Should voting in the UK General Election be made compulsory?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by shadowritten, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. shadowritten

    shadowritten
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    As a lifelong (so far) political abstentionist, I'd be very interested to hear all of your views on this emotive subject.

    There are those who argue that the right to a vote is one of the greatest gifts that democracy has brought us. Then there are those - like me - who, while acknowledging this gift, feel that if voting were made compulsory, this would run contrary to the democratic ideal. After all, democracy is, in part at least, about having a choice. So, if I choose not to vote, that's my democratic right ... right? Or wrong?

    What do you think?
     
  2. jbp20717

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    How about everyone should go to the polling stations, but in addition to the three main parties and various others to choose from, there should also be the option to select no party at all.
     
  3. FruitBat

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    Most definitely not.
    It needles me when I hear stuff like "people fought for your right to vote" (or similar). I'd like to think that some people fought for my right not to vote.
    I've voted every chance I had since I was 18, but I'd consider abstaining if it was compulsary (they can't lock us all up).
     
  4. pjclark1

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    I agree there should be a
    "No suitable candidate"
    voting choice in all elections, at the moment it's not worth voting as pretty much everyone has the same policies with only trivial differences.
     
  5. Miyazaki

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    I agree with Shadowritten on this one. However, I always vote, even in the local elections.
     
  6. M-C-P-M

    M-C-P-M
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    People have fought for the right not to vote did you miss them they are called
    THE "IRA" THE "PLO" "AL-QUAIDA" THE "NAZIS" THATS IT LETS NOT VOTE LEAVE IT TO THE GUYS WITH THE BIGGEST GUN!:mad:
     
  7. Mep

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    the trouble with compulsary voting is that a sizeable percentage of the population haven't got a clue what they are voting for, they will just do what the 'Sun' or 'Mirror' tell them to do.
    This might also explain the results of some of these 'talent' shows we have had recently :)
     
  8. mij

    mij
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    I think the voting age should be raised to 21 and made compulsory with a "None of the above" option.
     
  9. Astaroth

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    There has to be a none of the above option irrespective if it is compulsary as at the moment your options are:

    1) dont turn up and get lumped in with the apathetical people

    2) spoil your ballet paper and get lumped in with the idiots who cant follow simple instructions.
     
  10. Nick_UK

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    Should voting be made compulsory ?

    No, quite the reverse, people should be made to take a short test which demonstrates that they understand a little bit about politics, before they are allowed to vote.

    Then we wouldn't get..........

    "I vote ............. because my dad always did"

    "I vote ............. because I am upper/middle/working class"

    "I vote .............. because [ethinic group] people vote ........... "

    "I vote for ................. because he's got more charisma"

    "I vote for ................ because he always dresses so well"

    etc........

    Maybe then people would start voting for the politics and not for the politicians.
     
  11. shadowritten

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    Too true.
     
  12. Solomon Grundy

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    definitely add a "no suitable candidate" box, the first step toward a badly needed political revolution...
     
  13. Monty Burns

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    Oh ain't that the truth! And its f'kin scarey!

    (sorry, it sounds like elite'ism but there is a strong element of truth behind it)
     
  14. Garrett

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    I think everyone should vote but I do not agree its should be compulsory, people should have that freedom of choose. The should not whinge though if the wrong party gets in though.
    What’s more I feel less people vote the more mine counts for.
     
  15. Miyazaki

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    It's going the other way mate. Soon 16 year olds will be able to vote.
     
  16. shadowritten

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    Interesting viewpoint, and probably quite true.

    You know, when I began this thread last night, I'd virtually convinced myself that the majority would be PRO compulsory voting, and I'd be made to feel a heal for not voting. Some interesting posts so far ... keep 'em coming.
     
  17. Nick_UK

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    Not at all, I respect you for your honesty. If you were forced to vote, when you had no interest in doing so, and picked out a candidate with a pin, then your vote could effectively cancel the vote of someone who was really clued up (not that I'm saying you're not). I'm all for getting people under 25 interested in politics, but forcing them to vote is not the way to do it.
     
  18. GBDG1

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    They have compulsory voting in Oz, I don't know how well the system works, but they seem to be doing ok.

    If we wanted a fairer democracy then a more important step would be to change the voting system to one of proportional representation. There are lots of figures to back this up, like labour only being elected by about a quater of the adult population in the last election. However, I don't really like the idea of PR as you can end up in a mess like with the last German elections, or Italy where the coalitions break down on an annual basis.

    An Athenic democracy might suit some people on here judging by the comments so far... :p
     
  19. overkill

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    It would be if they cared, which they don't. ;) I waver on this one. I agree it's an important freedom to be able to choose not to, but by the same token it winds me up when people moan themselves senseless about the govt of the day and yet don't bother to! :)
     
  20. Mep

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    You're right, it is very scary!
     
  21. lynx

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    How about a competency test before giving someone a vote. It never ceases to amaze how many people will cast a vote having little understanding of the party manifesto,visions and values.
    Speaking with people after voting,it has become obvious they had no idea of their chosen parties policy on Health, education,taxation,economy,independance etc etc.
     
  22. overkill

    overkill
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    This is incredibly dangerous and would only play into 'their' hands. 'Competency tests' were used in the Deep South to prevent Black voters registering right up until the late 60's.
     
  23. Mep

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    There may be some merit to that, it amazes me for example that New Labour is still seen as a peoples party and a caring party versus the Tories, but where do you draw the line (and personally I'm not convinced that you should)? for example...a competency test before you can breed?
     
  24. Garrett

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    Yes there some right numpties out there.

    I knew a woman whinging on about the poll tax and said if I'd known they were going to bring it in I'd never have voted for the Tories.

    Yes you stupid woman thanks to you and many other we had an other term of the Tories. And the Poll Tax was the few of the things they got right.
     
  25. mjcairney

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    We all have the right to vote but equally we have the right not to vote.

    Unless I see someone well worthy of my vote, and it's been a while since that happened, I stay away from the polling station.

    Cheers,

    Martin.
     
  26. Mep

    Mep
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    that pretty much sums it up mate :thumbsup:
     
  27. pjclark1

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    The Nazis were elected by the German people, did you really think they were some sort of terrorists?
     
  28. lynx

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    I don't intend to turn this thread into a history lesson, however ;) , search on Ernst Röhm and SA.
     
  29. overkill

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    Röhm and the SA fought with the NAZI's opponents, such as the socialists and communists, and terrorised the Jews, but had no bearing on the increasingly large numbers of voters that made the NAZI's the largest party in the Reichstag in the series of early 30's elections. Even the communists and socialists can't have been that put off, as they were normally amongst the other large elected groups. From the data we have, the NAZI's gained at the centre parties expense. The SA had no effect on their supporters bar encouraging some not to vote NAZI in protest at the violence, while evidence from the time also suggests that the middle classes were happy to turn a 'blind eye' to the SA's activities as they hated the socialists and communists. Hence they were willing to accept violence as a price to pay for getting rid of socialism.

    The NAZI's exploited an underlying set of values and prejudices, and tapped into an unpleasant aspect of the German psyche. It wasn't as simple as 'opposing Versaille' or 'bashing political opponents'.
     
  30. Timbo21

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    Making voting compulsory seems somewhat un-democratic to me ;) .
     

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