy – either you are, or you are not.

    Those who advocate compulsion in any human activity are dictators.

  206. JimD

    Jump , If you stick up for THAT , hop in your car and don’t forget NRNRH.(:

  207. Token

    Your theory is interesting, but without foundation. Ever heard of a little place called Germany? Or South Korea?

    As noted above, plenty of foundation based upon the many dysfunctional democracies globally. Plus, we already have a PR house, it is called the Senate.

    The German system is different in terms of the fact their upper house is a real states house. The nations that formed the federation use the house to push Bavarian, Wurtenberger, Neider Saschen, etc interests. Our senate will never be that.

    The lower house is functional as it has a non conservative party (the Free Democrats) which will not automatically join an alliance to raise taxes, raise protection and squander taxpayers money. No minor party in Australian history which has made the senate has achieved that. They all join the ALP to p*ss taxpayer money up against the wall eventually.

    I’ll look into South Korea.

  208. dd

    The best argument for the status quo is Cato’s argument, which is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    Which I have to admit, is a reasonable point. There are often unintended consequences from tampering with stable systems.

  209. Cato the Elder

    On reflection; and considering the example of Argentina, I now suspect that compulsory voting doesn’t make us centrist, it’s a cultural thing. But OTOH I don’t know; and I really don’t care about being required to vote as a civic duty because I’d vote anyway.

    The only appeal of voluntary voting (aside from the libertarian principle of not compelling this kind of thing) is that it might reduce the welfare client vote. But Obummer seems to have been able to turn out the clients with promises of “free stuff” (TM) so I suspect that it’s wishful thinking.

    It sort of works.

  210. Cato the Elder

    Last thought incomplete. It sort of works the way it is, don’t break it trying to make it better.

  211. Token

    On reflection; and considering the example of Argentina, I now suspect that compulsory voting doesn’t make us centrist, it’s a cultural thing.

    The point I was making when I posted the article from Hoover on why South Korea & Taiwan have succeeded, whereas their peers in 1960 with “better” forms of voting have failed.

    Posted 2:08pm & 2:12pm yesterday.

  212. Token

    Is this result fair?

    It would be worse if we had proportional representation in the lower & upper houses.

  213. dover_beach

    Andrew, do you recognize a difference between a moral duty and a legal duty? Every argument you’ve provided indicates that you believe voting to be a moral duty of citizens, but why must it be a legal duty?

    and I really don’t care about being required to vote as a civic duty because I’d vote anyway.

    Cato, the problem with this line of thought is that the principle, having been accepted here, is likely to be extended into areas where you will care and, given your acquiescence, you will then have no principled objection to its extension.

  214. dover_beach

    It was disappointing Chris didn’t make the obvious retort to Charlie Pickering regarding the association of Newman, voluntary voting and dictators, which is: How many dictators have you known, Charlie, that have made anything ‘voluntary’? Numbnut.

  215. .

    Compulsory voting gets a better sample. That said, compulsory voting in an informational vacuum (local council elections) is idiotic, since you’re getting a better sample of null.

    I really hope young Andrew pays attention to some data I will highlight. Please look at the Australian data with the context of donkey voters, which have been estimated at 1-2% of all voters.

    From wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_federal_election,_2010

    House of Representatives (IRV) — Turnout 93.21% (CV) — Informal 5.55%

    Senate (STV GV) — Turnout 93.82% (CV) — Informal 3.75%

    In 1972-1976, Germany may have actually beaten us in terms of net valid votes after turnout.

    http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=61

    Year Turnout Invalid Vote

    1976
    90.75%
    0.90%

    1972
    91.11%
    0.80%

    Compulsory voting is a scam.

    I hate the dancing around the truth that has characterised this ‘debate.’

    Foundational, key truth: Labor and lefties support compulsory voting because it forces the deadbeats and welfare recipients to vote – and they vote for the ALP.

    Point this out and they accuse you of “disenfranchisement”.

    The ALP believes in slavery, basically.

  216. Token

    How many dictators have you known, Charlie, that have made anything ‘voluntary’? Numbnut.

    Dictator. Free election.

    It is a pity the fallacy underpinning the statement was not pointed out.

  217. dover_beach

    In fairness to Chris, if he makes Charlie look the fool he is he’s unlikely to be invited back; but, conversely, I think the panel was a little disrespectful towards Chris so should have returned the favour.

  218. Andrew

    In 1972-1976, Germany may have actually beaten us in terms of net valid votes after turnout.

    http://www.idea.int/vt/countryview.cfm?id=61

    Year Turnout Invalid Vote

    1976
    90.75%
    0.90%

    1972
    91.11%
    0.80%

    Is that with voluntary voting? If so, then I would be less concerned with voluntary voting and be more willing to support it.
    I still believe that voluntary voting would not lead to politicians being forced to engage the community.

  219. Andrew

    EDIT: I still believe that voluntary voting would not lead to politicians being forced to engage the community more so than now.

  220. .

    Is that with voluntary voting? If so, then I would be less concerned with voluntary voting and be more willing to support it.

    YES

  221. candy

    Ve haf vays of making you vote!

  222. Andrew

    YES

    Ok, fine. I will support voluntary voting if it still gets a relatively high turnout. I have weakened.

  223. Andrew

    Ve haf vays of making you vote!

    Wir koennen Sie waehlen zwingen. – That is what the Germans would say! ;)

  224. candy

    Well smarty pants Andrew, you’ll have to tell us what that means!

    But I’m not changing my thoughts; Compulsory voting forces even the lazy and the cynical ones to have a bit a of a look at their country’s politics and have a thinks about it and recognise our wonderful democracy.

  225. dover_beach

    Ok, fine. I will support voluntary voting if it still gets a relatively high turnout.

    In other words, Andrew is happy to use voluntary or compulsory means to achieve the results he desires.

  226. Jarrah

    “htf can you confuse electoral with financial.”

    You’re suffering from Selective Reading Syndrome again. I was replying to Token, who brought up a supposed link between proportional representation and budget deficits. Heck, I even replied in separate comments to you and to Token, so you can’t even claim you were confused about who I was talking to.

    Now who’s the blockhead? ;-)

  227. Jarrah

    “As noted above, plenty of foundation based upon the many dysfunctional democracies globally.”

    Actually no, there has been one supposedly dysfunctional democracy mentioned – New Zealand, by Infidel Tiger. Which currently has a conservative party in charge, and a free market party that actually gets a seat because of proportional representation. I don’t see how that’s an indictment of the system!

    Your claim – that PR leads to deficits – has zero factual basis. Unless you want to show the regressions that could support your theory?

  228. 81Alpha

    I voluntarily declare my vote in support of JC’s brilliant ‘two birds with one stone premise’ (ie) no fines enforced for not voting.
    Campbell had better cotton on to that one and quickly, it is a winner on all counts.
    Well done that man.

  229. Andrew

    Well smarty pants Andrew, you’ll have to tell us what that means!

    It basically means what you were trying to say in your attempt at German. “We can force you to vote”.

  230. chris

    since gillard arrived the level & standard of politics in australia has descended into the sewer. i would prefer not to be forced to vote for these freeloading deadbeats.

  231. I was compelled to spend approximately 12 000 hours schooling (JC would argue this was a complete waste of taxpayers money and my time) and I am sure another 1000 hours doing other things. If voting was the major thing I was compelled to do then it is not even significant given what I am compelled to do now. Tax return versus voting I will pick voting 100 times over.

  232. John Mc

    Kelly, that’s like an argument put to me once that because people are never free as if it rains you can’t go outside and you can’t do anything about it, then any further restrictions of freedom are irrelevant.

  233. John
    Not exactly, my argument is about the significance. I would fight much harder for other changes like to tax law than this because it has a much greater effect even if I did support a change to voting which I don’t mostly based on the if it ain’t broke theory.

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