The obscenity of compulsory voting

I first encountered the Australian Electoral Commission before I became an Australian citizen. The letters, the phone calls, the person who came to my front door demanding to know why no person living at my address was registered to vote. Probably because there are no Australian citizens living at this address was my reply. They were relentless – a door to door hunt for unregistered voters. I remember thinking that the government should put just as much effort into catching actual criminals.

Anyway, this story popped in the open thread (HT: Gab).

TASMANIA’S most senior federal politician has been accused of not voting in the recent federal election.

But Employment Minister Eric Abetz has the photographic evidence to prove otherwise.

Senator Abetz yesterday raised concerns about the reliability of the voting process after he received a letter indicating he had not voted in the September federal election.

The failure to vote letter from the Australian Electoral Commission arrived in his letter box yesterday.

Abetz - voting

The AEC has their excuses:

AEC national spokesman Phil Diak said the letter Senator Abetz was sent was common after elections.

“The process for issuing letters for apparent non-voter notices occurs after every election,” Mr Diak said.

“It does take a number of months to work through all of the examples.

“These polling-official errors can occur and they are all resolved by this process of these initial letters seeking advice.

“Obviously in this instance, there has been an error.”

To be sure – not as great an error as the WA Senate debacle but still a very significant error. It is unacceptable that people who have voted receive a letter of demand for $20 because a government agency can’t do its job.

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81 Responses to The obscenity of compulsory voting

  1. Gutho

    Do not underestimate the ability of AEC staff to make mischief.

  2. 1735099

    Um – still trying to find a link between bureaucratic incompetence and the principle of compulsory voting.
    One has absolutely no connection with the other.

  3. Gab

    I too have received a letter from the AEC telling me I didn’t vote when I actually did.

    No photograph to prove it but I sent them a stern reply and asked them what kind of two-bit backwater operation they were running when they wanted to penalise voters who actually voted for not voting.
    Never heard back from them.

  4. Darryl Adams

    There will always be stuff ups, but compare our system to the incoherent mess called the US electoral system.

    Thanks, but I will continue to prefer the AEC.

  5. A Lurker

    I have no problem with people not voting. There shouldn’t be a punishment for not engaging with the political process – or taking a personal stance of not wishing to vote at any particular election.

    What I do take issue with are those individuals who so enthusiastically embrace the political process that they vote numerous times at numerous places on election day – I also take issue with those other enthusiastic people who manage to defy the limitations of death, burial or cremation and vote, or the odd family pet that is likewise so enamoured of the political process that they too are enrolled to vote.

    If the AEC really wants to be useful, then all those additional votes/voters could be tracked down and marked off the rolls.

  6. entropy

    Also bear in mind the cost of assessment, the processing of the letter, processing of fine if received, assessments of appeals etc. Probably tenfold the cost of the fine.

    Either make the fine fit the cost of the ‘crime’, or recognise it is a bad law that should be done with.

  7. Noddy

    The AEC made a mistake and admitted it?!
    Compulsory voting is nonsense and does not lead to better government… see examples over last sixty years.
    It gives legitimacy to politicians that is not deserved.
    Compelling idiots to vote and people not interested in politics shows how dopey we have become as a Nation. Some think it is democracy!
    You can vote without showing some form of ID and they make it compulsory.
    You can now enroll online… no proof of identity!
    Nonsense, rubbish or whatever… compulsory voting should be abolished and the vote checkers put out to pasture along with the mendacious ABC.

  8. Bruce

    Don’t agree with you on this one Prof Davidson.

    Compulsory voting with preference voting and single member electorates means that the general public are forced to engage in the system, think to some extent about what they are doing, and (by means of their preference) have some influence in the choice of government. Apathy kills democracies and leads to people thinking they are not being listened to. And they wouldn’t be either, since pollies listen to voters not non-voters. Revolutions, general loss of lawfulness and societal decay happen when you have lots of people apathetic about their system of governance.

    And if the AEC is in your face making sure you are enrolled they are supporting this forced personal engagement. You can not-register and not-vote but that then becomes a personal choice which requires mental and philosophical effort to exert.

    Its the combination which is the key. If you have full proportional like the Dutch you get endless coalitions and stagnation, causing disillusionment and cantonisation. In the UK you have first past the post, so the followers of (say) the minority UKIP feel permanently disengaged. The Tory pollies can afford to ignore them and their views and still get elected MP with only 30 or 40% of the vote. Here LDP voters can reluctantly vote for the Libs as a 2nd preference. They are then more interested in the system and LNP policies and say stuff on blogs. LNP pollies read the vibes and chase LDP voters as well as their base, so they become more representative of more of the population. Its a good thing Sinc.

  9. .

    Darryl Adams
    #1099904, posted on December 6, 2013 at 9:24 am

    There will always be stuff ups, but compare our system to the incoherent mess called the US electoral system.

    Thanks, but I will continue to prefer the AEC.

    Of course you do. Gillard stole 20,000 votes and usurped power. No one has been punished for these anti democratic and seditious crimes.

  10. Andrew

    I was once asked why I voted thrice at an election. How do you disprove doing so?

  11. Tex

    “are forced to engage in the system” – why should they be “forced” to engage with any such thing?

  12. peterw

    Number me amongst those who object to the fallacy that compulsory voting is somehow linked to tbe incompetence of the AEC.

    I will grant you that the AEC does an unacceptably poor job, but if that is your primary argument against compulsory voting, then you don’t have a case.

  13. Sinclair Davidson

    compulsory voting is somehow linked to tbe incompetence of the AEC.

    Really? Did anyone suggest – apart from you and numbers – that compulsory voting makes the AEC incompetent? How you are able to read that into the post is simply astonishing.

  14. Bruce

    Tex – Why do we have speeding fines? AEC fines are much lower than what plod charges us for being caught going 6 km/h over the limit.

    Speeding fines are theoretically intended to get people to obey road rules and not kill others by their actions.

    Electoral fines are about the same thing. We do not want to be like Egypt.

    Seriously, the effort required to vote is tiny. If you don’t like the wankers on offer you can put in a spoilt or blank ballot and not be fined.

    This is a small price to pay for having an engaged population who keep on the back of pollies, so they don’t become corrupt. Pollies work ever so much better when they know they are being watched. And if they alienate voters like LDP-ers they know they will be kicked out as the the marginal voters send preferences to the other one.

    When you have MP’s elected on small primary votes they tend to start feeding pork to their rusted-on base. And themselves. If they think they have impunity democracy goes rancid.

  15. Craig Mc

    If the USA had compulsory voting, Obama would have been a one-term president. That’s evidence enough in its favour.

  16. pete m

    It is not the primary argument against it. That argument is simply the freedom from being forced to vote.

    However, Sinc makes the valid point that in chasing up people to vote we spend inordinate funds and harass innocent people with threats and bullying behaviour. so it counts as botha waste of money and an impost on your freedoms to peacably enjoy yourself without interference from public servants.

    I think voting should be compulsory but that it not be an offence to not vote. ;)

  17. Bruce

    Here’s another reason.

    In the US come election time (which is always) because voting is not compulsory the parties have to chase voters to get out and vote. So they robocall and have boiler rooms phoning people all day every day.

    So which do you want, the AEC annoying you once in a blue moon or the pollies themselves every election chasing after you over and over and over…?

  18. Up The Workers!

    I disagree with the disparaging and prejudicial title of this thread.

    For decades, ‘compulsory voting’ has had the miraculous power to raise the dead.

    How many close election battles has the A.L.P. won, due to the amazing multiplicity of votes cast by those former constituents who have been long-term horizontal, subterranean, rigor mortis sufferers?

    Now, once the A.E.C. can work out a way for ‘compulsory voting’ to turn water into wine, I’ll likely become downright enthusiastic!

  19. James of the Glen

    An excellent post, Sinclair.

    It has been a most noticeable trend over a number of years, and reaching fever pitch pre-elections, for the AEC to bully and harangue certain sections of the population in order to get them to the polling booths.

    Perhaps the most focus has been on the young; ambiguously worded radio and TV ads have threatened moves about what may happen if they don’t register to vote. Ambiguity has become its primary tool of delivery.

    And like the proverbial scoundrels mentioned by Samuel Johnson, the AEC is not past using dripping patriotism to ram home its threats.

    One can only wonder about the numbers game they’re playing; low info conscriptees = ALP/Greens voters.

    Any party too lazy to stir up enthusiasm to have its voluntary voters turn up to the booths deserves all they’ll (won’t) receive. Let the drongos stay home where they’ll do least damage to the nation.

    The AEC is another empire PM Abbott could well trim to a very small unit.

  20. Ant

    On the other hand, when Tasmanians don’t vote, Australia as a whole benefits.

  21. Craig Mc

    For decades, ‘compulsory voting’ has had the miraculous power to raise the dead.

    How does compulsory voting make this easier than voluntary voting? If anything, compulsory voting means a greater ratio of legitimate votes to fraudulent ones. If you want to see the power to raise the dead, look at America’s voting system.

  22. Cold-Hands

    +1 A Lurker with bells on. The AEC , apart from not losing ballots and costing the taxpayer millions of dollars in what should have been an unnecessary election, should focus on chasing the multiple voters, and to safeguard the integrity of the electoral roll. Not voting at a “compulsory” election is a victimless crime- the polity is spared the input of the ignorant and the unengaged, and the non-voter is not imposed upon.

  23. Chris

    What I do take issue with are those individuals who so enthusiastically embrace the political process that they vote numerous times at numerous places on election day – I also take issue with those other enthusiastic people who manage to defy the limitations of death, burial or cremation and vote, or the odd family pet that is likewise so enamoured of the political process that they too are enrolled to vote.

    The very high rates of voting that you get with compulsory voting make it harder for people to vote multiple times without it being detected. Because there’s a much smaller pool of people to select from to make votes on behalf of. It also reduces the incentive for political parties to make it harder for people to vote in an attempt to discourage them for voting for their political parties.

  24. tomix

    Have a little booklet here titled INSTRUCTIONS for AMERICAN SERVICEMEN in AUSTRALIA 1942
    ISBN 978 0 670 07131 9.
    On p.16: Australia has a Poll Tax- it costs $6 not to vote
    Is this still in force?

  25. struth

    Compulsory voting is a croc.
    Bruce even says it makes the general public foced to engage in the system.
    But how.
    Does it force them to engage in understanding current political issues?
    No.
    Does it force them to take a good long hard look at what they want this country to become?
    No.
    Does in this case, engaging in a system mean forced to mark a box on a piece of paper?
    Yes.
    Does it mean that if you bring down the voting age, brainwash the kiddies and then force them to vote, you can really help your side of politics along?
    Yes.
    Does it mean the system cannot be corrupted especially when I don’t have to show ID?
    NO
    Does it stop problems that people forsee it does, making our system so much better than the states?
    No.
    Does it mean those with no political knowledge at all and no interest in politics make decisions about Australia’s future, even though they have every right to not be involved in politics?
    YES

    You nearly have to show ID just to take a wizz in this country.

    Only a moron in this over bureaucratic country( looking for any angle to grow their departments) could believe there is not something wildly corrupt about not needing to show ID when voting.
    I thought I’d try asking a question and then answering it myself in case any of you are having withdrawl symptoms from the Krudd style.

  26. Token

    The very high rates of voting that you get with compulsory voting make it harder for people to vote multiple times without it being detected.

    Imagine a system where people are forced to record an ID which is automatically lodged in a system to log in the date & time when an entry was made to ensure the financial & legal ramifications of millions of transactions are recorded in real time.

    I see a a crazy magical world like that every Melbourne Cup day.

  27. Token

    Only a moron in this over bureaucratic country( looking for any angle to grow their departments) could believe there is not something wildly corrupt about not needing to show ID when voting.

    The people who don’t want ID reveal that they believe it is in their short term benefit to ensure that fraud occurs.

  28. .

    The very high rates of voting that you get with compulsory voting make it harder for people to vote multiple times without it being detected

    Bullshit. 20,000 votes were stolen in 2010 and it allowed Gillard to be non elected as PM. No one has paid for this crime.

  29. Rabz

    It also reduces the incentive for political parties to make it harder for people to vote in an attempt to discourage them for voting for their political parties.

    That sentence does not make any sense.

  30. Token

    Bullshit. 20,000 votes were stolen in 2010 and it allowed Gillard to be non elected as PM. No one has paid for this crime.

    It will be interesting to see if the Liberals had the ticker to include in the terms of reference for the WA senate clusterf**k by the AEC a review the # of incidents of voter fraud.

    I trust we will find that this contest like the one in Fairfax was decided by a number of votes which was less than the number of fraudulent votes cast.

    ALP & Greens trolls who oppose ID laws want no change to the law as they know their team use it to steal elections.

  31. Token

    That sentence does not make any sense.

    The man is justifying his team stealing election via fraud. What do you expect?

  32. .

    Yes rabz, kittens is still rabbitting on about how he’s not a troll, and why we need the ALP have votes siphoned off to them by welfare addled zombies or just engage in out and out fraud.

    The only way forward is a royal commission into the 2010 election, the ALP, Tony Windsor, unions, related entities, the greens and expand the scope of the child abuse inquiry into the ALP.

  33. Rabz

    What do you expect?

    His usual level of incoherence.

    So yes, I was just pointing out the obvious.

  34. Bruce

    Imagine a system where people are forced to record an ID

    That would be every time you use your card, Token. And don’t carry your phone in your pocket.

    You can only stop this by having the pollies by the short and curlies. Which is my point.

    As for Struth’s no-fest, look at it this way. When the footy watching punters voted for Kevni because he seemed like a good bloke they now remember what they did. Some of their few brain cells have registered this astounding thought: pollies aren’t always what the propaganda from the ABC says they are. I think that is the sort of education which works. Next time they will remember that the ABC is not trustworthy, unbiased, and paragons of virtue. Which means we can eventually destroy them.

  35. struth

    Even third world countries that have voting put a stamp on you that doesn’t come off for a couple of days sheeeesh, we are an apathetic nation.

  36. Token

    That would be every time you use your card, Token. And don’t carry your phone in your pocket.

    …but, but, but in the US even though 103% of registered voters enroleld in districts in central Philly voted for Obama, it is used as a means of voter surpression.

  37. struth

    No way Bruce, I must disagree.
    You Assume too much.
    You assume that after the election they take there attention from the football or wherever and are learning something. You give many in Australia too much credit.
    I believe it’s peoples right to be ignorant of all politics.
    Many that are ignorant excercise that right anyway.
    Then you make them decide Australia’s future.
    You are also not taking into consideration the new brainwashed generations that come along every elections.

  38. C.L.

    Compulsory voting exists for one reason and one reason only: to ensure that low information deadbeats and bums turn up to vote for the ALP.

    It is yet another example of the Liberal Party’s failure to reform the country when they have the chances.

  39. Bruce

    Token, I like voter ID. Be delighted to have that. Handing ID over to compulsory vote is no different from handing card to Woolies checkout chick. Or having your phone in your pocket on or off.

    Current system isn’t that bad though, since it means easy detection of multiple uses of a single registered identity, as the lists the AEC booth jockeys use are scan readable. So if the AEC does its job right multiple votes off of one registered identity mean a please explain to that address, preferably with a 130 kg AEC voting officer and baseball bat. I want AEC to do their job, which policing these rorts.

    You can’t stop technology. You can only make it as hard as possible for the predators, by which I mean pollies and their ilk. The more you make them accountable, open and captive to the will of the people the less you will be screwed over.

  40. H B Bear

    Compulsory voting exists for one reason and one reason only: to ensure that low information deadbeats and bums turn up to vote for the ALP.

    The US experience suggests that it is the Democrats who are actually better at this – and electioneering in general. There is no reason to suspect that the ALP would be any different.

    While it would be nice to have the utopian purity of non-compulsory voting, looking at the US it would appear to lead to a more stridently partisan politics and greater gains to divide-and-buy off of voter blocks (although much of this is along racial lines that wouldn’t be replicable in Oz).

    On balance, I would prefer to just muddle on with the Australian position.

  41. Token

    So if the AEC does its job right multiple votes off of one registered identity mean a please explain to that address, preferably with a 130 kg AEC voting officer and baseball bat. I want AEC to do their job, which policing these rorts.

    Bruce, if I walk down my street after the posty has been on the days before the election I can see the a names & address which I can then use to go to each of the voter booths across my electorate and use to vote in both the house & senate.

    As there are no cameras or any other verification (let alone ID), I can do the same in another electorate with a number I pick out at random.

    When the AEC finally pulls its finger out to investigate with their 130kg voting officer they will find an innocent citizen confused and afraid.

  42. struth

    Another thing compulsory voting does insidiously, is to make young people feel less part of the Australian community, less part of the joy and responsibility of being an adult as it is seen as a chore and not a great right and responsibility, that makes them feel part of the decision making process of their country. It encourages apathy.

  43. Token

    …with an address I pick out at random and check by reviewing their mail…

  44. Bruce

    Bruce, if I walk down my street after the posty has been on the days before the election I can see the a names & address which I can then use to go to each of the voter booths across my electorate and use to vote in both the house & senate

    Token – That is why the AEC should use the data they are collecting. When booth chick crosses you off that record means they can easily find multiple instances of that registered ID and address being used to vote. Which means plod can come to your address to ask why you voted twice.

    If you didn’t vote twice plod will go find person in your street who did. And voter ID would be even better, it’d give AEC no excuses not to chase rorters for prosecution. What is needed is will and a penalty which hurts the offender.

    The 50 buck is fine for not voting is just right. Enough to be winceworthy but only annoying. Multiple voting, though, is treason. The penalty should be severe. I rather like the idea of castration, it would be a useful and appropriate deterrent.

  45. tomix

    Bruce, if I walk down my street after the posty has been on the days before the election I can see the a names & address which I can then use to go to each of the voter booths across my electorate and use to vote in both the house & senate

    That’s one way, slight risk of embarrassment. Access to a State Government Rental Bond database
    might provide more opportunities with less risk.

  46. Token

    Multiple voting, though, is treason. The penalty should be severe. I rather like the idea of castration, it would be a useful and appropriate deterrent.

    We agree. I was noting how easy it is to game the current system.

  47. struth

    And the election is well over.
    HB bear. I would rather have the partisan politics of the states with it’s free speech than muddle on with the Australian position as it is supposed to be partisan here, but due to corruption with our media and the fact Abbott always has to take into consideration the low info voter that MUST vote, we get no partisan at all , just gradual and continual slide to the left.
    Although the states is heading down, their system still allows for confrontation and they have the ability through their system (especially the free speech part) to fix theirs.
    Their education corruption and immigration problems will be their undoing, not their voting system. Their system did achieve for them a country that throughout the same lifetime ours could not and never will.

  48. Makka

    “It is yet another example of the Liberal Party’s failure to reform the country when they have the chances.”

    But not the balls.

  49. stackja

    Do voters care enough? I do not expect TA to get into any unnecessary disputes.

  50. Andrew

    I trust we will find that this contest like the one in Fairfax was decided by a number of votes which was less than the number of fraudulent votes cast.

    Not to mention when Mirabella was ahead by 1000 they found 1003 votes on cue for her GetUp! supported “country-conservative” opponent.

  51. Pickles

    Abetz voted for the greens? You bastard!

  52. How you are able to read that into the post is simply astonishing.
    It may have had something to do with the title you used.

  53. struth

    “Multiple voting, though, is treason. The penalty should be severe. I rather like the idea of castration, it would be a useful and appropriate deterrent.”

    I bet it wouldn’t be treason if the ABC did it.

  54. James of the Glen, serial stalker of war veterans, raises his ugly head…….

  55. struth

    Numbers hypocritically again abuses with nothing constructive to say, but hey that’s ok he is an old socialist. They never look at themselves so the word hypocracy does not compute.

  56. .

    Apart from getting rid of this hideous violation of our liberties (compulsory voting), the only way forward is a royal commission into the 2010 election, the ALP, Tony Windsor, unions, related entities, the greens and expand the scope of the child abuse inquiry into the ALP (and also the missing votes in Indi).

    Otherwise Abbott is strategically surrendering to future ALP leaders, who lead a party controlled by entities which are run by often corrupt officials and have dubious, underhanded links to finances they were never voluntarily granted – on top of the much mentioned by self censored list of crimes by ALP MPs etc.

    We must identify who has stolen elections and any of their prior form. The racketeering of the unions and stealking elections is unacceptable and ought to be punished without remorse.

  57. struth

    Or even the word Hypocricy…….

  58. struth

    Still doesn’t look right.
    Hypocrisy…….I think that’s right. If only I had a less left wing education.

  59. Grant B

    I refuse to be forced to vote or lob up and vote informal like an idiot who hasn’t got the nous to fill in the ballot paper correctly. So I don’t vote and haven’t done so since the early 70s. At the last election, as usual, I stapled a $20 note to a scribbled note pointing out that compulsary voting in a democracy is a pile of horseshit. Sent it in a few days before, as usual, which greatly confuses them because I’m admitting to and paying the penalty for a crime I have not yet committed.

    Nevertheless, they sent me a receipt. Yesterday I received a letter informing me I hadn’t voted and that I had to pay $20 or go to court. I won’t respond so will go to court with their receipt in my hand for the beak’s perusal. Should be good for s laugh.

    Is it any wonder they fucked up the WA Senate election

  60. .

    Hilarious. You say this works every time?

  61. Rabz

    I won’t respond so will go to court with their receipt in my hand for the beak’s perusal. Should be good for s laugh.

    Wonderful – and the bountiful taxpayer will foot the bill for this staggering incompetence, yet again.

  62. Mr Rusty

    3 urgent reforms to the voting system required:

    1. No photo ID, no vote
    2. Tax paying permanent residents have the right to vote (non-compulsory)
    3. “No suitable candidate” on every ballot
    4. Tests to determine eligibility to vote. Anyone who thinks bicameral is a feature on the latest iPhone is only ever allowed to vote on wanky reality TV karaoke competitions.
    5. I can’t count

  63. Yon Toad

    The real obscenity of compulsory voting is that there is no change whatever the outcome. Either way we get a government that looks after itself and its mates first.

  64. Jim Rose

    I forgot the vote in an election

    The Tasmanian House of Assembly election in 1982 had no party campaigns, no TV or newspaper ads, no how to vote cars and all candidates could only solicited votes for themselves, not for others in their party or anyone else.

    This was because a late legal opinion from the equivalent of the DPP was that any form of expenditure on co-ordinated campaigning and joint solicitation of votes would be added to each individual candidate limits of $1000 or so separately.

    With no party campaigns, no TV or newspaper ads, no how to vote cards and all candidates could only solicited votes for themselves, the date of the election slipped my mind and I forget to get a postal vote before going inter-state for a holiday.

    The liberal party won in a landslide.

    The campaigning ban seemed to give an advantage to the party already leading because the party on the nose could not dig itself out of a hole in the campaign by pointing out that they may be bad, but, on closer inspection, the other side led by Robin Gray is worse. I do not know of any studies of this unusual election.

  65. Noddy

    There is another aspect of the voting system for concern is the ‘voting secrecy’ .
    Why must voting for representatives be in secret and the vote for laws of the land non-secret.
    A secret vote by politicians would limit the hold parties have over members.

  66. Jim Rose

    Tollison has written on the economics of secret ballots

  67. J.H.

    I agree with Compulsory voter turnout. I see it as a democratic duty and societal obligation no different than Jury Duty.

    Now whether or not you actually vote validly is up to you, as no one can observe you during our secret ballot system…. Thus it is not “Compulsory Voting” but rather Compulsory turnout.

  68. south

    Hey, I’m an Australian citizen and I’m not allowed to vote, since I’ve lived out of the country more than six years. Not that I really miss it…

  69. Bruce

    A secret vote by politicians would limit the hold parties have over members

    Nice idea but doesn’t work in practice. The ALP is tribal, the LNP is a herd of cats.

    Secrecy would have to be perfect or defectors from ALP caucus position would be made to suffer in an infinity of very painful ways. And no secret system is going to be secret from ALP whips, they would find out. Believe me, they would. That would not be the case for the Libs, the Lib whips would look meaningfully at defectors who’d raise middle finger in return. Therefore a secret voting system in the House of Reps would heavily favour Labor.

    That is not the case in union elections. Mandatory secret ballots for unions would retrun power to members in the best way.

  70. .

    J.H.
    #1100583, posted on December 6, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I agree with Compulsory voter turnout. I see it as a democratic duty and societal obligation no different than Jury Duty.

    Now whether or not you actually vote validly is up to you, as no one can observe you during our secret ballot system…. Thus it is not “Compulsory Voting” but rather Compulsory turnout.

    Jam that idea…you ought to be more hardcore for liberty. I’d argue that constitutionally, juries are banned as they are civil conscription and thus should have a right to conscientious objection. Ditto for voting.

  71. James of the Glen

    I see OOOT (“Oh, one of those ” – 88 yr old RAAF F/O on Bomber Command, in reference to Numbers) is now compounding his lies with further futile tries at multiplication.
    Like the dishonest troll he is, he again attempts to align himself with truly fine men as if he would cowardly make them share the criticism he so richly deserved all to himself. All to himself.

    It’s a common refuge of the guilty, never successful and comes as no surprise from this chappie.

    What a low act; attempting to make others share his own shame. A peasant straight from the bog. And extremely ugly.

    No doubt his stalking is well practised. Very creepy. And very ugly.

  72. GrantB

    JH – I agree with Compulsory voter turnout. I see it as a democratic duty and societal obligation no different than Jury Duty.

    Funny you should mention Jury Duty. I was sentenced to gaol in 1974 for not voting (more accurately for not paying the fine). The wallopers traipsed all the way up to the old man’s place in the South Aust country to collar me and haul me off to a well deserved incarceration. Unfortunately for them I was overseas and didn’t return for 11 years. I was struck off the electoral roll. How do I know that – I was a returning officer assistant at the Australian High Commission for the election after which Bob Hawke became PM and looked myself up on the electoral roll microfiche. I’d been excommunicated.

    On return I re-enrolled expecting the gendarmes to lob up again but they didn’t. I of course refused to vote but just paid an early fine (see my post above). And then when I was employed as a Defence Principal Research Scientist and was MAJGEN Cosgrove’s scientific staff officer at the time, I was called up for jury service. I filled out the form and under convictions I put that I had been sentenced to gaol for not voting. The field underneath asked for the length of the sentence – I wrote “I have no idea, I didn’t turn up, ask the South Australian coppers if you are really interested”.

    Didn’t hear anything more, so obviously a TS positive vet security clearance is not good enough to sit on a jury if you’ve committed the heinous crime of not voting.

    It is beyond me how any libertarian could support enforced compulsory voting. It is a crock of shite legislated by about 10 countries on the planet. The majority of them utterly corrupt.

  73. Cold-Hands

    1. No photo ID, no vote

    As not everyone has photo ID, I’d add a rider. If a voter fronts without photo ID, a digital photo of the voter is taken with his/her credentials before he/she is allowed to vote. Given how prevalent cheap digital cameras are, this would be a cost effective way of minimising fraud. Given that most adults do have photo ID, a booth would only have to set up one or two tables to accommodate this additional step.

  74. jimmy

    What if the state paid you $100 and a sausage sanga to vote ? That would ensure a high turnout without compelling those who don’t intend to vote.

    Personally I have never understood the extreme aversion to compulsory voting. After all, you can turn up and write “wee wee” on the ballot if you want. Or, if in the ACT you could vote LNP, which would hve the same effect !

  75. struth

    because lethargic people that have to turn up, are not interested in politics usually vote for greens, or;
    May as well do something good for the environment.
    Oh, um, I wanna see a woman prime minister.
    I’ll vote for who my teacher told me to vote for.
    I don’t like his smile.
    And on and on.
    People forced to turn up and cast disinterested, uneducated votes often as not don’t just get their name crossed off a list. They vote.

  76. struth

    We are the only english speaking country in the world, and one of only about ten others( all corrupt),that make voting compulsory and we are going down fast.
    Our society has changed as to make compulsory voting a very big problem for Australia.
    Our politicians and political process have stagnated due to the fear our politicians have of the disinterested, only half listening if at all,welfare recipients who are forced to vote.

  77. struth

    And I say this after a coalition victory.
    That’s because after a traitorous train wreck of a government that killed Australia and I believe irreversibly so, there were still quite a few labor voters.

  78. What a low act; attempting to make others share his own shame.
    I am proud of my service, even though I had no choice in the matter.
    You are the one who should be ashamed…….making a fool of yourself for alleging that I was a military imposter, and then lacking the courage to apologize.
    You can’t get much lower than that.

  79. CatAttack

    If forced to vote you should at least have the legitimate choice to record “none of above ” and have that result published. I am totally opposed to compulsory voting. If you can’t be bothered to turn up and don’t care why should a government compel you.

  80. Noddy

    You can wreak your revenge on any of the politicians by giving the ‘sitting member’ 1 and all other candidates 2… it then qualifies as an informal vote and no cigars for the Party in the form of taxpayer financial support.
    When the candidates asks you “what do I have to do to receive your vote” then you might have a show of some honesty in politics.
    The scrutineers will note this vote.
    You might ask Fran Bailey about this type of vote.
    It strikes me that it should be accepted as a formal vote because the voter has clearly signaled their intentions… none of the others are suitable.

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