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peter lindsay

Physics Teacher,

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In a democracy should voting be compulsory

I am really undecided on this one. I see examples of both having effects I don't like. In Australia voting is compulsory so elections are often decided by a small group of swinging voters. This has resulted in the homogenisation of the two major political parties as they both fight over the middle ground. In the US I see elections swung by appealing to the extremes as an election where only half the population vote can be decided by encouraging a small extremist group to take part. The middle majority don't vote as they can't make up their minds. How do we get an election result that is truly indicative of the wishes of the whole population without homogenising the debate to the point where the parties are indestinguishable?

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  • May 11 2012: But what if an individual feels (knows for certain) that the parties would be incapable of leading the nation or fulfilling its promises??? What if an individual doesnt have confidence in any of the parties??? In that case mandatory voting doesnt do any good to nation. Such an individual may want to wait for the right party to stand up and then he excercises his right of voting. If a party is not good(let's say a bunch of crooks form it and run the party and economy and the nation according to their own whimses without caring what is to be done and what is not to be done) then it is better not to vote. Supporting a theif in my opinion is an equal offence like stealing something by yourself. Voting should therefore be personal choice so that no one's patriotism/integrity gets disturbed.

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