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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: Voting should not be compulsory.

    The main pillars of democracy lie in egalitarianism and in complete freedom of choice and expression. Therefore, giving the citizens an opportunity to freely choose among political parties, but at the same time take their opportunity to decide whether they want to vote, (and have the slightest interest in election), foremost, does not seem like an appropriate solution.

    If voting is voluntary, the results of the election, (no matter how fatal they turn out), are a true reflection of the state and of its inhabitants. The outcome is a valuable piece of knowledge, which can, in the end, struck people's lazy or undecided minds much more than just a simple command.

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