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December 10, 2007

The most retarded idea I've seen in quite a while

Some thread on the Boston Globe message boards asks the question:

Compulsory Voting?
Many countries, for example Australia, practice compulsory voting. Basically you get fined if you are an eligible voter and don't vote. As you would expect, voter turnout in such places tends to be very high.

Do you think it would be a good thing if the US adopted such a practice? Why?

This is wrong on so many levels. The act of not voting is in itself a defacto "vote". What isn't clear currently though is if the non-voter is not voting because any of the choices were acceptable to them and they're content to let others make a finer distinction, or if none of the choices were acceptable to them.

I've long believed that if "any of the above", and "none of the above" were included in all elections that none of the above would win a plurality in quite a few elections. I also believe that the "none of the above" candidate taking a plurality would end all this talk of "mandates" that politicians love to babble about. Duly chastened politicians seems like a good thing to me.

I would love a way to tap the silent majority, but criminalizing non-voting isn't the way to do it.


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posted by Purp at 11:31 AM

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