End compulsory voting

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#26
Mr Q said:
Additionally, I strongly hold the view that no one can have a mandate based upon only a percentage of the electorate. If you've only had a 40% turnout, then 60% of people haven't had a say.
Compulsary voting also lends itself to stability. If there is a small turnout then the electorate can become more beholden to the special interest and minority groups.

In the USA Kerry or Bush will only have to get 25% of the voting age population to win the gig. That lends itself to more heavily marketing themselves to the religious right for example and giving them a disproportionate influence.

The Greens might get say 5-10% of the vote under a compulsary system, but that could should up to 20% if their voters keep turning out and the ALP and Lib voters are amongst the 40% who elect not to vote.
 

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Mr Q

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#27
notenoughteams said:
Probably not. There should be an APOLITICAL spot on the ballot is what I have always reckoned. There is nothing wrong with compulsory voting except for the compulsion to make a political decision.
Why? If you don't want to vote for someone, submit a blank ballot. In the end there's no real difference between someone who can't be bothered filling out a ballot and someone who deliberately doesn't. Also a ballot paper that clearly indicates a preference, but is not perfectly filled should still count for as long as the order of preferences can be determined (for instance if someone puts in a 1 and a 2, but does not fill in the rest of the boxes, that vote should still count until both candidates voted for are eliminated).

(IMO, deciding to submit a blank ballot paper is a complete cop out. Means you're either admitting you're too stupid to make a decision, or too apathetic)

Now if there is a move such as in the US toward computerised voting machines then I would agree there would have to be a function available to allow people to submit blank or partial votes.
 

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#28
Mr Q said:
Why? If you don't want to vote for someone, submit a blank ballot. In the end there's no real difference between someone who can't be bothered filling out a ballot and someone who deliberately doesn't. Also a ballot paper that clearly indicates a preference, but is not perfectly filled should still count for as long as the order of preferences can be determined (for instance if someone puts in a 1 and a 2, but does not fill in the rest of the boxes, that vote should still count until both candidates voted for are eliminated).



(IMO, deciding to submit a blank ballot paper is a complete cop out. Means you're either admitting you're too stupid to make a decision, or too apathetic)
An official APOLITICAL option, when used, sends a lift your games message to all persuasions of politics. Donkey votes don't. Third option to your cop out scenarios is "do not wish to endorse either major political party", which you are required to do under a compulsory preferential system. Savvy.
 

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#29
surely votting for an independant is the same as a no confidence in the major political parties ?
 

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#30
Grolm37 said:
surely votting for an independant is the same as a no confidence in the major political parties ?
Not when you have to end up preferencing one over the other. You may have crank independents anyway.
 

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#31
notenoughteams said:
Not when you have to end up preferencing one over the other. You may have crank independents anyway.
good call - i would like to see an end to preference voting as well but no-one seems to agree with me
 

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#33
notenoughteams said:
Not when you have to end up preferencing one over the other. You may have crank independents anyway.
So don't vote past the independents. Your vote only becomes invalid after your last number...
 

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#34
Mr Eagle said:
So don't vote past the independents. Your vote only becomes invalid after your last number...
Not true actually. In federal elections, and all state elections bar NSW & Qld, you must number every square to lodge a formal vote.
 

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#35
Re a 'none of the above box' (or something similar) - you're not asked whether you approve of the candidates or not. Rather, subject to s 24 Commonwealth Constitution, you're asked as an elector to vote on the order of preference for those on the ballot. The phrase "chosen by the people" means that for a vote to be valid, you vote on preference for those up for election, not those who aren't.

s 24 does not confer a personal right - instead it asks for preferencing of candidates at elections, consistent with your right as an elector to decide who you would prefer to win a seat in Parliament. This was the issue at point in Langer v Commonwealth.
 

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#36
DaveW said:
Not true actually. In federal elections, and all state elections bar NSW & Qld, you must number every square to lodge a formal vote.
Actually there are slight exceptions to this rule, subject to s 268 Commonwealth Electoral Act. (eg number all squares bar one; or give the same number to the last two candidates, thereby ensuring that your preference is exhausted before the final round).
 

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#37
Minka Beaver said:
Actually there are slight exceptions to this rule, subject to s 268 Commonwealth Electoral Act. (eg number all squares bar one;
Well I suppose if you leave one box blank its as good as numbering every square since there's only one number that blank box can be. And under no circumstances can your vote reach your least favoured candidate anyway.

However, my understanding is that this would still be an informal vote. No leeway for common sense.
or give the same number to the last two candidates, thereby ensuring that your preference is exhausted before the final round).
This is similar to what Albert Langer advocated. It was true then but they've changed it since.

Or at least this is my understanding... can you point me to the Commonwealth Electoral Act?
 

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#38
DaveW said:
Well I suppose if you leave one box blank its as good as numbering every square since there's only one number that blank box can be. And under no circumstances can your vote reach your least favoured candidate anyway.

However, my understanding is that this would still be an informal vote. No leeway for common sense.

This is similar to what Albert Langer advocated. It was true then but they've changed it since.

Or at least this is my understanding... can you point me to the Commonwealth Electoral Act?
Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918:
http://scaletext.law.gov.au/html/pasteact/0/57/top.htm

The HC denied Langer's belief in "implied prohibition", ie that voters had a right not to choose certain candidates.

I'm currently studying Langer for an exam next week and am no expert, but have a look at the Act and see what you think. Boring case to read, but it's still good law. Anyway, look at s 268 and see how they work in relation to ss 240, 270.
 

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#39
DaveW said:
And under no circumstances can your vote reach your least favoured candidate anyway.
It could, but it is so unrealistic and so unlikely that it never happens. For it to occur, the two candidates left in contention would have to be tied following the second last round of preferencing. The HC acknowlewdged this, stating that the near impossibility of the situation ensured that in the early 80s there was a push to decrease the number of votes that would previously have been deemed informal.
 
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#42
The worst thing about our system is that we force people to vote who don't care, and haven't thought about the decision they're making.

Says here:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Opinion/...ripe-for-change/2004/11/01/1099262783425.html
that Howard is thinking about scrapping this absurd rule. Well, something good had to come out of this.
We don’t have compulsory voting in Australia. It’s only compulsory if you’re on the electoral roll.

Just request to get off the electoral roll. Problem solved.
 

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