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Old 02-23-2004, 02:26 AM   #61
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Well that's nice, but just as dangerous is when the ill-informed are drafted to vote by a frenzy of hot-button 'wedge' issues, and the likelihood that many moderately informed voters will throw their hands up in disgust and stay home. A very dangerous situation.

Also there's the money politics angle. I wonder how much money is spent just 'getting out the vote' in a non-compulsory voting system, and how that distorts the process.
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Old 02-23-2004, 06:03 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally posted by TylerDurden

For those asking more about the Australian elections...

Yes you can do what is called a 'donkey' vote, show up, get your named ticked off and then just scribble "F*ck capitalism!" on the ballot paper and walk out without actually voting for anybody.
Donkey voting is an illegal activity and should not be encouraged. There is fine for doing this if you should happen to get caught. Its easier to just pick the one you hate the least and vote properly.

Quote:
Originally posted by TylerDurden

(remember genuine accidental mistakes that 'ruin' the ballot count as donkey votes as well).
Not just accidental mistakes ruin the vote but unintentionally as wel. I have worked as an election official in the past and we spent a lot of time decifering the number '4' . Europeans write it differently to us and it can look like a 7.
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Old 02-23-2004, 01:33 PM   #63
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Originally posted by beli
Donkey voting is an illegal activity and should not be encouraged. There is fine for doing this if you should happen to get caught. Its easier to just pick the one you hate the least and vote properly.
I really hate the idea of being made to vote for a candidate because I didn't hate him/her as much as the next one. The only way I would support compulsory voting is if there was an option to vote "none of the above" as I don't think it's right to force a person to vote for a candidate they don't really support. I want to be able to vote for a candidate because I believe they'll do the best job, not because I think they'll be useless but not quite as bad as the alternatives.

How exactly could a person get caught spoiling their ballot paper though? I mean if you have a secret ballot then nobody should be supervising people casting their vote and so would have no way of knowing who had voted correctly and who hadn't.
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Old 02-23-2004, 01:45 PM   #64
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I agree Fizz, no one should have to vote for a candidate they honestly don't like. As much as I hate it that barely 50% of the American electorate votes, I have to admit there's a reason for this, and that's no "none of the above" vote. We always have two major party candidates with a huge advantage financially and it's horrifically expensive to run a campaign. Everyone else is supposed to go to hell or whatever. I don't like this. Give an honest to goodness alternative and more people will cast votes. The only surefire "alternative" is "none of the above" because people are always going to dislike both major party candidates *and* all of other people running. I don't see anything wrong with this; it's not really what I'm criticizing when I'm complaining about people not voting. Of course we have the "write-in" option which is pretty close, you can write in anyone and hey, it's a vote. If you want to vote for Joe Schmuck it's your vote, go ahead.
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Old 02-23-2004, 05:08 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees

How exactly could a person get caught spoiling their ballot paper though? I mean if you have a secret ballot then nobody should be supervising people casting their vote and so would have no way of knowing who had voted correctly and who hadn't.
Really the only way someone would get caught is if they brag about it, which some people do.

As for non compulsory voting I believe if you dont vote then you are casting a vote for the winner. Eg in the last USA election everyone who didnt vote effectively voted for Bush as they didnt vote to the contrary. Just my $0.02 worth.

Edited to add: My last comment really applies to anybody who doesnt vote - compulsory or otherwise. I guess I feel that compulsory voting takes any social stigma away from the process. Everyone has to vote so not many people kick up a fuss. There is little peer group pressure to go to the beach instead of voting, cant be bothered voting, you are a nerd for voting, that kind of think. Its just accepted that everyone has to do it.
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