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OT Re: Voting, etc

Subject: OT Re: Voting, etc
From: Eric <>
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 09:47:52 +0930
Michael Lupynec wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: JustBrits <>
> > Simon:
> >
> > <<Incidentally Australia requires citizens to vote (or at least,
> > to go to their polling station).>>
> >
> > Not a bad idea.
> Geez Ed, you want to force every unmotivated dimwit to vote?
> Guaranteed he will vote for the wrong candidate. Rest of your
> comments were well thought out.

No, the threat of gaol (if you don't pay the fine) for not voting
motivates people into being involved in the governing process. 
Non-compulsory elections (local government elections here are mostly
non-compulsory) usually lead to:

1) Only those with an axe to grind at the time will vote
2) The vote can be hijacked by well organised pressure groups
3) The poor and lesser educated being motivated to to vote
4) A vote closer to a majority of the population (hence a mandate)
5) Less chance of people feeling disenfranchised and 'left out' of the
governing processes (and whinging about the government they get).

Knowing that you *have* to get to a polling booth on that day makes you
think about the options in advance and thinking "well, I *have* to go
there so I might as well vote and make it count". The 'informal' and
'donkey' vote percentage is remarkably low.

It is proven that non-compulsory voting is far less likely to be
participated in by the poor and lesser-educated - the ones who are often
at greatest risk from government.

Nothing (but your own selfishness and stupidity) prevents you from
voting informally if you don't want to play your part in the process. 
But hey I usually go to the polling booth in thongs, t-shirt and shorts
- how less formal can you get.

Adelaide, South Australia

"Aptenodytes non retro concidunt obi machinas Daedali successores supra
volantes spectant:   ita censet scientista Ricardas Lapis Britannicus."

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